Re: Resurrected Body

From: allenroy (allenroy@peoplepc.com)
Date: Tue May 06 2003 - 17:33:38 EDT

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    Sondra Brasile wrote:

    > Dear Allen,
    >
    > Hmmm, that's not how they explained it to me, they said they believe
    > that the Christian's soul never dies but lives on in eternity, but the
    > soul perishes in hell (ceases to exist). This same soul, "sleeps"
    > somewhere until the resurrection, I guess I may have assumed they
    > meant in the body, but the rest I was told by their pastor. Maybe it
    > differs from SDA to SDA?

    I've never heard anything quite like that from any SDA pastor or
    evangelist or in any SDA publication.

    I think that you may have misunderstood the pastor in this way:

     The reverse of what happened in making a soul -- i.e., body +
    breath-of-life = living soul -- is found in Ecclesiastes 12:7 "and the
    dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God
    who gave it." --i.e., living soul - spirit = dead body that returns
    to dust. (You know the sayings: "Dust thou art and unto dust you shall
    return," and "Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.") In Ecclesiastes 12:7,
    the word spirit means the breath. It is the "breath-of-life" that God
    breathed into the nostrils of Adam, that returns to God upon death.
     This "breath-of-life," aka 'spirit,' is not some conscious entity, but
    simply the life power that God gave the body so that man could exist.
     When that life power goes away, man does not exist. That life power
    remains with God, until the resurrection when the body is reconstituted
    and the breath-of-life (the life power) is restored and people --
    conscious, living souls -- exist again.

    This topic is complicated by the fact that the English words "spirit"
    and "soul" have many different meanings and that the several Hebrew
    words from which "spirit" and "soul" are translated also have many
    different meanings. As everyone says, context, context context. Not
    just the context of a phrase, but also sentence, paragraph, book and the
    complete compilation of the Bible must make sense.

    I suspect that the pastor told you that the 'spirit' of Ecclesiastes
    returned to God until the resurrection. But I doubt that he meant that
    a conscious entity went to God and slept there. This may have been
    something you though he said. Rather, he was probably using the words
    "breath-of-life" and "spirit" interchangeably meaning the life force,
    and you may have been thinking "spirit" as the consciousness of man (or
    woman).

    As I said before, death is "LIKE" sleep in that the dead know nothing
    until the resurrection awakes them from the grave. It is not that
    disembodied souls/spirits really go to sleep.

    > What is your understanding then of the verse that says "the soul dieth
    > not" would it seem to mean that the soul has no end and therefore
    > cannot cease to exist?

    I think you are referring to "their worm dieth not" (There is no such
    phase as "the soul dieth not" or anything similar, in any version of the
    Bible of which I know.)

    Mark 9:47-48 It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one
    eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where
      " `their worm does not die,
        and the fire is not quenched.' NIV
    Mark 9:47-48 : it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God
    with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where
    their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. KJV

    The Greek word for "hell" used here is "Gehenna." Gehenna was the
    garbage and excrement dump for the city of Jerusalem and is used here
    figuratively for the lake of fire that consumes the wicked at the end.
     I understand that the bodies of those executed were also thrown there.
     The poetic phrase "their worm does not die" does not mean that a soul
    will not die, but rather that the worms that eat dead bodies will not be
    killed. You need a dead body for the worms to live on. No dead
    bodies, no worms. In the same way, as long as there is something to
    burn, no one can quench the fires. But, when there is nothing to burn,
    there is no fire.

    But, do souls die or not? The Bible is clear that souls die.

    Ezekiel 18:4 and 18:20, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die."

    When a soul is understood as defined by Genesis 2:7 and Ecc. 12:7, then
    it makes perfect sense that souls do die.

    Allen Roy

    -- 
    "I have been shown that, without Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Relics found
    in the earth do give evidence of a state of things differing in many respects from the
    present. But the time of their existence, and how long a period these things have been in
    the earth, are only to be understood by Bible history. It may be innocent to conjecture
    beyond Bible history, if our suppositions do not contradict the facts found in the sacred
    Scriptures. But when men leave the word of God in regard to the history of creation, and
    seek to account for God's creative works upon natural principles, they are upon a
    boundless ocean of uncertainty. Just how God accomplished the work of creation in six
    literal days, he has never revealed to mortals. His creative works are just as
    incomprehensible as his existence."  Ellen Gould Harmon White,  1864
    


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