British-Israel's Bible Study Course

Lesson Eleven

IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?
SCRIPTURE READING: 1 CORINTHIANS 15 (NT 156,157 [123, 1241)

1.LIFE AFTER DEATH


1. Who has the key of death? Revelation 1:13-18 (NT 213 [168] )________________________________________________________________


2. What did Jesus abolish? 2 Timothy 1:10 (NT 186 [1471)______________________________________________________________________
What did He bring to light?_______________ and_____________________________


The Greek word for death is thanatos. A prefix a added to it makes athanasia, meaning the opposite of death, which is often translated life, or immortality-not subject to death.


3. For what are we to seek? Romans 2:7 (NT 136 [107] ) ______________________________________________________________________


Would God tell us to seek for immortality (eternal life) if we already possessed it? We only seek for something we have lost or don't have. Many honest-hearted people believe that man is immortal, but if this is the case, why should we seek for immortality?


4. Where are we to seek for eternal life? 1 John 5:11,12 (NT 210 [166]) __________________________________________________________


Eternal life, or immortality, is ours only if we have Jesus. Everywhere the Scriptures proclaim that the moment we accept Christ as our personal Saviour, eternal life is ours. We have it-present tense-NOW! Nothing is so certain as death, yet the Bible says eternal life begins when we accept God's Son. We have life, but we don't have it! Does that sound contradictory? The secret lies in one little word-yet!


5. Where is this eternal life now? Colossians 3:3 (NT 178 [140] ) __________________________________________________________________

6. Where is Christ now? (verse 1) ___________________________________________________________________________________________


Jesus said His followers would "inherit everlasting life" (Matthew 19:29, NT 20 [151).

 7. Where is this inheritance now? 1 Peter 1:3,4 (NT 202 [160] ) __________________________________________________________________


Paul said our life was "hid with Christ" who "sitteth on the right hand of God" above; Peter says it is "reserved in heaven" for us! What a beautiful harmony is seen here!


When Mr. Parker's estate was probated, his 16-year-old son Jack inherited $45,000, which was to be held in trust until he became of age. During the five-year period before Jack turned 21, to whom did this $45,000 belong? Did the bank own it? No. Was it Jack's? Absolutely! He often talked of the day when he would have his money. Yes, it was his, but he could not use it until a specified time.


So it is with eternal life. The moment we accept Christ, eternal life is ours. Jesus said again and again, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36, NT 84 [65] ), yet it is equally plain that we cannot actually take possession of it until a future time.


8. When may we take possession of our inheritance of life eternal? John 6:54 (NT 88 [69])_______________________________________________

_________________________________________________________


9. When will the dead in Christ be raised? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 (NT 181 [143] )______________________________________________________


10. How does Paul describe this climactic moment when the dead are raised? 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (NT 157 [124]) "We shall all be changed, in a ___________________, in the_______________________________; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be
raised______________________, and we shall be changed. For this ______________________must put on _____________, and this ________________must put on __________________________"


How clear this is! Immortality is not ours until Jesus comes To give it to us.


11. What kind of bodies will the righteous dead receive? Philippians 3:21 (NT 176 [138] )_________________________________________________


Said John, "When he shall appear, we shall be like him" (1 John 3:2, NT 208 [165] ).

 

2.WHAT IS DEATH LIKE?


1. Where are the dead between the moment of death and the resurrection? Job 17:13; Psalm 13:3 (OT 451 [3491 ) ___________________________

____________________________________________________________


Jesus said that all who are "in the grave" will hear His voice (John 5:28, 29, NT 87 [67] ). If they hear His voice from the grave, it must be because that is where they are resting. The words "At Rest" carved on many tombstones, describe perfectly the condition of the dead, for Job says, "There the wicked cease from troubling; and the weary be at rest" (Job 3:17, OT 444 [343] ). John says the dead "rest from their labours" (Revelation 14:13, NT 220 [174] ). Death is called a sleep 54 times in the Bible! Evidently there is a definite correlation between death and sleep.


When Jesus came to the home where a little maiden had died, He said, "Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth" (Luke 8:52, NT 62 [471). The story of Lazarus in John 11 (NT 94, 95 [73]) confirms this. Jesus said, "Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." His disciples thought He was speaking of natural sleep. "Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead" (verses 11-14).


Many people are taught that we go immediately to heaven when we die (or to hell if we are bad). The truth is, neither the good nor the bad go anywhere at death except to the grave, where they will sleep until the resurrection day. With a loud voice Jesus called, "Lazarus, come forth!" What a picture! Responding to the Saviour's call, Lazarus comes stumbling out, still wrapped in grave clothes. Jesus didn't say, "Look, Lazarus, you've been in heaven four days. Come down and get back into your poor decayed body." Nor did He say," Lazarus, come out of those flames. I'm going to give you another chance." He simply said, "Lazarus, come forth!" Lazarus had no story to tell; nor did any of the others whom Jesus raised. Do other Bible writers agree with this concept? Let us check a few more texts.

2. Can the dead think? Psalm 146:3,4 (OT 521 [4041) _________________________________________________________________________


3. Do the dead know anything at all? Ecclesiastes 9:5 (OT 547 [424] )____________________________________________________________

 
4. Can they hate or love, or be envious? (verse 6) ____________________________________________________________________________


5. Can the dead praise God? Psalm 6:5 (OT 467 [3611, 115:17 (OT 510 [3951) ____________________________________________________


6. How much of man's knowledge and accomplishments will go with him when he dies? Ecclesiastes 9:10 (OT 547 [425] ) _________________

_________________________________________________________________________________


Job emphatically declares that the dead are unable to watch the activities of their living loved ones. Their sons may come to great honor-perhaps become an astronaut, or the president of the United States, but "he knoweth it not." Or his son may fall into terrible disgrace, "but he perceiveth it not" of him (Job 14:21, OT 449 [3481).


7. What about haunted houses? Job 7:9,10 (OT 446 [344] )______________________________________________________________________


Thought question: If Jesus is right in saying that the dead "sleep" until the resurrection at His coming, how can the dead go immediately to heaven or hell?______________________________________________________


Is it disturbing to learn that the dead are quietly sleeping, that they cannot communicate with us? Would a conversation with someone who doesn't know what is going on, and cannot think, and, in fact, doesn't know anything at all, be very satisfactory?


Death is a state of unconscious sleep. The dead rest quietly in their graves until Jesus comes. And when we stop to think it through, how could this be improved upon? As always, God has arranged what is best. Instead of permitting the departed one to look down from heaven and see the distress and grief his departing has caused; instead of allowing a departed husband or wife to see his spouse quickly transfer his love to another; instead of permitting parents to witness their children choosing a dishonorable course, Jesus has arranged death to be a short period of unconscious sleep. There is no hardship on the departed ones, for they are not conscious of passing time. They fall asleep; the next moment (so it seems) they awake and are reunited with their loved ones.


And isn't this the only way God can be perfectly fair? Why should Cain have to suffer in hell 5000 years longer than Hitler just because he died that much sooner?
"But," you ask, "If this is the case, where did we ever get the idea that when we die we go directly to heaven?" Once again, the Word provides the answer.

 3.SATAN'S LIE


1. What did God tell Adam and Eve would happen if they disobeyed? Genesis 2:17 (OT 10 [2] )___________________________________________


"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23, NT 139 [1091 ). Would an intelligent God announce a penalty that He knew He could never carry out?


2. What did the serpent tell Eve that contradicted what God said? Genesis 3:1-4 (OT 10 [2] ) ___________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


3. Did Satan tell Eve the truth, or a lie? John 8:44 (NT 91 [711) ____________________________________________________________________


Thought Question: Who, then, would you say originated the popular belief that man is immortal and cannot die?____________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________


From that day to this Satan has kept right on insisting, "You can't die-you've got an immortal soul." And people have been believing it and peddling it for him ever since.


Thought question: What if one of your deceased loved ones were to appear to you? Would it really be your loved one? _________Who would be impersonating him?(Read Revelation 16:14, NT 221 [175], 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, NT 164 [129], and Isaiah 8:19, 20, OT 557 [433] ).

4.WHAT IS A SOUL?


The phrase "immortal soul," is not found a single time in all Scripture, although the word "soul" is used approximately 1600 times, and "spirit" over a thousand times. Not once in all these 2,600 times is the soul called immortal! The Bible always says man is mortal (Job 4:17, OT 444 [3431); it always says immortality is received only from Christ.


1. Who only has immortality? 1 Timothy 6:15,16 (NT 186 [147] ) ___________________________________________________________________


Oh, if people would only study God's Word, they would know the truth and Satan could never deceive them. The Bible says humans do not have immortality until the resurrection day. It is just that simple. Perhaps we can better understand what the soul is if we review how man came into being. Misconception on this point has confused this whole issue.


2. Of what two elements is man composed? Genesis 2:7 (OT 10 [2]) "The Lord God formed man of the ________________, and breathed into his
nostrils the ___________________; and man became a ___________________________God did not give man a soul; man became a soul.

Most modern translations read, "and man became a living person." A soul is a living being-the combination of body and breath. God's word does not teach that I have a soul, but that I am a soul.


Thought question: If a soul is a living being, can it die?________ Check your answer with Ezekiel 18:20 (OT 664 [517] ) and Revelation 16:3 (NT 221 [175] ).


3. What happens when a man dies? Ecclesiastes 12:7 (OT 548 [426] )__________________________________________________________________


4. How does Job indicate that the terms "breath of life" and "spirit" are used interchangeably? Job 27:3 (OT 456 [352] )______________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


It was this breath, or spark of life that God breathed into man's nostrils at creation. The Greek word for spirit (or breath) is pneuma, meaning "air." From it we derive such words as pneumonia and pneumatic tires.

5. CONCLUSION


A correct knowledge of what happens when we die frees us from erroneous concepts of God and His justice, and protects us from the deceptions of spiritism.

 While the Bible reveals all that we need to know, let us never forget that life is still a mystery and will always remain so. It can never be fully explained or understood. The same is true of death. But thank God, we can know that Jesus paid our death penalty-He died my death on Calvary (Hebrews 2:9, NT 191 [151]), and has abolished my greatest enemy-death (2 Timothy 1: 10, NT 186 [147] ). In that glorious day when man receives his inheritance -eternal life-from the hand of His Saviour, "then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Corinthians 15:54, NT 157 [124] ).


At the same time, let us never forget that those who refuse to believe the Son "shall not see life" (John 3:36, NT 84 [65] ).


Yes, there is life after death. We may not escape the sleep of natural death here on this earth, but Christ has made it possible for everyone to face it with a heart full of hope and assurance. Because He lives we too shall live and come forth in that resurrection morning. "Comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:18, NT 181 [1431).

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