Monday, November 2, 2009

I got most of the following from this site
**This doesn't mean I agree with them all the time. I actually disagreed with this teaching until my own study and looking at the results of those who went down this road. So this is just a FYI that there are alternative views (with some being stronger than others) to many of the passages you quoted above. Even if you don't believe the validity of these statements being aware of them is good. I highly suggest reading the article above. I did not learn this teaching from these people as I came to it previously. (I will put my own quotes with **) **

Isaiah 26:19 (ESV)Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
John 3:13 (ESV)No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man

Do Christians go to Heaven if they die?
Difficult Scriptures Explained
[This article was taken from chapter 7 of our book Is There Death After Life?]
A vital principle of Bible interpretation that must be upheld in handling any subject in God’s Word is that any verses that are harder to understand must be analyzed in light of clear verses on the same subject. “Clear” verses are not just those that agree with one’s theological position. They are those that seem to be straightforward and literal statements of fact. Figurative expressions that seem to be contradictory can best be handled after the literal, factual position is determined. The Bible should be accepted literally whenever possible. When verses seem to contradict previously established facts, one is justified in exploring other possible meanings that are consistent with the whole Bible.
We have laid the solid biblical foundation that death is the total absence of life, that there is no part of a person (either “soul” or “spirit”) that “goes to heaven” when he dies and that the dead are actually dead and “sleeping” in “gravedom” until Christ’s appearing. We now turn our attention to some sections of Scripture commonly misconstrued to indicate otherwise. Let us remember that they must harmonize with those parts of God’s Word that we have already examined.

1 Samuel 28 (The woman of Endor)
As previously noted in Chapter One, 1 Samuel 28 describes the woman of Endor conjuring up “Samuel” from the dead for King Saul. It is important to note Saul’s original request: “Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit” (1 Sam. 28:7). The context, specifically verses 7-9, along with other Old Testament verses already cited, shows that she did, in fact, perform this spiritual phenomenon through “familiar spirits.” These were evil spirits that manipulated her and impersonated Samuel, with whom they were “familiar.”
A key to understanding this record in Chapter 28 is in verse 13.
1 Samuel 28:12 and 13(12) And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice, and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.(13) And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
In verse 13, the Hebrew word for “gods” is elohim, a word used in various ways in the Old Testament. Here it refers to an evil spirit that the woman saw, one that was impersonating Samuel. In verses 12-20, God’s Word reports this incident as the participants perceived it, and refers to this spirit as “Samuel.”
What “Samuel” (the familiar spirit) told Saul was not from the Lord, for 1 Samuel 28:6 says that God did not answer Saul at all. Only when Saul went to a woman who dealt with familiar spirits did he get an answer, but that answer was not from God. In fact, Saul’s going to the woman at Endor partly contributed to his death.
1 Chronicles 10:13So Saul died from his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it.
This conjuring up of familiar spirits is the same method used today for “communicating with the dead,” by which some find false and misleading comfort. The results can be as devastating as they were for Saul.
Matthew 17:1-9 (The Mount of Transfiguration)
Matthew 17:1-9 describes a scene at what is called “the Mount of Transfiguration,” where Jesus conversed with Moses and Elijah. God was preparing Jesus for the challenge of his upcoming suffering. This scene was not a literal reality, but what Jesus plainly said was a “vision.”
Matthew 17:9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
Biblically, a vision is a spiritual phenomenon in which God causes something to appear to a person, either in his mind’s eye or to his physical eyes. (Some Scriptural examples are 2 Kings 6:17; Acts 10:9-20; 2 Cor. 12:1-4.)
Being a vision, it in no way means that Moses and Elijah made a special guest appearance from heaven where they had been hanging around since leaving earth. To be consistent with the biblical evidence, including Jesus’ statement that no man but he “hath ascended up to heaven” (John 3:13), the same must be said of Moses and Elijah as was said of David in Acts 2:34—they are not “ascended into the heavens.”
**Now the above I have some issues with. It could be a vision or it might not be. I'm not totally convinced of their argument. That being said I'm not willing to totally discredit it either.**
Matthew 22:23-32 (God is the God of the living)
In Matthew 22:32, Jesus said that “God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Some teach that this verse means that there are really no dead as far as God is concerned. The text more accurately reads, “God is not the God of dead people, but of living people.” As we have seen, “dead people” will become “living people” only when Jesus Christ comes to resurrect them.
In fact, the context surrounding this verse emphasizes the resurrection (see verses 23,28,30), when all shall be made alive.
Matthew 22:31 and 32(31) But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,(32) I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
God is not the God of dead people, because as Psalm 115:17 indicated, the dead cannot praise God, and Ecclesiastes showed that the dead cannot do anything for Him. They are, however, still in the mind of God, and at the resurrection, they will be made living people again, and He will again be their God.
Two verses in Romans go hand-in-hand with Matthew 22:32, and also indicate that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who will raise the dead.
Romans 14:8 and 9(8) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.(9) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
** Should you just accept this? Heck no!!! I didn't. You may come to a different conclusion. However, as I said previously you should at least look at it. If it makes sense to some degree your better off for it. If you can totally disprove it than your still better off for it. I researched this about 8 to 10 years ago. I need a refresher as well as my conversation with you here showed me just how rusty on this topic I am. God Bless you my friend. This will be my last post here as it's profit for us and others reading this I feel has come to an end. I did enjoy this and your points did not fall on deaf ears

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