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Where do spirit and soul go after body dies?

(Sunday, May 17, 2020)

1.0 INTRODUCTION

What is death? What happens when our body dies? These questions have no doubt crossed our mind. The truth is, we don’t know what happens after death of our body and those who are born do not have any knowledge of their prior existence. Throughout its history, the church has struggled with the concept of what is called the “intermediate state” – our position between the time we die, and the time Christ consummates his kingdom and fulfils the promises that we confess in the Apostles’ Creed. We believe in the resurrection of the body. We believe there will be a time when God reunites our soul and our body, and that we will have a glorified body even as Christ came out of the tomb as the “firstborn from the dead.” In the meantime, what happens?

Anything that is born by water has to die, only the Soul and Spirit are eternal. When all the accounts of karma are finished, the Soul and Spirit leave the body.

2.0 THE WORLD OF THE DEAD, PLACE, LOCATION AND SECTIONS

2.1 The World of the Dead

Jacob tore his clothes in sorrow and put on sackcloth. He mourned for his son a long time. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “I will go down to the world of the dead still mourning for my son.” So he continued to mourn for his son Joseph. Genesis 37:34-35 In the world of the dead you are not remembered; no one can praise you there. Psalm 6:5 …..because you protect me from the power of death. I have served you faithfully, and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead. Psalm 16:10 I call to you, Lord; don’t let me be disgraced. May the wicked be disgraced; may they go silently down to the world of the dead. Psalm 31:17  The Lord kills and restores to life; he sends people to the world of the dead and brings them back again. 1 Samuel 2:6 Work hard at whatever you do, because there will be no action, no thought, no knowledge, no wisdom in the world of the dead—and that is where you are going. Ecclesiastes 9:10……because you will not abandon me in the world of the dead; you will not allow your faithful servant to rot in the grave. David saw what God was going to do in the future, and so he spoke about the resurrection of the Messiah when he said, ‘He was not abandoned in the world of the dead; his body did not rot in the grave. Acts 2: 27, 31 Then the sea gave up its dead. Death and the world of the dead also gave up the dead they held. And all were judged according to what they had done. Then death and the world of the dead were thrown into the lake of fire. (This lake of fire is the second death.) Revelation 20:13-14

2.2 Spirit and soul go to the world of dead- also known as Hades (Sheol) after the body dies. [Hades in Greek; and Sheol in Hebrew]

The poor man died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man died and was buried, and in Hades, where he was in great pain, he looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side. Luke 16:22-23 I looked, and there was a pale-coloured horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades followed close behind. They were given authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill by means of war, famine, disease, and wild animals. Revelation 6: 8 I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I have authority over death and the world of the dead. Revelation 1:18

2.3 The world of dead (Hades) is the place where the souls and spirits of the dead are kept, which is located at the “heart of the earth,” and the lower parts of the earth.

But if the Lord does something unheard of, and the earth opens up and swallows them with all they own, so that they go down alive to the world of the dead, you will know that these men have rejected the Lord. So they went down alive to the world of the dead, with their possessions. The earth closed over them, and they vanished. Numbers 16: 30, 33 The sky is no limit for God, but it lies beyond your reach. God knows the world of the dead, but you do not know it. Job 11:8; 26:6; Proverbs 15:11 I wish you would hide me in the world of the dead; let me be hidden until your anger is over, and then set a time to remember me. Job 14:13 My only hope is the world of the dead, where I will lie down to sleep in the dark. Hope will not go with me when I go down to the world of the dead. Job 17:13, 16 She will take you down to the world of the dead; the road she walks is the road to death. If you go to her house, you are on the way to the world of the dead. It is a shortcut to death. Proverbs 5:5; 7:27 Wise people walk the road that leads upward to life, not the road that leads downward to death. Proverbs 15:24 The world of the dead is hungry for them, and it opens its mouth wide. It gulps down the nobles of Jerusalem along with the noisy crowd of common people. Isaiah 5:14 In the same way that Jonah spent three days and nights in the big fish, so will the Son of Man spend three days and nights in the depths of the earth. Matthew 12:40 Now, what does “he went up” mean? It means that first he came down to the lowest depths of the earth. Eph. 4:9 and because you will not abandon me in the world of the dead; you will not allow your faithful servant to rot in the grave. Acts 2:27, where the Lord went after His death…

Hades is not the final destination! …..and come out of their graves: those who have done good will rise and live, and those who have done evil will rise and be condemned. John 5:29 Paul encouraged the believers with the hope of the resurrection of the dead, “Our friends, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him. What we are teaching you now is the Lord’s teaching: we who are alive on the day the Lord comes will not go ahead of those who have died. There will be the shout of command, the archangel’s voice, the sound of God’s trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven. Those who have died believing in Christ will rise to life first.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16

2.4 The world of dead (Hades), has two sections – the section of torment and the section of comfort 

Matthew 12:40 continues to point out from Luke 16:19-31 that there are two sections of Hades: the section of torment and the section of comfort. Luke 16:23-26 …and in Hades, where he was in great pain, he looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side. Luke 16:23 The section of comfort is called Paradise (in Greek).  This is the Greek translation of “Garden of Eden” (Gan Eden in Hebrew).  This is the heavenly Garden of Eden of which the Eden of Adam and Eve was a foretaste and a foreshadowing.  It’s also known as the “bosom of Abraham” (Luke 16:22) and the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22). The section of torment is just called Hades, although there’s an especially nasty part of it called Tartarus(in Greek, or the “depths of Sheol” or “the lowest part of Sheol” in Hebrew).  This is the deepest, meanest part of Hades. “Besides all that, there is a deep pit lying between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, nor can anyone cross over to us from where you are.” Luke 16:26

2.5 The section of comfort is the pleasant section of Hades which is also called ‘Paradise’ or ‘Abraham’s bosom’. “Garden of Eden” or “heavenly Jerusalem”

The poor man died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. Luke 16:22 The section of comfort is Paradise, where the Lord went with the saved thief after they died on the cross ….  Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.” Luke 23:43

2 Corinthians 12:4  says, I repeat, I know that this man was snatched to Paradise (again, I do not know whether this actually happened or whether it was a vision—only God knows), and there he heard things which cannot be put into words, things that human lips may not speak. The pleasant section of Hades, where the spirits of Abraham and all the just are, awaiting the resurrection (Luke 16:22-23, 25-26), and where the Lord Jesus went after His death and stayed until His resurrection (Luke 23:43; Acts 2:24, 27, 31; Eph. 4:9; Matt. 12:40).

2.6 The section of torment is the unpleasant section of Hades which is also called “Tartarus” or“the lowest part of Hades”.

My anger will flame up like fire and burn everything on earth It will reach to the world below, the world of dead and consume the roots of the mountains. Deuteronomy 32:22 Human desires are like the world of the dead—there is always room for more. Proverbs 27:20 Her victims do not know that the people die who go to her house, that those who have already entered are now deep in the world of the dead. Proverbs 9:18

The world of the dead is getting ready to welcome the king of Babylon. The ghosts of those who were powerful on earth are stirring about. The ghosts of kings are rising from their thrones. Isaiah 14:9 You used to be honoured with the music of harps, but now here you are in the world of the dead. You lie on a bed of maggots and are covered with a blanket of worms. But instead, you have been brought down to the deepest part of the world of the dead. Isaiah 14:11,15 You boast that you have made a treaty with death and reached an agreement with the world of the dead. You are certain that disaster will spare you when it comes, because you depend on lies and deceit to keep you safe. The treaty you have made with death will be abolished, and your agreement with the world of the dead will be cancelled. When disaster sweeps down, you will be overcome. Isaiah 28:15,18 I thought that in the prime of life I was going to the world of the dead, Never to live out my life. No one in the world of the dead can praise you; The dead cannot trust in your faithfulness. Isaiah 38:10,18 You put on your perfumes and ointments and go to worship the god Molech. To find gods to worship, you send messengers far and wide, even to the world of the dead. Isaiah 57:9

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “On the day when the tree goes to the world of the dead, I will make the underground waters cover it as a sign of mourning. I will hold back the rivers and not let the many streams flow out. Because the tree has died, I will bring darkness over the Lebanon Mountains and make all the trees of the forest wither. When I send it down to the world of the dead, the noise of its downfall will shake the nations. All the trees of Eden and all the choice, well-watered trees of Lebanon who have gone to the world below will be pleased at its downfall. They will go with it to the world of the dead to join those that have already fallen. And all who live under its shadow will be scattered among the nations.  Ezekiel 31:15-17 The greatest heroes and those who fought on the Egyptian side welcome the Egyptians to the world of the dead. They shout: ‘The ungodly who were killed in battle have come down here, and here they lie!’ They were not given honourable burial like the heroes of ancient times, who went fully armed to the world of the dead, their swords placed under their heads and their shields over their bodies. These heroes were once powerful enough to terrify the living. Ezekiel 32:21,27 I will not save this people from the world of the dead or rescue them from the power of death. Bring on your plagues, death! Bring on your destruction, world of the dead! I will no longer have pity for this people. Hosea 13:14

2.7 Heaven and Paradise are not the same place.

If I went up to heaven, you would be there; if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there. Psalm 139:8 “Ask the Lord your God to give you a sign. It can be from deep in the world of the dead or from high up in heaven.” Isaiah 7:11 Even if they dig their way down to the world of the dead, I will catch them. Even if they climb up to heaven, I will bring them down. Amos 2:9 “I know a certain Christian man who fourteen years ago was snatched up to the highest heaven (I do not know whether this actually happened or whether he had a vision—only God knows). I repeat, I know that this man was snatched to Paradise (again, I do not know whether this actually happened or whether it was a vision—only God knows), and there he heard things which cannot be put into words, things that human lips may not speak. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4

3.0 CONCLUSION

2 Corinthians 4:16 says, For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. The physical being consists of the body as its organ with the soul as its life and person. The spiritual being consists of the regenerated spirit as its life and person with the renewed soul as its organ.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. Mathew 16:24-25 Therefore, the life of the soul must be denied but the faculties of the soul — the mind, will, and emotion — must be renewed and uplifted by being subdued so that they can be used by the spirit, the spiritual being.” our spirit is the life and person of our spiritual being. It should guide and direct our living as our soul used to do. Our renewed soul is the organ of the spiritual being so that Christ can be expressed through its faculties–our mind, emotion and will. A believer’s spirit and soul, which compose their spiritual being and are together in the make-up of their inner being, upon their death, will depart together to be with the Lord—the spirit being the hidden part within our soul.

Lord Jesus, we praise you that, as believers in Christ, death and Hades are not our end.  They are only a gateway with a comfortable resting place in Paradise until we meet You in resurrection at Your soon appearing. Lord, may we be encouraged to lead those that we know into a saving knowledge of You that they too may share the blessed hope of the resurrection of life at your coming.

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