What is the State of the Dead? Part 2 of 3 - Pastor David
Some particular cases of physical death are pronounced by physicians to be mysteries; and either for the benefit of medical science or because of suspicion of foul play autopsies are held by scientific men to determine just what caused the death. Other people are said to die natural deaths. There are thousands of different diseases that produce death, and the toll is increasing each year. Death is no respecter of persons as to nationality, financial or social standing, age or any other thing. Whether your loved one’s death was pronounced natural or unnatural, death is a mystery.
Death at times seems so cruel. Family circles are broken by death. A loving companion is taken out of the home leaving hearts filled with sorrow and wonder; leaving many in utter despair. In such cases, who has not repeated that old question, “if a man die, shall he live again?” When one who has been near and dear to us has been taken by death, who has not imagined or hoped or believed that there would be a reunion, another meeting in a place where death could not enter to disturb the happy relationships? How many have said with David concerning some precious baby, “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me?” 2 Samuel 12:23.
What pagan religion or what modern religion, what human philosophy, what ancient or modern science can answer this cry of the heart, “But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?” Job 14:10. The answer to man’s speculation is found in the last verse of Job 13: “They grope in the dark without light.”
However, here is the best and most satisfactory answer to this universal question, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” John 11:25. And Jesus added a question: “Believest thou this?” The poor bereaved sister didn’t fully understand what her Savior and LORD was talking about, but she believed Him, nevertheless, and said, “I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” John 11:27.
“Though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Remember these words. Herein is a Gracious promise, a comforting and blessed hope; the dead shall live, IF...Yes, there is a condition. This Savior is more than the way-shower; He IS the Way. He is more than the giver of life; He IS the Life. He is more than the teacher of resurrection; He, Himself IS the Resurrection. So it behooves us to hear Him, and to believe all that God’s Divine record has to say concerning Him.
After the disciples of Christ had been under His teaching for many months, they questioned “one with another, what the rising from the dead should mean.” Mark 9:10. Peter and John, some months later, knew not the Scripture that Christ must rise again from the dead. John 20:9. This should convince us that our appeal should be to the New Testament Scriptures for the clear teaching concerning death, resurrection, rewards and retribution.
To be sure it is written in the law and the prophets that there shall be a resurrection, both of the just and unjust. Acts 24:15. And certainly the Old Testament Scriptures are as much inspired as are the New, and most assuredly there is no conflict or contradiction, but as we find the incarnation and sacrifice of Christ so much more clearly set forth after He came to earth from heaven, so do we find the truth concerning the present and future state of the dead more clearly presented after the incarnation, sacrifice and resurrection of the Son of God.
So that you may receive the rich blessing in your own soul and the truth from God Himself, we are going to present for your prayerful and careful study the following Scriptures, from both the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament first:
OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES
1 Kings 17:21-22. “O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.” “And the soul of the child came into him again and he revived.”
Genesis 37:33-35. “And Jacob said concerning his son Joseph, in Genesis 37:33, “an evil beast hath devoured him. Genesis 37:35, “I will go down into sheol, unto my son, mourning.”
Deuteronomy 32:48-50. Concerning Moses’ death the LORD said, “And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people.” In what sense was Moses gathered unto his people? Was his body gathered with them? Read Deuteronomy 34:5-6. “No man knoweth of his sepulcher.” The devil contended for his body. Jude 9. See Moses transfigured on the mount. Matthew 17:3.
Genesis 35:29. “Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people.” Years after Isaac had died, the LORD appeared to Moses as the God of Abraham and Isaac; and referring to this Christ said, “For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living.” Luke 20:38.
In 2 Samuel 12:24, concerning his little baby that had died, David said, “Can I bring him back?” There was the lifeless body of the baby. So David was not speaking concerning the body. Here is a great truth, recorded in James 2:26, “THE BODY WITHOUT THE SPIRIT IS DEAD”
Ecclesiastes 12:7. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” This would be a contradiction of Ecclesiastes 3:19-20, if these verses did not refer to man’s body instead of his spirit, “so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast; for all is vanity.” “All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.”
This is the complaint of the man under the sun, as is also Ecclesiastes 9:5. “The dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward.” This is a plain contradiction of the many promises of God that the rewards of the faithful shall follow their death, unless we rightly divide the word of truth. This is true also concerning the tenth verse: “There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest.”
NOW, let’s get this straight! It is the body without the spirit that is dead.
At death the spirit goes to God who gave it. The dead body can neither feel, nor work, nor know. But this has NO reference to the spirit IN the body, that LEAVES the body when that body goes to dust and corruption. Realize that Ecclesiastes is not the book for the clear teaching of the present state of the dead, but even that book by no means supports the awful heresy of soul sleeping. The spirit at death goes to the God of the living. Immediately. There is also NO hanging around in our world, for any reason, or any length of time.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )