What Happens When We Die?

What-Happens-After-Death-1024x585There is a significant amount of confusion regarding what happens after death.  The existence of life after death is a universal question.  Job asked God, “If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14).  Like Job, all of us have been challenged by this question.  What exactly does the Bible says happens after we die?  Does everyone go to the same place or do we go to different places?  Is there really a heaven and hell?

Christ most certainly affirms there is an afterlife in a number of biblical passages.  The Bible says there is not only life after death, but eternal life so glorious that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).  Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to earth to give us this gift of eternal life.  Jesus took on the punishment that all of us deserve and sacrificed His life to pay the penalty for our sins: “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).  Three days after His crucifixion, Jesus proved Himself victorious over death by rising from the grave: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).  The resurrection of Jesus is a well-documented event and is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.  Because Christ rose from the dead, we too can have faith that we will be resurrected.  The resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate proof of life after death.

Although all people will eventually die, not everyone will go to heaven.  A choice must be made by each of us in this life, and this choice will determine our eternal destination.  Those who have been made righteous by faith in Christ will have eternal life in heaven, but those who reject Christ will be sent to eternal punishment in hell (Matthew 25:46).  God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires all men to turn from their ways so that they can live eternally with Him (Ezekiel 33:11).

One aspect of the afterlife worth noting is that there is no intermediate state for those who die; they go directly to their eternal destiny.  For believers in Jesus Christ, the Bible says after death their souls/spirits are taken immediately to heaven because their sins are forgiven by having trusted Jesus as Savior (John 3:16-18, 36).  For believers, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23).

On the contrary, for those who do not trust Jesus as Savior, death means everlasting punishment.  Hell, like heaven, is not simply a state of existence, but a literal place.  Luke 16:22-24 describes a rich man being tormented immediately after death: “I am in agony in this fire.”

The Bible devotes much less space to describing eternity than it does to convincing people that eternal life is available as a free gift from God.  Most of the descriptions of eternity would be more accurately called hints, since they use terms and ideas from present experience to describe what we cannot fully grasp until we are there ourselves.  These references hint at aspects of what our future will be like if we have accepted God’s gift of eternal life.

How can we receive eternal life in heaven and avoid eternal wrath from God?  There is only one way—through faith in Jesus Christ.  The Bible is clear on what determines our eternal destination—whether we have faith in Christ and trust Him to save us from our sins.

Salvation by faith in Christ sounds too easy for many people.  They would rather think that they have done something to save themselves.  Their religion becomes one of self-effort that leads either to disappointment or pride, but finally to eternal death.  Christ’s simple way is the only way, and it alone leads to eternal life.  Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Enjoyed this post? Read more in my book, Back to the Basics: A Guide for Christian Living. COVER

 

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About Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.

Pastor Joe has been serving in Christian ministry for 19 years. He is the author of "Back to the Basics: A Guide for Christian Living." Through a commitment to servant leadership, he proclaims relevant Bible truth, equips the saints for effective ministry, and builds up the body of Christ. Married thirteen years, Pastor Joe and his wife live in New Jersey and have two children.
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105 Responses to What Happens When We Die?

  1. Amen! Although I know it will be many years from now, it’s great to know I will meet your entire family in heaven! Blessings,

  2. Lexi says:

    Great post!
    What do you say to Christians who believe the “soul”, stays where the body is buried. Immediate ascension into heaven is a lie. And the dead are in deep sleep with the promise of resurrection and life with Christ/God, AFTER the great tribulation?

    Thanks in advance.

    • fredswolfe says:

      The soul of Your body is represented by your breath. When you take your last breath, it is the end of you and your soul. Sorry it is so simple.

    • Good question, Lexi! This is honestly a very difficult issue. Some hold that after death, everyone “sleeps” until the final judgment, after which everyone will be sent to heaven or hell. Others believe that at the moment of death, people are instantly judged and sent to their eternal destinations. Still others claim that when people die, their souls/spirits are sent to a “temporary” heaven or hell, to await their final resurrection, judgment, and eternal destination. Which is correct? Allow me to give a more detailed answer.

      Regarding “soul sleep,” I think of passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, which describe believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. While the souls/spirits of believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave “sleeping.” At the resurrection of believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21-22).

      Of the righteous, it is declared that:
      1. The soul of the believer, at its separation from the body, enters the presence of Christ (2 Cor. 5:1–8; Lk. 23:43; Jn. 14:3; 2 Tim. 4:18)
      2. The spirits of departed believers are with God (Heb. 12:23; Eccl. 12:7; Jn. 20:17; Lk. 23:43, 46)
      3. At death believers enter paradise (Lk. 23:42, 43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7)
      4. Immediately after death, the believer’s state is greatly to be preferred to that of faithful and successful laborers for Christ here (Phil. 1:23)
      5. Departed saints are truly alive and conscious (Matt. 22:32; Lk. 16:22, 23:43; Jn. 11:26; Thess. 5:10; Rom. 8:10; Phil. 1:6)
      6. Believers are at rest and blessed (Rev. 6:9–11, 14:13).

      The return of Christ has important implications for believers because it means the hope of bodily resurrection. David speaks of awakening in God’s presence (Ps. 17:15). Daniel describes the future resurrection as all people will be resurrected from the dust of the earth, some to enter into everlasting life, others to judgment and everlasting condemnation (Dan. 12:1–2). Jesus spoke words reminiscent of Daniel when He explained that the dead would hear the voice of Christ and come forth, some to a resurrection life, others to a resurrection judgment (John 5:28–29). Christ also promised eternal life to those believing in Him; they had the assurance that He would raise them from the dead (John 6:39–40, 44, 54). At the raising of Lazarus Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and every one who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25–26). Paul cites the resurrection as foundational to the Christian faith. If the resurrection is not true then Christ has not been resurrected, faith is useless, and the sin problem remains unsolved (1 Cor. 15:17). The resurrection is explained in connection with the return of Christ (1 Thess. 4:16) and the New Testament climaxes with the announcement of the resurrection of the righteous, describing it as “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–5). The souls of all men will live forever in resurrected bodies. At the end of the Millennium the devil, the beast, and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire where “they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).

      Does this help, Lexi?

  3. nwinsocal says:

    While I appreciate many of the posts of Pastor Joe has made in the past, I will demonstrate that what is commonly believed to happen and is expressed in this post to both those who are In Christ and those who aren’t in Christ isn’t what the Bible teaches. This is especially personal to me because my father died earlier this month. Because of the sheer volume of information that will be presented, I will make several posts in order to make this easier to present and read. Feel free to follow along.

    The first point of business to answer this question is to understand who we are as humans. We turn to Genesis. When we read 2:7, we find out that we humans came into existence when God formed Adam from the ground and put into him the Breath of Life. There was no “us” before God created Adam; we simply did not exist. This text gives us the simple formula of how we come to exist.

    Breath of Life + Human Body = Living Human Being

    This is the case with every single human that has ever lived. in Gen. 2:15-17, God informs Adam (Eve is informed via Adam), that eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will result in their death. That means what happened when God created them would be reversed by death. God told our original parents that they would live and exist forever as long as they didn’t eat from that tree! That means God provided them with CONDITIONAL immortality. Obey this command, and they would live and exist in happiness and harmony with God, each other, and their offspring forever. Eat of the fruit, and every is lost and they die.

    Now Satan (impersonated by the serpent) shows up. In 3:1-4, he sets up Eve to fall by telling her a lie that what God said would happen if she ate the fruit really wouldn’t happen (so interesting that the first lie that was told to humanity by Satan was about the state of the dead); thus he undermined her trust in God. Unfortunately, she succumbs to temptation, then convinces Adam to do the same and he eats the fruit too.

    God enters the picture next (Gen. 3:6-25) and he basically conducts a trial and passes judgment on all three individuals (Adam, Eve and the serpent). All of the consequences are bad, but the worst part of all is Him pronouncing upon Adam and Eve the sentence of death. The text is a clear as can be. Death is the return of humans back to the state of what we were before God created us: lifeless dirt.

    The tree of life was in the Garden to provide Adam and Eve nutrition to continue to preserve their immortality Because they now were estranged from God in their sinful state, God made sure that sinful, wicked human beings would never have access to the tree of life and escape the curse of death. Thus he exiled Adam and Eve from the Garden and put an angel at the east side of it with a sword to prevent anyone from ever eating from the tree of life and gaining immortality.

    This concludes the first of my posts which will show the truth about what happens to people when they die. More to follow…

    http://disciplefortheking.wordpress.com/

    • Sorry to hear about your father passing away. I am not sure what you are trying to say.

      • nwinsocal says:

        I am going from Genesis to Revelation to demonstrate that the concept of the “soul” going to heaven when a person dies is incorrect. Rather, the Bible teaches that when a person dies, they cease to exist. Death is the final consequence and curse of sin that all living creatures die and return to dust when the Breath of Life leaves the body. Resurrection is God’s answer to the death problem. Genesis is key to this study because it reveals the fundamental truth about our existence and death. The rest of Scripture will agree with what Genesis teaches.

  4. Hogwash! The singularly significant thing about Jesus Christ is that he is the only person, human being, who has lived, died and lives again! Everyone else who has ever lived and died is in hell, Sheol, the grave. The Bible refers to the dead as being asleep. 2 Thessalonians 4:16-18 tells us that Jesus is going to descend from Heaven and that the dead in Christ will arise from the dead and the living will not precede them that are asleep; all will meet The Lord in the air. Either these verses are a lie from the devil or what Pastor Joe says here is. The choice is yours. Make it widely because your rewards in Heaven depend on it.

  5. Thank you Pastor Joe for establishing and confirming with Scripture that we do go to be with Jesus fully resurrected when we die. Yes Jesus told the man on the cross that He would be in Paradise (which is not hell as some wrongly claim) with Him that very day, this was in reference to His Spirit because when Jesus appeared to Mary in the Spirit on Sunday Morning, she could not touch Him because He was not fully resurrected meaning His body but when He appeared to the Disciples He was and so are we, But those who died before Jesus was Resurrected , their bodies sleep even though their spirits are with God, we know this because of Moses and Elias and it also being confirmed in other Scriptures (see below) if we are Martyred during the first part of the great Tribulation we will go to Heaven fully resurrected

    Matthew 17:2-3 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.

    Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all Nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

    Revelation 7:14 And I said unto Him, Sir, thou knowest. And He said to me, These are they which came out of great TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne.

    • Absolutely Anne! God bless!

    • fredswolfe says:

      No, Anne, not that very day! Comma’s are not the Word of God. Move the comma and it says “I say unto you today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” Jesus went to the grave for 3 days and 3 nights. He did not go anywhere but the grave. Besides, Paradise is always on the earth. When it is re-established after the Millennial Kingdom, that thief will be there and not until then because it does not exist. Pastor Joe you must read my book. You can burn it afterwards if you wish, but that will be better than seeing all your works here on earth being burnt up at the Bema because you did not build them upon the right foundation.

      • Fredswolfe, I am copying and pasting part of my reply (above) to Lexi as well as adding further comments.

        Some hold that after death, everyone “sleeps” until the final judgment, after which everyone will be sent to heaven or hell. Others believe that at the moment of death, people are instantly judged and sent to their eternal destinations. Still others claim that when people die, their souls/spirits are sent to a “temporary” heaven or hell, to await their final resurrection, judgment, and eternal destination. Which is correct? Allow me to give a more detailed answer.

        Regarding “soul sleep,” I think of passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, which describe believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. While the souls/spirits of believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave “sleeping.” At the resurrection of believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21-22).

        Death is the end of physical life through the separation of soul and body (Jas. 2:26). It is a reality for every member of the human race (Heb. 9:27). No one is exempt from death (Rom. 5:12). The body will die, but the soul lives forever (Matt. 10:28; Lk. 12:4-5). Death is the result of sin (Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:56). It is not annihilation for life continues on for believer and unbeliever alike after the physical death of the body (Lk. 16:19-31). When believers die, their souls go to Heaven (Lk. 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil 1:23); when unbelievers die, their souls go to Hell (Lk. 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15).

        Unbelievers will continue in an eternal state of torment (Lk. 16:23). Hell is a total absence of the favor of God; an endless disturbance of life as a result of the complete domination of sin; anguish, despair, weeping, and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12; 13:50; Mk. 9:43-44, 47-48; Lk. 16:23, 28; Rev. 14:10; 21:8). The expression “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28) suggests both suffering and despair, implying a continued existence of suffering. Annihilation is denied; punishment continues for an endless duration. It appears there will be degrees of punishment in hell. This is generally acknowledged from Luke 12:47–48 where the slave who did not know his master’s will and did not do it will receive few floggings, whereas the slave who knew his master’s will but did not do it will receive many lashes. The Scriptures affirm the conscious existence of both the righteous and the wicked, after death, and prior to the resurrection. In the intermediate state the soul is without a body, yet this state is for the righteous a state of conscious joy, and for the wicked a state of conscious suffering.

        Of the righteous, it is declared that:
        1. The soul of the believer, at its separation from the body, enters the presence of Christ (2 Cor. 5:1–8; Lk. 23:43; Jn. 14:3; 2 Tim. 4:18)
        2. The spirits of departed believers are with God (Heb. 12:23; Eccl. 12:7; Jn. 20:17; Lk. 23:43, 46)
        3. At death believers enter paradise (Lk. 23:42, 43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7)
        4. Immediately after death, the believer’s state is greatly to be preferred to that of faithful and successful laborers for Christ here (Phil. 1:23)
        5. Departed saints are truly alive and conscious (Matt. 22:32; Lk. 16:22, 23:43; Jn. 11:26; Thess. 5:10; Rom. 8:10; Phil. 1:6)
        6. Believers are at rest and blessed (Rev. 6:9–11, 14:13).

        The return of Christ has important implications for believers because it means the hope of bodily resurrection. David speaks of awakening in God’s presence (Ps. 17:15). Daniel describes the future resurrection as all people will be resurrected from the dust of the earth, some to enter into everlasting life, others to judgment and everlasting condemnation (Dan. 12:1–2). Jesus spoke words reminiscent of Daniel when He explained that the dead would hear the voice of Christ and come forth, some to a resurrection life, others to a resurrection judgment (John 5:28–29). Christ also promised eternal life to those believing in Him; they had the assurance that He would raise them from the dead (John 6:39–40, 44, 54). At the raising of Lazarus Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and every one who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25–26). Paul cites the resurrection as foundational to the Christian faith. If the resurrection is not true then Christ has not been resurrected, faith is useless, and the sin problem remains unsolved (1 Cor. 15:17). The resurrection is explained in connection with the return of Christ (1 Thess. 4:16) and the New Testament climaxes with the announcement of the resurrection of the righteous, describing it as “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–5).

        Both believers and unbelievers alike will be judged at the Second Coming of Christ. First, the Bema Seat is the judgment for believers. This judgment takes place after the rapture of believers. Here, believers will be evaluated by the Lord to determine our degree of faithfulness to Him and the eternal rewards, or lack thereof, we have earned. The purpose of the judgment seat will be to recompense for deeds done in the body, whether good or worthless. Christ will judge or evaluate the way we lived our Christian lives and the quality of our service (1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10). The question here is not whether we are Christians, but what kind of Christians we are. Christ’s Judgment will test the sincerity and quality of our lives. Each of us will give an individual account to God for what we have and have not done here on earth. Another aspect of the Judgment is to test the motivation behind our service. Christ will look at the spiritual fruit, or lack thereof, we have to offer and reward us accordingly (2 Cor. 5:10). The final aspect of Christ’s Judgment is to test our spiritual discipline and self-control. Christ will judge our thoughts, words, actions, desires, and dependability. Basically, our love for Him will be judged. Our works will be examined whether done by self-effort or whether done by God through the us. If our works do not endure, we are saved but receive no reward (1 Cor. 3:15); if our works are genuine, we are rewarded (1 Cor. 9:25; 1 Thess. 2:19; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet. 5:4; James 1:12).

        Second, the Great White Throne Judgment is for unbelievers and is unrelated to the Bema Seat that pertains only to Christians. This judgment takes place after the Millennial kingdom. This is the final judgment where unrepentant sinners will “fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). The records of the unbelievers will render them guilty before God and unworthy of eternal life. All the unbelieving dead will be judged in the presence of God in that day. They will be condemned and cast into the lake of fire, their final abode (Rev. 20:15). The purpose of this judgment is to purge sin from the universe forever, to vindicate God’s perfect justice, to determine the degree of punishment unbelievers will receive in hell, and to reveal mans’ responsibility for sin once and for all.

        The souls of all men will live forever in resurrected bodies in either heaven or hell. At the end of the Millennium the devil, the beast, and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire where “they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).
        Believers will enjoy an eternal fellowship in Christ’s company (John 14:2). Heaven is pictured as a banqueting scene (Matt. 8:11), emphasizing the fellowship, relaxation, joy, and happiness in Christ’s presence. Believers’ eternal dwelling place will be the new heaven and the new earth (Isa. 65:17). John describes the new heaven and new earth in great detail (Rev. 21:1–22:5). The New Jerusalem is pictured as a holy city, coming down out of heaven; many understand that the New Jerusalem will hover over the earth. It is a literal city because it has measurements (Rev. 21:16). The brilliance of the Shekinah of God will illuminate the city (Rev. 21:9–11). The city itself will be secure (21:12–13); it measures fifteen hundred miles long, wide, and high with the throne of God at the top (21:15–18). The foundation stones are adorned with various kinds of precious stones (21:19–21). Above all, the blessing of the New Jerusalem will be that God will dwell in fellowship with man. There will be no need for a priest; believers will have direct access to God (21:22). Sorrow and the things that caused sorrow will be removed in the New Jerusalem (21:4,5). Christ will be central there, and believers will serve Him and enjoy His fellowship for all eternity (22:3–5).

        Hope this helps.

      • It is True fredswolfe there were no small Particles in the early Greek or punctuation and it was all written in Upper case. But Jesus on the cross as we can see in the Scripture below, said that the Thief would be with Him TODAY in Paradise and it is translated as such in every Translation except the Cults but then they reject Jesus’ Divinity in The Godhead or Trinity as The are called today, so they don’t have The Holy Spirit. To overcome we must repent and believe in who Jesus is, which the Thief did, as shown by his statement in (Luke 23:40-41)

        Luke 23:42-44 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom and Jesus said unto him Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise(KJV)

        Revelation 2:7-8 He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches, To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. .(KJV)

        It was only Jesus’ physical Body that was in the ground for 3 days as confirmed by Scripture, He was in the Spirit when He appeared to Mary in the garden and also to the others on the Emmaus road. We also see with Lazarus and others, that dead is not dead literally, meaning our spirit, heart, soul and mind but yes the outer shell, meaning bodily flesh, perishes over time.

        Christian Love -Anne

        • Yes, Aussie “remember me WHEN.” That “when” is still forthcoming. Jesus didn’t go to Paradise that day, he went to Sheol, the grave, which is also translated as hell. And he stayed there for 72 hours! If the thief went to Paradise that very day he was the only one there. Use your head.

          As far as your 4th paragraph goes, I will leave that up to someone else. Too much unsoundness for me to address.

          As far as your “left field” comment on believers who don’t believe in the Trinity goes, where in the Bible do you see that they cannot have the Holy Spirit?

          The ignorance of so many never ceases to amaze me. It never ceased to amaze the apostle Paul either: He used the word 13 times for the believers:
          1 Thess 4:13-15
          But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

          14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

          15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. KJV

          Was the thief born again? Did he go to Heaven?

          Tough love in Christ Jesus -Fred

          • Please note, while I am in agreement with Covenant Theology in regards to the doctrine of grace, I do not agree with Covenant Theology in regards to the relationship between Israel and the Church, and in regards to the end times. I never lean towards one theology or another just for the sake of picking one, but rather glean truth from all viewpoints (as long they agree with Scripture).

            I will only allow this discussion about our differences to continue in so far as we can remain patient and loving with one another. It is always good for our viewpoints to be challenged, motivating us to further search the Scriptures to make sure our beliefs are biblically sound. If at any point, however, I feel your comments are unloving (as some have been in the past), I will delete them and you will no longer be welcome here.

            I believe both Dispensational and Covenant Theology have aspects that are biblical and true. In other words, both theologies have something to offer. Let’s take a closer look.

            First, I value a biblical understanding of Dispensational Theology because it teaches God deals differently with people in different ages. The English word dispensation comes from the Greek word oikonomia, which means “stewardship” (Lk. 16:2, 3, 4; 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2, 9; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4). Other passages of Scripture also emphasize different ages or dispensations. In Ephesians 1, Paul indicates that God planned a “dispensation” in which all things would ultimately be summed up in Christ and refers to the future dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom. In Ephesians 3, Paul refers to the stewardship or dispensation that has previously been a mystery. John 1:17 says, “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” He points out that the new era of Christ stands in contrast to the period of the Mosaic Law. The dispensation under Moses is termed “law,” whereas the age under Jesus Christ is called “grace.” Romans 6:14 says, “You are not under law, but under grace.” The believer dies and rises with Christ. In other words, sin is no longer dominant in the believer’s life. We can enjoy victory from sin in this dispensation because we are not under the law anymore. Galatians 3:19–25 explains the purpose of the law is to point us to faith in Christ, so the function of the law is now over (Gal. 3:25). So far, so good.

            Second, I value a biblical understanding of Covenant Theology because the covenants of works and grace explain the gospel precisely. God initially makes a covenant of works with Adam, promising eternal life for obedience and death for disobedience. If Adam obeys God, he will come to a knowledge and sense of his own good; if he disobeys, he would rush headlong into evil or death. Adam sins, becomes guilty, falls from God’s fellowship, from hope of eternal life, from spiritual grace, from uprightness, from authority over creatures, and from physical life. Adam is the representative head of the entire human race and death enters our world as a result of his sin. God moves to resolve our dilemma by entering into a covenant of grace through which the problem of sin and death can be overcome. After the Fall, God resolves to show His inexpressible mercy, kindness, and longsuffering towards the entire human race. The fulfillment of the covenant of grace is through Christ’s death on the cross. In other words, He pays the penalty for our sin; He acts as a Substitute to satisfy God’s wrath. Christ is the ultimate mediator of God’s covenant of grace. It is only through Christ’s death that we are able to reconcile with God.

            Keep in mind, there are other aspects I disagree with and find no foundation in Scripture, but I have not mentioned those at this time. My prerogative is not to further divide us, but to unite us.

            I will copy and paste this reply in a few other places to be sure everyone sees it.

            In His Grace,
            Pastor Joe

  6. Planting Potatoes says:

    Good read Pastor! God bless you for sharing his word!

  7. Laura Matlock says:

    Started reading your book today, excited to finish it! Proud of you!

  8. Pastor Joe, wish you had said more about what the Bible says about Heaven. Fred Wolfe, there is no rapture. You misunderstand those Thessalonian verses. I agree that we remain “asleep” until Christ’s return when he conquers the enemy for good. The Bible tells us clearly that Heaven comes down to earth, where a new Eden (New Jerusalem) will be, where all of creation will be made new, including us. The New Jerusalem will be what the original Eden was intended to be – a place where God will walk among His people for eternity.

    • fredswolfe says:

      The Rapture is in biblical terms the Gathering Together, episunagoge. It is depicted by the word apostasia which has been grossly misunderstood and mistranslated. When Christ returns as king of kings and lord of lords we will be WITH him. Then he will set up the Millennial Kingdom in The place where Israel is today. Satan will be bound a thousand years then loosed one more time. When he is defeated for he final time, then paradise will be re-established where God will be among us.

      If we do not arise from sleep before the second coming how are we going to be rewarded at the bema in Heaven?

      • Fred, as I study it, the entire earth will be His kingdom, not simply one place (Israel). As He restores all of creation, we will be called and restored. I believe you are taking “place” too literally.

        • How do you study it? The Millennial Kingdom is not the Eternal Kingdom. One lasts 1,000 years while the one coming after it will be eternal. There will still be tears in the former but not in the latter. There will still be the sun and planets in the former but not in the latter. People who live through the Tribulation will still be having babies in the Millennial Kingdom but not in the Eternal.

          You must separate everything in the 4 Gospels & Revelation from everything in between to get a clear understanding. Before Jesus’ ascension he and all of his followers believed he would be returning within 7 years, but he still has not. Why?

          Until you try to understand the significance of the Secret (musterion) that God kept from everyone, until he revealed it to Paul, you will ever be mistaken about what you think you know.

          • Yes, I understand the difference between the two. Christ’s appearance signified the beginning of the end of the age. It is the not yet/already that we must hold simultaneously. The enemy is reigning already here on earth.

            The suffering that is predicted occurs to US, not to outsiders. It is happening all around the world. There are persecuted Christians in every country. Why do you think the saints have been calling, “How long?” The answer is until all who are destined to die have died.

            God has revealed all to us through the Holy Spirit, and through His Word – there is no longer any veil, nor any “Secret.” There was no belief about seven years except to those who separated themselves from the true teaching of Christ. There is no separation between the Gospels and Revelation – only a consistent thread of the very same good news that Christ brought and for which he gave his life – freedom in love, grace and mercy, and redemption and reunification with our Father and all of creation.

            All else is not the gospel of Jesus.

            • Sorry you “feel” that way. You are living in denial.

            • I guess we all have our theologies.

              The important thing is, we all believe in a Jesus who loves us all, we are all God’s creation, and we all will meet one day in the New Eden.

              Have a blessed and peaceful weekend, Fred.

            • I am trying to understand everyone. It seems we have different understandings of Scripture.

              Susan, there is a view called, “Amillennialism.” Is this what you believe? This viewpoint teaches there will be no millennium at all in the future. Whatever kingdom there is, it is now—it is heaven’s rule over the church. Conditions in this present age will become increasingly worse until the second coming of Christ at the end of this church age, and the return of the Lord will be immediately followed by a general resurrection and judgment and the commencement of the eternal state. Amillennial interpretation often spiritualizes Scripture, as opposed to interpret the Bible literally. According to this view, Revelation 20 describes the scene of souls in heaven during the time between the first and second comings of Christ. Is this what you believe?

              Fred, I am unsure about you. We agree on some things, but not on others. Which viewpoint best describes you?

            • Pastor Joe, I can’t put a label on it. I think it comes close to what you are describing.

              Regarding the Bible, parts of the Bible are written to be interpreted literally; parts are apocryphal; parts are historical. There are different genres, so it depends upon which book, or which portion of which book one is reading.

              Either way, as I said to Fred, the important thing in our beliefs is that we not worship doctrine. The important thing is that we worship God, and come together in unity under Christ. We will all see each other when he returns and celebrate his grace and mercy.

              At that point, we will all shake our heads at our lack of human understanding, and welcome His embrace with joy.

          • Please note, while I am in agreement with Covenant Theology in regards to the doctrine of grace, I do not agree with Covenant Theology in regards to the relationship between Israel and the Church, and in regards to the end times. I never lean towards one theology or another just for the sake of picking one, but rather glean truth from all viewpoints (as long they agree with Scripture).

            I will only allow this discussion about our differences to continue in so far as we can remain patient and loving with one another. It is always good for our viewpoints to be challenged, motivating us to further search the Scriptures to make sure our beliefs are biblically sound. If at any point, however, I feel your comments are unloving (as some have been in the past), I will delete them and you will no longer be welcome here.

            I believe both Dispensational and Covenant Theology have aspects that are biblical and true. In other words, both theologies have something to offer. Let’s take a closer look.

            First, I value a biblical understanding of Dispensational Theology because it teaches God deals differently with people in different ages. The English word dispensation comes from the Greek word oikonomia, which means “stewardship” (Lk. 16:2, 3, 4; 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2, 9; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4). Other passages of Scripture also emphasize different ages or dispensations. In Ephesians 1, Paul indicates that God planned a “dispensation” in which all things would ultimately be summed up in Christ and refers to the future dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom. In Ephesians 3, Paul refers to the stewardship or dispensation that has previously been a mystery. John 1:17 says, “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” He points out that the new era of Christ stands in contrast to the period of the Mosaic Law. The dispensation under Moses is termed “law,” whereas the age under Jesus Christ is called “grace.” Romans 6:14 says, “You are not under law, but under grace.” The believer dies and rises with Christ. In other words, sin is no longer dominant in the believer’s life. We can enjoy victory from sin in this dispensation because we are not under the law anymore. Galatians 3:19–25 explains the purpose of the law is to point us to faith in Christ, so the function of the law is now over (Gal. 3:25). So far, so good.

            Second, I value a biblical understanding of Covenant Theology because the covenants of works and grace explain the gospel precisely. God initially makes a covenant of works with Adam, promising eternal life for obedience and death for disobedience. If Adam obeys God, he will come to a knowledge and sense of his own good; if he disobeys, he would rush headlong into evil or death. Adam sins, becomes guilty, falls from God’s fellowship, from hope of eternal life, from spiritual grace, from uprightness, from authority over creatures, and from physical life. Adam is the representative head of the entire human race and death enters our world as a result of his sin. God moves to resolve our dilemma by entering into a covenant of grace through which the problem of sin and death can be overcome. After the Fall, God resolves to show His inexpressible mercy, kindness, and longsuffering towards the entire human race. The fulfillment of the covenant of grace is through Christ’s death on the cross. In other words, He pays the penalty for our sin; He acts as a Substitute to satisfy God’s wrath. Christ is the ultimate mediator of God’s covenant of grace. It is only through Christ’s death that we are able to reconcile with God.

            Keep in mind, there are other aspects I disagree with and find no foundation in Scripture, but I have not mentioned those at this time. My prerogative is not to further divide us, but to unite us.

            I will copy and paste this reply in a few other places to be sure everyone sees it.

            In His Grace,
            Pastor Joe

        • nwinsocal says:

          You are right Susan

          • Since you believe Susan is correct I don’t believe I ever said Jesus would only be King in Israel. What I think I said was that his Kingdom would be set up in the “place” where Israel is today. As far as my limited understanding goes, I believe the only living people on earth at this future time period (the Millennial Kingdom) will be at that place, since they were all gathered on the plains of Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon., after which the Sheep and Goat Judgment takes place.
            It stands to reason that there will be no one living anywhere else.

            Concerning this statement– As He restores all of creation, we will be called and restored.– I don’t believe it is true since we will have been raptured 7 years prior. As far as restoration goes, this is for the Jews, the faithful of the house of Israel. Christians have nothing to be restored to.

            Your thoughts?

            • nwinsocal says:

              The Kingdom of God occurs in two phases. We are now in the “kingdom of grace” where God is calling sinners to repentance. The “kingdom of glory” is when God establishes his kingdom on earth in a world made new and lasts for all eternity. Here is the basic outline of events according to the Bible.

              Great Time of Trouble:
              The church will not be raptured beforehand and there is no such thing as a seven year tribulation period as taught by Dispensationalists. The church will pass through this time and survive because God by His grace will sustain the people of God and rescue them (Dan 12:1; Matt. 24:24-29).

              The Second Coming:
              This is what we as Christians are to be looking forward to because it will spend the end of our tumultuous and painful existence on this earth. It will be a visible, sudden, cataclysmic audible, glorious return that will catch the wicked of the world completely off-guard and by surprise and put an end to all earthly kingdoms completely (Daniel 2:32-35; 44; 7:14; Luke 24:36-43; Acts 1:11; Matt. 16:27; 24:27, 30 38, 39; 25:31-34; Rev. 1:7; 11:15; 1 Thess. 4:16; 5:2, 3).

              At this time God resurrects the believers from their graves and gives them immortality first. This happens first then the living believers at that time will also be changed into immortal beings and meet the resurrected saints in the air. They all then go with God and His angels to heaven and stay there for the Millennium where they get to review the records of heaven and participate in the judgment of the wicked, including Satan and his angels. This judgment serves as the time for the saints to know that God was fair and just in how he dealt with humanity (Dan. 7:27; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; 15:52-54; 1 Thess. 4:14-17; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 2:26; 15:3; 20:4).

              In addition, the unbelievers who are dead stay that way. Those who are alive are overwhelmed by the presence of Christ and His angels and are killed. Babylon, the union of all apostate religions, will also be destroyed (Isaiah 26:21; Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 17:28-30; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev 18:8; 19:20, 21).

              With the saints with God in heaven and the wicked all dead, Satan and his angels are left on a planet that is in total ruins. With no one to tempt or deceive, Satan is “bound” because he has nothing to do during this time (Rev 20:2, 3).

              At the end of the millennium, God and the saints return to the earth and all the wicked are resurrected. This is the resurrection of damnation. Satan is now see “free” to deceive and lead the wicked in trying to attack and defeat God’s people and the New Jerusalem. But the attack never happens because God conducts the “Great White Throne” judgment where he reveals from beginning to end to everyone that He was fair and just in how he dealt with humanity, Satan and his angels. Everyone cannot help but then acknowledge how fair and just God was in how he dealt with everything. Even Satan and his angels will have to bow before God and admit He was right and they were wrong. God then rains down upon Satan and all the wicked, consuming them and death in the lake of fire. This fire completely destroys them all and purifies the whole earth and its atmosphere of any trace of sin. When the fire is done, the earth is fully restored to perfection and God lives with the saints on the new earth for all eternity (Ps. 37:9, 20, 34; 68:2; 92:7; 104:35; 145:20; Isa. 28:21; 34:8; Mal 4:1; Matt. 13:12, 30, 40; 25:41; Luke 13:28; Phil. 2:10, 11; 2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Peter 3:4,6, 7, 10; Heb. 6:2; Rev. 9, 10, 12, 15; 14:11; 19:3; 20:10; 21:1;4).

              Any questions?

            • fredswolfe says:

              I will let Pastor Joe address this.
              God bless,

    • Thanks for commenting Susan. I will do an entire post on heaven in the future, but for now here are a few key points about heaven: Believers will enjoy an eternal fellowship in Christ’s company (John 14:2). Heaven is pictured as a banqueting scene (Matt. 8:11), emphasizing the fellowship, relaxation, joy, and happiness in Christ’s presence. An important aspect of heaven will be the intimate, personal fellowship of believers with God. Earth’s sorrows will disappear in heaven; every single tear will be wiped away. Of considerable importance in the discussion of heaven is the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21–22 that you mention. Believers’ eternal dwelling place will be the new heaven and the new earth.

      The term rapture comes from the Latin translation, meaning “caught up,” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The rapture, which is distinguished from the second coming of Christ, is taught in John 14:1–3; 1 Corinthians 15:51–57; and 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18. Prior to the seven-year Tribulation, Christ will descend from heaven, catching up the church to be with Himself, while the Tribulation is unleashed on an unrepentant and unbelieving world.

      Fredswolfe, I agree there will be a thousand-year Millennial Kingdom where Christ will literally reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords on earth. What a wonderful time that will be!

      God bless!

      • Please see my comment to Fred – there is no rapture teaching in Scripture.

      • 2nd and 3rd paragraph’s—-absolutely!

        John 14:2 cannot be talking about Heaven or the rapture because Jesus didn’t know about the Rapture.

        Matthew 8:11 Abraham, Issac and Jacob will not be resurrected until the First Resurrection which occurs after the Great Tribulation.These will eat when the King from Heaven, Jesus, sets up his kingdom on earth. None of the faithful of the House of Israel will see the Heaven you and I will see:
        Ezek 37:12-14
        Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves,AND BRING YOU INTO THE LAND OF ISRAEL!.

        13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

        14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, AND I SHALL PLACE YOU IN YOUR OWN LAND!! KJV (THIS IS FOR YOU TOO SUSAN IRENE).

        “every single tear will be wiped away.” REV 21:4—-this is after the Eternal Kingdom is established—this is not in Heaven during the Great Tribulation. There are going to be a whole lot of tears at the Judgment Seat of Christ in Heaven:
        2 Cor 5:10
        For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good OR BAD.
        KJV
        1 Cor 3:13-15
        Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

        14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive A REWARD

        15 If any man’s work shall be burned, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
        KJV
        There will be plenty of tears in Heaven when some find out that the foundation they built their ministries upon or individual believers find out what they based their belief system upon was false. This is why Paul warns us:
        1 Cor 3:10
        According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each man BE CAREFUL how he builds on it.
        WEB

        EVERYONE IS SINCERE, but sincerity is no guarantee for the truth. until we endeavour to “rightly divide” the word of truth, we will always get it wrong.

  9. Hi Pastor Joe, this Post comments reminds me of some of some of mine, it’s like Blogging in Aussie Land and sadly like there, much fleshy understanding is shared but I have appreciated your reply’s to everyone and also the Love and respect you have shown them, as you always do with all those who visit you on your Blog, including me.

    Well I’m going to have some breakfast but before I do I would like to confirm what you have previously shared about the Rapture, which is a very important part of God’s Truth in the Scriptures .

    I am in agreement with your messages about this Pastor Joe, The Rapture is a reality although as I shared before, The words Rapture, Trinity, Dinosaurs, D.N.A, Aids etc are all relatively new words but they are confirmed by others in the Scriptures or by their description in them, as an example; The Trinity as we now call Them, were called The Godhead in Scripture, God our Abba Father, Jesus, who is The Living Word and The Holy Spirit, One in Spirit, meaning seed or Nature, with God always being in Total Authority.

    1 John 5:7 For there are Three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One.

    1 Corinthians 15:27 -28 For He hath put all things under his feet. But when He saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

    Christian Love Pastor Joe, in our Unity in Christ Jesus – Anne

      • Sorry Pastor Joe, it was your Post called The Tribulation that we talked about the Rapture and your Post called Truth or Consequences, was also very informative , but I’m sure you did Post a message about the Rapture, perhaps it is one you have made private till wanted again.

        But I could be mistaken I do follow a lot of Blogs, I have more time than most as you know, with my still having a disability I’m not able to do the things others do but I give thanks for God’s healing of my other conditions and for His Balm and I also give heartfelt thanks that He always brings good out of Bad and never leaves us to walk alone.

        Blessings – Anne.

    • I am so glad you mentioned 1John 5:7 since it is a FORGERY that even Pastor Joe will acknowledge.For clarity’s sake I will quote several different versions to show the stark differences:
      1 John 5:7-8
      For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
      8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. KJV

      1 John 5:7-8
      For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. NASU WOW, SO MUCH SHORTER!

      1 John 5:7-9
      7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
      ESV EVEN SHORTER!!

      1 John 5:7-8
      There are three witnesses: 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood. These three witnesses agree.
      GWT

      1 John 5:7-9
      So we have these three witnesses— 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree.
      NLT

      Is this enough to convince you Aussie that the translators of the KJV (which you base your belief system upon) added 24 words to these 2 verses! Why would they do such a thing to the Word of God? They obviously didn’t think anyone would find out. But little did they know about the coming computer age where nothing would be hidden.

      You cannot just blow this off anymore than the importance of putting the comma after today. The entire Word must fit together and when it doesn’t we have to figure out why, not just accept it as some sort of mystery. How many more forgeries are there? I will show you another one:
      Deut 32:8
      When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. KJV

      Deut 32:8
      When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.
      ESV

      Deut 32:8
      When the High God gave the nations their stake,
      gave them their place on Earth,
      He put each of the peoples within boundaries
      under the care of divine guardians.
      (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

      THERE WERE NO CHILDREN OF ISRAEL IN THE TIME PERIOD OF DE. 32:8! THE SONS OF GOD, OR THE DIVINE GUARDIANS ARE THE ONES (ANGELS) WHO GOD PUT THE CARE OF THE GENTILE NATIONS UNDER!

      Were you aware of these two scribal activities after the Canon was closed?

  10. These 3 mentioned above are in agreement, they are not 1. They are 3 distinct and individual entities that agree with each other. That’s what the Word says and that’s what i believe.

  11. God is not the author of confusion … may His truth prevail.

  12. nwinsocal says:

    Continuing from my earlier post.
    It is important when interpreting scripture to refer back to the original language when it comes to trying to understand what the Bible really says about any subject matter, including understanding the nature of man and the state of the dead.

    In Gen 2;7, the Hebrew that has been translated “living being” or “loving soul” is NEPHESH CHAYYAH. It applies to other creatures as well besides humans (Gen 1:20, 24; 2:1). NEPHESH, translated “being” or “soul” comes from NAPHASH, meaning “to breathe”. It’s Greek equivalent in the NT is PSYCHE. It is important to note in the Genesis, it says man BECAME a soul, not RECEIVED one.

    NEPHESH is used in the following texts with the same context as in Genesis 2:7, and is translated into the word ‘person’ (Gen. 14:21; Num. 5:6; Deut. 10:22; Ps 3:2) or ‘self’ (Lev. 11:43; 1 Kings 19:4, Isa. 46:2)

    On the other hand, expressions such as ‘my soul’, ‘you’, ‘he’, et. (Gen. 12:13; Lev. 11:43; 44; 19:8; Joshua 21:11; Ps. 3:2, Jer. 37:9). In more than 100 of 755 occurrences in the OT the KJV translates NEPHESH as ‘life’ (Gen. 9:4, 5:1; 1 Sam. 19:5; Job 2:4; 6; Ps. 31;13, etc.)

    • nwinsocal says:

      Often NEPHASH refers to desires, appetites or passions (Deut. 23:24; Proverbs 23:2; Eccl. 6:7) and is sometimes translated ‘appetite’ (Prov 23:2; Eccl. 6:7). It may refer to the seat affections (Gen. 34:3, S of Sol. 1:7, etc) and at times it represents the volitional part of man, as when translated ‘pleasure’ (Deut. 23:24; Ps. 105:22; Jer 34:36). In Numbers 31:19 the NEPHESH is ‘killed’, an in Judges 16:30 (translated ‘me’) it dies. In Num 5:2 (‘the dead’) and ch. 9:6 (‘dead body’) it refers to a corpse (Lev. 19:28; Num 9:7; 10).
      The usage of the Greek word PSYCHE in the NT is similar to that of NEPHESH in the OT. It is used of animal life as well as human life (Rev. 16:3). In the KJV it is translated forty times simply as ‘life’ or ‘lives’ (see Matt. 2:20; 6:25; 16:25, etc). In some instances it is used to mean simply ‘people’ (see Acts 7:14; 27:37; Rom. 13:1; 1 Peter 3:20, etc.) and in others it is equivalent to the personal pronoun (see Matt. 12:18; 2 Cor. 12:15, etc.) Sometimes it refers to the emotions (Mark 14:34; Luke 2:35), to the mind (Acts 14:2, Phil. 1:27); or to the heart (Eph. 6:6). The PSYCHE is not immortal, but subject to death (Rev. 16:3). It can be destroyed (Matt. 10:28).

      The Biblical evidence indicates that sometimes NEPHASH and PSYCHE refer to the whole person and at other times to a particular aspect of man, such as affections, emotions, appetites, and feelings The usage of either word shows no support to the idea that the soul is an entity that can survive aprt from the body as a conscious entity.

  13. nwinsocal says:

    In the OT, the Hebrew word RUACH, translated SPIRIT, refers to the energizing spark of life essential to the human existence. It stands for the divine energy, or life principle, that animates human beings. RUACH occurs 377 times in the OT and most frequently is translated ‘spirit’, ‘wind’, or ‘breath’ (Gen 8:1, etc.) It is also used to denote vitality (Judges 15:19), courage (Joshua 2:11), temper or anger (Judges 8:3), disposition (Isa. 54:6), moral character (Eze. 11:19), and the seat of the emotions (1 Sam. 1:15).

    In the sense of breath, the RUACH of man is identical with the RUACH of animals (Eccl. 3:19). The RAUCH of man leaves the body at death (Ps. 146:4) and returns to God (Eccl. 12:7; Job 34:14). RAUCH is used frequently of the Spirit of God, as in Isaiah 63:10. Never in the OT, with respect to man, does not denote an intelligent entity capable of existing without a physical body.

    The NT equivalent of RAUCH is PNEUMA, ‘spirit,’ from PNEO, ‘to blow,’ or ‘to breathe’. As with RUACH, there is nothing inherent in the word PNEUMA denoting an entity in man capable of conscious existence apart from the body, nor does New Testament usage with respect to man in any way imply such a concept. In such passages as Romans 8:15, 1 Cor. 4:21, 2 Tim 1:7, 1 John 4:6 PNEUMA denotes ‘mood,’ ‘attitude,’ or ‘state of being’. It is also used of various aspects of the personality, as in Galatians 6:1; Romans 12:11; etc. As with RUACH, PNEUMA is also used of the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:!1, 14: Eph. 4:30; Heb. 2; 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 1:21, etc.)

  14. nwinsocal says:

    As I presented in Genesis 3, the state of man when he dies is to return to earth as dust. This is shown again to be true in the words of Solomon. It is important to note that whenever you study a topic in the Bible, all the statements concerning that topic will be presented clearly. Some statements may be metaphorical. Some will be direct Some will be poetic, and other parabolic. Thus we have to start with the most plain and clearest statements on the subject and evaluate them first. It they have no confounding contexts, then the represent the basic truth of the matter.

    Ecclesiastes 3:19-22

    King James Version (KJV)

    19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

    20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

    21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

    22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

    Solomon points both humans and animals have the same fate. They both return to dust. He asks a rhetorical question in verse 21, using the word “rauch” for the word spirit, which implies there is no difference between spirit for humans and animals. He uses the same rhetorical form in verse 22.

    Ecclesiastes 9:4-6

    King James Version (KJV)

    4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

    5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

    6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

    Here Solomon tells us that you have hopes as long as you are alive. Once you die, all your hopes die. This says that all your awareness of hopes and dreams ceases, because the dead are unaware. He emphasizes it again in verse 6. The Hebrew word “abad” is translated “vanished”, which describes a complete and total destruction, so that nothing is left.

    • nwinsocal says:

      The Psalms also continue with similar explicit references. These texts debunk the belief that the righteous go to heaven when they die. If they were in heaven they’d be continually praising God (Rev. 4:8-11, 15:2-3, 10:1-7).

      Psalm 6:5

      King James Version (KJV)

      5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

      Psalm 103:11-16

      King James Version (KJV)

      11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

      12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

      13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

      14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

      15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

      16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

      Psalm 115:17

      King James Version (KJV)

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

      Psalm 146:4

      King James Version (KJV)

      4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

      • fredswolfe says:

        All these verses are in my book and more from Ecclesiastes.

      • nwinsocal says:

        Figurative Descriptions of Death

        The passage in Psalm 6 introduces Sheol, which is the Hebrew term fro the place of the dead. (Is 28:15, 18). It is referred to as the “pit”. The term is used 65 times in the OT and a common thread is clear in every usage. Death is to be feard. Going down to Sheol is an unpleasant thought. There is no hint of a nice heavenly place one goes to in the form of a conscious disembodied spirit once one dies.

        Ecclesiastes 9:10

        King James Version (KJV)

        10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

        Solomon is very emphatic here. He states in four different ways that when you die there is no hope of brain function at all in the place of the dead. It is important that when we encounter less direct or figurative statements, we must remember they cannot contradict what the clear, decisive statements have said. It there is a contradiction between statements, either the Bible isn’t the Word of God, or there are elements of those statements which we misunderstood.

        It is common in the OT to refer to death figuratively as a “sleep”. There are thirty-six statements where someone is referred to by the form “so and so slept with his fathers” (1 Kings 2:10; 3:20; 11:21, 43; 14:20, 31; 15:8, 24; 16:6, 28; 19:5; etc.) in every case, the reference is to the death of the person. The verb commonly used is “shachav”, which means to lie down to rest. This is seen in God’s statement to Moses that he will not enter the Promised Land.

        Deuteronomy 31:16

        King James Version (KJV)

        16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

        God Himself uses the metaphor. It’s important to note that another Hebrew word which is used elsewhere is “yashen”. This describes sleep in the common sense from which one is expected to awaken from in the morning.

        Psalm 13:3

        King James Version (KJV)

        3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

        The literal translation in Hebrew says “lest I sleep the death”. The words “sleep of” are added. It is impossible not to note that death is regarded as a form of sleep. However, it is a sleep from which man could not awaken on his own. The prospect of resurrection, while not as obvious as in the NT, is intrinsic to the metaphor.

        This leads to two aspects of death for which the sleep metaphor is very important. First it is a natural state of unconsciousness. During this period there is no purposeful activity. Second, it leads to an expected arousal implying the assurance of a later awakening. This is the prophecy and the promise given to Daniel.

        Daniel 12:2

        King James Version (KJV)

        2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

        Daniel 12:13

        King James Version (KJV)

        13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

        Gabriel is clearly telling Daniel that the location of the sleep is the “dust” from which man came, not a heavenly realm. Then Daniel is to go to his own rest, secure in the knowledge of his ultimate awakening to eternal life. Note this reward comes at the end of time, not at the time of of his death.

        • Please note, while I am in agreement with Covenant Theology in regards to the doctrine of grace, I do not agree with Covenant Theology in regards to the relationship between Israel and the Church, and in regards to the end times. I never lean towards one theology or another just for the sake of picking one, but rather glean truth from all viewpoints (as long they agree with Scripture).

          I will only allow this discussion about our differences to continue in so far as we can remain patient and loving with one another. It is always good for our viewpoints to be challenged, motivating us to further search the Scriptures to make sure our beliefs are biblically sound. If at any point, however, I feel your comments are unloving (as some have been in the past), I will delete them and you will no longer be welcome here.

          I believe both Dispensational and Covenant Theology have aspects that are biblical and true. In other words, both theologies have something to offer. Let’s take a closer look.

          First, I value a biblical understanding of Dispensational Theology because it teaches God deals differently with people in different ages. The English word dispensation comes from the Greek word oikonomia, which means “stewardship” (Lk. 16:2, 3, 4; 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2, 9; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4). Other passages of Scripture also emphasize different ages or dispensations. In Ephesians 1, Paul indicates that God planned a “dispensation” in which all things would ultimately be summed up in Christ and refers to the future dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom. In Ephesians 3, Paul refers to the stewardship or dispensation that has previously been a mystery. John 1:17 says, “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” He points out that the new era of Christ stands in contrast to the period of the Mosaic Law. The dispensation under Moses is termed “law,” whereas the age under Jesus Christ is called “grace.” Romans 6:14 says, “You are not under law, but under grace.” The believer dies and rises with Christ. In other words, sin is no longer dominant in the believer’s life. We can enjoy victory from sin in this dispensation because we are not under the law anymore. Galatians 3:19–25 explains the purpose of the law is to point us to faith in Christ, so the function of the law is now over (Gal. 3:25). So far, so good.

          Second, I value a biblical understanding of Covenant Theology because the covenants of works and grace explain the gospel precisely. God initially makes a covenant of works with Adam, promising eternal life for obedience and death for disobedience. If Adam obeys God, he will come to a knowledge and sense of his own good; if he disobeys, he would rush headlong into evil or death. Adam sins, becomes guilty, falls from God’s fellowship, from hope of eternal life, from spiritual grace, from uprightness, from authority over creatures, and from physical life. Adam is the representative head of the entire human race and death enters our world as a result of his sin. God moves to resolve our dilemma by entering into a covenant of grace through which the problem of sin and death can be overcome. After the Fall, God resolves to show His inexpressible mercy, kindness, and longsuffering towards the entire human race. The fulfillment of the covenant of grace is through Christ’s death on the cross. In other words, He pays the penalty for our sin; He acts as a Substitute to satisfy God’s wrath. Christ is the ultimate mediator of God’s covenant of grace. It is only through Christ’s death that we are able to reconcile with God.

          Keep in mind, there are other aspects I disagree with and find no foundation in Scripture, but I have not mentioned those at this time. My prerogative is not to further divide us, but to unite us.

          I will copy and paste this reply in a few other places to be sure everyone sees it.

          In His Grace,
          Pastor Joe

          • nwinsocal says:

            I agree with most of what you have said Pastor. But when beliefs are expressed about what happens to us when we die or what happens at the end times which others feel honestly don’t reveal what is found in the Word, others will speak up. I disagree about the fundamental view of Dispensational Theology regarding the relationship between Israel and the Church. God’s plan from the beginning was to save all humanity from the ravages of sin and death. What he did during Moses time was reveal the gospel through a system of ordinances through the services of the earthly tabernacle which ultimately found their fulfillment in Christ. Covenant Theology correctly affirms that God enters into a relationship between God and man, where the grace of God is revealed and given to humans and in response We are to obey Him and keep his Law. That is true today just as it was during Moses time.

            The power of the Gospel that changed the whole world that was preached fully by Jesus and the Apostles was that the grace of God that was revealed to us since Adam fell and completed in Christ was that God wishes to save ALL humanity regardless of sex, ethnicity, or creed. Part of the problem that has afflicted Christianity in how people have brought suffering upon certain groups of people has been because it was believed God favored one race over another (American slavery is a perfect example of this.) Dispenationalism teaches us similarly that God favors ethnic Jews over others and that is inherently divisive. Salvation has nothing to do with genetics. The only thing that matters is faith.

            Futhermore, if what Dispensationalism says about the end time is true, then we should all renounce being Protestants and all become Catholics because the reformers who taught that the Papacy is the Antichrist were all wrong. They weren’t Dispensationalist in their teaching, rather they were Historicists. Without that teaching, they would never have been galvanized to teach what they did inspite of all the threats to their and others lives who stood for the truth that was found in the Word that we are justified by faith and not our works.

            At the end of the day, I just thank God that he has made our salvation complete in Christ and all that we need to do is align ourselves with him and we will be saved.

            • Thanks for this non-attacking and well thought out response. It is unfortunate when I meet people in the family of God who seem bent on dividing us. I do not believe God favors once race over another. I agree salvation has nothing to do with genetics. Why, then, am I persuaded that God chose Israel to be His people?

              One such reason is because of Deuteronomy chapter 7, particular verses 7-9. We find God’s election of Israel was never to become a source of pride for the nation. For God did not find any intrinsic merit in her which motivated Him to choose her. In fact, her small size originally would have served as a hindrance to her election.

              I believe Moses meant for the Israelites to draw two conclusions from God’s choice and redemption of her. First, the LORD alone is God. He is able to control history, to raise up nations, and to bring them down. Second, He is the faithful God. Though He will never abandon His covenant of love (v. 12), rebellious individuals within the nation will be judged for their sin just as His enemies in other nations (those who hate Him) are judged by Him. Therefore, each individual Israelite needed to be careful to follow His commands.
              Another reason I believe God chose Israel to be His people is because God confirmed the Messiah would come from the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. 12:1-3). God did not need to have a chosen people, but He decided to do it that way. Jesus had to come from some nation of people and God chose Israel.

              However, God’s reason for choosing the nation of Israel was not solely for the purpose of producing the Messiah. God’s desire for Israel was that they would go and teach others about Him. Israel was to be a nation of priests, prophets, and missionaries to the world. God’s intent was for Israel to be a distinct people, a nation who pointed others towards God and His promised provision of a Redeemer, Messiah, and Savior. For the most part, Israel failed in this task. But the good news is God’s ultimate purpose for Israel—that of bringing the Messiah into the world—was fulfilled perfectly in the Person of Jesus Christ.

              I think your last paragraph sums it up best: “At the end of the day, I just thank God that he has made our salvation complete in Christ and all that we need to do is align ourselves with him and we will be saved.” Amen!

            • nwinsocal says:

              Regarding your response to my last comment Pastor, I agree with you. My blog focuses in a lot on the subjects of the Covenant. In addition, God had brought up the nation of Israel because of the covenant promise he made Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Deut. 7:6-9). They were brought out so they could become a nation that would have a character that reflects God Himself (Ex 19:5, 6). They were to love God completely with heart, soul and mind and pass on a legacy of loyalty and obedience to God to their descendants (Deut. 6:5-9).

              What we have to remember that when God entered into the covenant with the Israelites at Horeb he made it clear that the blessings that they had coming to them in the Promised Land were conditional (The Bood of Deuteronomy is primarily devoted to explaining the complete details of this covenant). If they remained loyal to God and obeyed him they would enjoy prosperity and victory over any enemy that opposed them (Deut. 28:1-14). However, if they turned from God and worshiped idols they would bring upon them a multitude of curses, the worse suffering destruction at the hands of another nation (Deut. 28:15-68). If the Israelites repented from their sins during their captivity, God would restore them and give them another chance (Deut. 30:1-9).

              The Israelites went back and forth, sometimes falling into idolatry other times returning to God, depending on who was in charge of the nation at that time. They demanded a king rule over them instead of God. Some of those kings were just and mostly did good but eventually they continued in idolatry, especially when the kingdom was divided into northern and southern kingdoms. The northern kingdom (Israel) never returned from their captivity at the hands of Assyrians while the people of Judah were able to come back from seventy years of captivity from Babylon. God gave the Jews a second chance to make things right on their end in fully restore their standing with God within the framework of the covenant within the 490 year probation (Dan.9:24, 457 BC-34 AD).

              When Jesus came the Jews believed that the Messiah would be a conquering King who would restore their former glory in an earthly kingdom where they would overthrow the rule of the Romans. They believed that because they were ethnic descendants of Abraham they were guaranteed God’s favor but they were sadly mistaken. He didn’t offer them the kingdom they wanted and unfortunately they rejected Him because of it. As a consequence, God rejected the Hebrew nation as His representative on earth. The Christian church began as a remnant of believers in God from the Hebrew nation who at first focused their ministry on showing their fellow Hebrews that Christ was the only way to salvation but through later revelations from God, they realized the gospel message was for all people. (Acts 10; 11:1-18; Romans 3:22-31; Gal 3; Eph 3:1-6). The covenant promises God made through Abraham are inherited by all believers in Christ and are to a holy nation just as ancient Israel was called to be (1 Peter 2:9). As Chrisitans, we are God’s chosen nation through whom the world is to know who the true God of heaven is and worship Him. Those who truly believe in Christ make up the true Israel and are saved. Praise God!

      • Rita D. Palmer says:

        Since you are interested in the Book of Psalms, perhaps you would like to read
        the definition of the entire chapter? This is the link -http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/psa/psa_02.htm

  15. Please note, while I am in agreement with Covenant Theology in regards to the doctrine of grace, I do not agree with Covenant Theology in regards to the relationship between Israel and the Church, and in regards to the end times. I never lean towards one theology or another just for the sake of picking one, but rather glean truth from all viewpoints (as long they agree with Scripture).

    I will only allow this discussion about our differences to continue in so far as we can remain patient and loving with one another. It is always good for our viewpoints to be challenged, motivating us to further search the Scriptures to make sure our beliefs are biblically sound. If at any point, however, I feel your comments are unloving (as some have been in the past), I will delete them and you will no longer be welcome here.

    I believe both Dispensational and Covenant Theology have aspects that are biblical and true. In other words, both theologies have something to offer. Let’s take a closer look.

    First, I value a biblical understanding of Dispensational Theology because it teaches God deals differently with people in different ages. The English word dispensation comes from the Greek word oikonomia, which means “stewardship” (Lk. 16:2, 3, 4; 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2, 9; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4). Other passages of Scripture also emphasize different ages or dispensations. In Ephesians 1, Paul indicates that God planned a “dispensation” in which all things would ultimately be summed up in Christ and refers to the future dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom. In Ephesians 3, Paul refers to the stewardship or dispensation that has previously been a mystery. John 1:17 says, “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” He points out that the new era of Christ stands in contrast to the period of the Mosaic Law. The dispensation under Moses is termed “law,” whereas the age under Jesus Christ is called “grace.” Romans 6:14 says, “You are not under law, but under grace.” The believer dies and rises with Christ. In other words, sin is no longer dominant in the believer’s life. We can enjoy victory from sin in this dispensation because we are not under the law anymore. Galatians 3:19–25 explains the purpose of the law is to point us to faith in Christ, so the function of the law is now over (Gal. 3:25). So far, so good.

    Second, I value a biblical understanding of Covenant Theology because the covenants of works and grace explain the gospel precisely. God initially makes a covenant of works with Adam, promising eternal life for obedience and death for disobedience. If Adam obeys God, he will come to a knowledge and sense of his own good; if he disobeys, he would rush headlong into evil or death. Adam sins, becomes guilty, falls from God’s fellowship, from hope of eternal life, from spiritual grace, from uprightness, from authority over creatures, and from physical life. Adam is the representative head of the entire human race and death enters our world as a result of his sin. God moves to resolve our dilemma by entering into a covenant of grace through which the problem of sin and death can be overcome. After the Fall, God resolves to show His inexpressible mercy, kindness, and longsuffering towards the entire human race. The fulfillment of the covenant of grace is through Christ’s death on the cross. In other words, He pays the penalty for our sin; He acts as a Substitute to satisfy God’s wrath. Christ is the ultimate mediator of God’s covenant of grace. It is only through Christ’s death that we are able to reconcile with God.

    Keep in mind, there are other aspects I disagree with and find no foundation in Scripture, but I have not mentioned those at this time. My prerogative is not to further divide us, but to unite us.

    I will copy and paste this reply in a few other places to be sure everyone sees it.

    In His Grace,
    Pastor Joe

  16. Thank you Pastor Joe, I appreciate very much your response to those who commented on your Post, it was Loving and respectful but also firm, direct and what is very important it was based on God’s Truth not man’s understanding or on others errors, including those who in Translating the Scriptures, added or omitted Truth from what was accepted in the Cannon of Scripture, this is why I use the K.J.V it is closest to the original and has less of man’s errors but I Trust in Jesus our Teacher through the empowering of The Holy Spirit to show me man’s error, even when reading the many other Translations that are in use today.

    Your Love and respect for others Pastor Joe is why you are my Blog Pastor and why I consider myself under your Authority, Leadership and Teaching but if needed I will seek to resolve differences with you in Love and for Love, with the confirmation of Scripture, as I do with others and I know you would too, so never feel you can’t be just as direct and open with me, it is what God’s Unity is all about, we can’t be in Unity without His Love but it is not Saccharin sweet fleshy love, where we agree with everyone for approval but like you do, we are willing to share God’s Truth without counting the personal cost to ourselves.

    I do have a request though….. and Pastor Joe says; Not again Annie! Lol …..would you consider Posting a message about the Trinity and also the Rapture for those who missed them before or Reblog them, both are very important as you shared in these Posts for our Faith to mature and sadly some are in great error concerning both these Truths.

    Christian Love Always in our Unity in Christ Jesus – Anne.

  17. Getting back to the topic of entrance into Heaven, I would affirm that God is a gentleman. Those who delight in Him in this life and have the eyes to see that they must renounce self will be admitted. And the blood of Calvary pays the fare without qualification. Those who have another agenda are not going to be adjusted in priorities at time of death. Heaven would not be to their liking, and God will most definitely protect His redeemed family from their interposition. (Doug)

  18. Not willing to debate or worry about what happens at point of death, my trust is in Christ and “worrying” is a sin. I am sure of one thing…at point of death all questions will be answered. This thread seems like excellent research for another book “how to keep a certain population in suspense”. Best seller for sure!
    Anthony Gomez

  19. This post is entitled “what-happens-when-I-die”
    The responses only serve to prove what-happens-when-‘I’-simply-refuses-to-die.
    Anthony Gomez

  20. Thanks for reading my post…i enjoyed yours as well. I am thankful for modern revelation to bring further light and knowledge on the topic as well as to confirm that Holy writ, the bible, as providing the spiritual roadmap to enable our return home to our Heavenly Father.

  21. Rita D. Palmer says:

    What a wonderful lesson, Pastor Joe. I see from some comments that there are difference of opinion regarding our spirit and death. Our spirit never dies. We are guaranteed a place in heaven when we die as Christians.
    At death, everything goes into reverse. Eccl 12:7 “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” NIV The body returns to the earth, while the spirit returns to God. There are two different entities that makes up a human being: his spirit (sometimes called the soul, see the book of Revelation) and his body. Each of these entities takes a different path at death. One goes to the ground and the other goes to God.

    God’s Word tells us that our body is the house in which our spirit lives.

    2 Cor 5:2-4 “Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” NIV
    Thank you for today’s lesson. It has been on my mind for several months now. I wrote about it in my notes on Facebook and I am going to do so again today. People should know the difference between unbelief and belief in Jesus Christ and what happens to those who believe and those who do not. God bless you and your work for the glory of God!

  22. In my humble unlearned limited understanding I ask myself: “why of all written here, did this ring so true!”
    “Keep in mind, there are other aspects I disagree with and find no foundation in Scripture, but I have not mentioned those at this time. My prerogative is not to further divide us, but to UNITE us.”-Pastor Joe (TRUTH)
    And yet what is more apparent are the differences and not the commonalities…ironic isn’t it?
    And what of simple poor in spirit farmer Josh, diligently plowing his fields praying for a good yield…what is his simple understanding of such matters, all he knows and believes is that God “gives”, God takes away and God is good…no?
    “I only know that I was blind and now I see…” Good sir I know nothing of this thing called theology?
    My healer’s name was Jesus.
    Intriguing discussion, but the kind of intrigue one experiences when one passes a mangled wreck on the side of the highway that one knows just happened though did not bear witness to it as it happened, only the end results.
    Anthony

  23. fredswolfe says:

    Yes, we will all live again but not immediately. Dead Christians will not be resurrected. They will be raised just like Jesus was. Jesus could not have said and would not have said “I am the Resurrection” because he didn’t speak Latin!

    • fredswolfe says:

      A true Awakening applies to everyone within a certain group ; The Just and the Unjust. And they all have to be dead! When dead Christians are raised not all Christians will be dead so it cannot be considered a Resurrection.

  24. God bless and thanks for stopping by

  25. applepie2go says:

    After this exhausting reading, I can only shake my head. If God would have wanted us to be crystal clear about what happens after death, he would have clearly stated so in HIs word. Wouldn’t our time be better spent following His command to make disciples and witnessing, so that many more will go to heaven with us?

  26. Rita D. Palmer says:

    Pastor Joe’s blog is making God’s words crystal clear and thus, he is making disciples and witnessing to the world. You should read Pastor Joe’s book, Back to the Basics..and see how easy it is to understand God’s word. Understanding the word of God makes us all better able to witness and help others to Christ.

  27. nwinsocal says:

    Regarding your response to my last comment Pastor, I agree with you. My blog focuses in a lot on the subjects of the Covenant. In addition, God had brought up the nation of Israel because of the covenant promise he made Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Deut. 7:6-9). They were brought out so they could become a nation that would have a character that reflects God Himself (Ex 19:5, 6). They were to love God completely with heart, soul and mind and pass on a legacy of loyalty and obedience to God to their descendants (Deut. 6:5-9).

    What we have to remember that when God entered into the covenant with the Israelites at Horeb he made it clear that the blessings that they had coming to them in the Promised Land were conditional (The Bood of Deuteronomy is primarily devoted to explaining the complete details of this covenant). If they remained loyal to God and obeyed him they would enjoy prosperity and victory over any enemy that opposed them (Deut. 28:1-14). However, if they turned from God and worshiped idols they would bring upon them a multitude of curses, the worse suffering destruction at the hands of another nation (Deut. 28:15-68). If the Israelites repented from their sins during their captivity, God would restore them and give them another chance (Deut. 30:1-9).

    The Israelites went back and forth, sometimes falling into idolatry other times returning to God, depending on who was in charge of the nation at that time. They demanded a king rule over them instead of God. Some of those kings were just and mostly did good but eventually they continued in idolatry, especially when the kingdom was divided into northern and southern kingdoms. The northern kingdom (Israel) never returned from their captivity at the hands of Assyrians while the people of Judah were able to come back from seventy years of captivity from Babylon. God gave the Jews a second chance to make things right on their end in fully restore their standing with God within the framework of the covenant within the 490 year probation (Dan.9:24, 457 BC-34 AD).

    When Jesus came the Jews believed that the Messiah would be a conquering King who would restore their former glory in an earthly kingdom where they would overthrow the rule of the Romans. They believed that because they were ethnic descendants of Abraham they were guaranteed God’s favor but they were sadly mistaken. He didn’t offer them the kingdom they wanted and unfortunately they rejected Him because of it. As a consequence, God rejected the Hebrew nation as His representative on earth. The Christian church began as a remnant of believers in God from the Hebrew nation who at first focused their ministry on showing their fellow Hebrews that Christ was the only way to salvation but through later revelations from God, they realized the gospel message was for all people. (Acts 10; 11:1-18; Romans 3:22-31; Gal 3; Eph 3:1-6). The covenant promises God made through Abraham are inherited by all believers in Christ and are to a holy nation just as ancient Israel was called to be (1 Peter 2:9). As Chrisitans, we are God’s chosen nation through whom the world is to know who the true God of heaven is and worship Him. Those who truly believe in Christ make up the true Israel and are saved. Praise God!

  28. Brenda says:

    Thank you so much for reading my blog How Will You Answer the Call? and liking it. I am impressed by your bio and your mission. It is my goal to disciple people to help them find the fullness of all God prepared for them when He created them. I look forward to looking at more of your work. Blessings, Brenda

  29. Kim says:

    Reblogged this on DiscernIt.

  30. Pingback: OF INTEREST: Independent Thoughts from around the Internet July 9, 2014 | End Times Prophecy Report

  31. Pingback: End Times Prophecy Headlines: July 10, 2014 | End Times Prophecy Report

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