7. Frequently asked Questions About Death
Frequently Asked Questions About Death
1. What is Death?
What Is Life?
Before something can die, it first had to be Born (or created)
(Genesis 2:7) – “And the Lord God formed man (created man) of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
So when does life actually begin? This is important because there is a starting point in man’s life when he becomes accountable for his sins. Both of these issues (when life begins and when our accountability of sin begins) require a correct understanding of life. Correct understanding stems from sound doctrine (sound doctrine is both harmonious and biblical). Is man (human) actually considered living if it has not yet been birthed? We could argue that the start of life begins with the human fetus, during its development within the womb of a woman, which is what many modern day groups advocate. And yes this position does have great merit, but does holding that position apply if we are following the Bible’s presentation as to when man is considered to be a “living soul“? Specifically does having “life” as a “living soul” begin with the “unborn” (the developing form of life – the embryo) or when the new born infant has been “birthed” into the world.
Putting aside modern day medical arguments as to when life actually begins (i.e., the egg, the sperm, independently, jointly combined in the womb, out of the womb, or is it after “birth”), the biblical definition as to when God considered man to be “a living soul” was after man took his first breath of life. In addition the words “birth“, “born” or “begotten” all indicate the “beginning” of life. Since the bible is my guided source of reference on this subject matter, Genesis 2:7 will be the foundation of life within this website.
What Is Death?
First Death: Ecclesiastes 12:7; James 2:26
Second Death: Rev 2:11, 20:14-15, 21:8
Ps 104:35; Ps145:20; Mat 10:28; Rev 20:11, 21:1-7
Physical death is Predestined, Spiritual death is a result of Sin
There are two types of death reflected in the bible; a physical death (where the flesh and all of it’s bodily components ceases to function) and a spiritual death (or a separation from God). Satan, his angels, many sinners and non-believers experience this type of dead relationship.
(1 Corinthians 15:21) is usually argued in conjunction with (Romans 6:23) which states the wages of sin is death and until sin entered the world through Adam, death was not part of the human equation. This however is actually contrary to the reading of (Genesis 3:22) and (Hebrews 9:27).
From the start death was always a built in part of man’s makeup (Heb 9:27). Two other verses make this fact evident;
1) the fact that God made special provisions for man; the various trees (which were there for “food”) God planted in “the garden” for man to eat thereof, Genesis 2:9 – (indicates that sustenance, or food, was needed in order for man to live); and
2) there was also a special tree that provided Adam with the opportunity to live forever, a tree called “the tree of life” (Genesis 3:22).
Adam and Eve had an opportunity to escape physical death (and take also of the tree of life, eat from it, and live forever: (Genesis 3:22) it is however very clear that outside of man eating from this one particular tree, God had purposed man to be capable of dying “physically,” regardless if Adam committed sin or not, otherwise there would be no need for such a tree, a tree that provided this feature (life forever) if their bodies had this quality or attribute (eternal life) already built into their physical make-up or essence.
Example: If Adam had chosen not to eat of the forbidden fruit
In other words, even if Adam chose not to eat the forbidden fruit (thus committing no “sin”) and if Adam also never ate from the “Tree of life” the Bible does not indicate that Adam would not face physical death. This is further supported in Hebrews; man has an appointment with death, a scheduled time factor or “limited time” before he physically dies. (Hebrews 9:27) “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Had Adam chose not to eat the forbidden fruit we would then have the situation where no sin would had been committed but yet death could still occur. This will be important later because the promise was in that day he ate he would surely die (Genesis 2:17); that certainly did not happen within the confines of a day (our 24 hr time frame cycle from when the sun rises until when the sun sets) and according to scriptures it took many days (many sunrises and sunsets) before physical death befell Adam, because Adam lived to be 936 years old (Genesis 5:5).
What is significant however and what is usually not brought to light are three facts:
1. Adam was scheduled (or created) to be able to die at some point in his life (Hebrews 9:27), in that Adam was not born with (or created with) eternal life; had that been the case Adam would be alive today (even if he had eaten of the forbidden tree) and he would not had died in the first place. (Note: eternal life means to live forever and the opposite of death or dying)
2. Since Adam had eaten of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” he for sure was going to die, and did. There is actually two life altering conditions that took place and both must be noted here.
a. From this point forward physical death became genetically “locked in”. Because Adam and Eve both ate of the forbidden fruit, the nature of physical death was passed thus passed down to all mankind.
b. A “spiritual death” also took place. (Although this terminology is not found as such in the Bible, this phrase as we use it here is used to indicate God’s rejection of Adam and Eve (his separation from them) for their disobedience, or their unacceptable conduct (Isaiah 59:2; Dt 31:17; Psalms 104:29; Eze 39:23-24; Mic 3:4) – a separation began and the relationship they both had with God ceased.)
3. But what if Adam would have eaten of the Tree of Life first and later from the forbidden tree, thus obtaining both “life” and the additional knowledge of good and evil? Conceivably both could have lived forever physically. Yet in order for God’s word to be true both should face death, in some manner (Again the “spiritual death” experience still exist). However, I personally do not believe that this particular scenario would have been allowed to get to this stage. From all indications it appears that God would just as easily prevented the other tree from being accessible as he did when Adam disobeyed God the first time; God removed the remaining Tree of Life option after Adam made the choice to eat of the forbidden fruit tree.
Distinguishing the Punishment from the Consequence
The Punishment: For man’s disobedience to God
It is not disputed that God punished Adam for his disobedience (disobeying God’s commandment). Adam’s punishment also affected mankind. The argument however usually lies in determining what the punishment was. Adam and Eve’s punishment is actually listed in detail in Genesis 3:16-19 primarily labor in birth and hard work. No one disputes that it still fits that description today.
(Genesis 3:17) “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou…..”
The Consequence: For eating of the tree
This is possibly the BIGGEST misconception made interpreting the Bible. Either God allowed Adam to die for being disobedient, just as God said would occur OR Adam died as a direct result from what was eaten. For a moment let’s just review what we know for sure.
The information God provided Adam was a warning that he would die the same day he ate of the forbidden tree. It’s like me telling you if you eat this White Bane berry (a poisonous berry) you will die as a RESULT most of us would avoid eating of this plant. But God did not indicate that this tree was somehow poisonous and could not be eaten as food. Clearly they could eat of this plant (tree). So was the tree something that was bad for food? That is not indicated. God WARNED Adam that if you eat of this one specific tree it will cause him death. The tree did exactly what it was there to do and the results also took place as God said would occur.
(Genesis 2:17) “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
This is important because neither the tree, nor it’s fruit, killed Adam. We can’t blame the tree for doing what it was created to do, “to know of Good and Evil.” We have just proven that Adam did not die physically the same day he ate of this tree, so what actually happened?
Adam’s descendants (mankind) inherited Adam’s genetic makeup
The tree in essence can be said to have altered man’s genetic makeup providing him with this new ability. Man, being a descendant of Adam, has inherited the same ability “to know of Good and Evil” as did Adam and this is a common trait in man. This is supported by the fact that the bible does not indicate that this ability (to know of Good and Evil) was something Adam had prior to eating of this tree.
It is evident that both Adam and Eve were able to converse with God (a Spirit being) Genesis 2:9, 13. God has given all men this ability but only as determined by God. Some God chooses to converse with and some God chooses not to converse with. You may have to continue reading the Word of God, seeking his presence. God converses with those he chooses, directly or indirectly, through angels, dreams, visions, etc. The bible is full of prophets, Holy Men and others reflecting these occurrences taking place.
Likewise, Jesus was also born with this same genetic make-up (or human ability), as you and I, “to know of Good and Evil”, however Jesus was not born disconnected from God (as most men) Jesus was born with the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:20, Acts 10:38).
What Is Spiritual Death?
How does someone die Spiritually?
The next point to determine is how does man die spiritually? In reference to Adam and Eve the bible indicates that this is done when God leaves us on our own. This is strongly supported by the fact that in the day Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree; God broke off personal communication with them (there were no more walks/talks with God in the cool of the evening). God had no further communication with either. Although both remained alive physically, they also died in that same day. They died in that they were spiritually disconnected (separated) from God. (Isa 59:1-2)
This is important because Paul, and various other New Testament writers, talk about death in reference to Adam and Jesus in this same metaphoric sense. When one is spiritually dead (separated from God) a spiritual rebirth is needed. This rebirth can be viewed as a redeemed position which allows each individual to be forgiven of any sins committed and reunited to having a “actively living” or “functioning” relationship with God our Father (a rebirth) one where we can often feel his presence directly.
The wages of sin is death: Spiritual death, not Physical death.
(Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death (separation), but the gift of God is eternal life (union)…”
Note 1: Regardless what sins you may have committed, every human is capable of dying physically (as was Christ). Death in this passage is in reference to a spiritual separation (a dead or detached relationship) between God and Man.
Also consider those individuals who lived and actually committed no sin at all? For example, take the lives of every new born infant (or if you consider the embryo as the beginning of a new life apply the same scenario) who faced early deaths (a fatal accident, disease, cancer, etc…) but had not committed any sin as yet. These infants did not die (physically) because they had sin in their life (See why: Should Babies Be Baptized? & Jesus The Human Infant). They are certainly not going to Hell, nor are they going to burn forever in the Lake of Fire.
Of course, God had all special circumstances covered from the beginning; it’s called Judgment Day (Romans 14:12).
Normally however, you can not recieve this “gift” of Eternal Life unless you first establish a spiritual relationship with God, which is through Christ.
Note 2: This passage of Romans is similar in nature to the promise God made above in (Genesis 2:17); in the day Adam ate he would surely die. His death was spiritual; a separation (between God [a spirit being] and Adam) took place. God still had relationships with other Biblical figures (Moses, Abraham, Job, Jesus, etc..).
If “death” in Romans 6:23 meant physical death, “The wages of sin is death” then being justified by faith (believing in Jesus) would mean that we would not die physically as stated in John;
(John 11:26) “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
This passage of scripture is clearly another metaphor, as all men die (Hebrews 9:27). Every time Paul mentions “death” in Romans, he is referring to spiritual death. This is further supported by numerous other scriptures.
(Ephesians 2:1) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
(Ephesians 2:5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(Colossians 2:13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Note: The quickening aspect is indicated as being obtained now not after we are physically dead. We (the Saints) have been forgiven before we die thus we are ready for death (physically) as we have been quickened and await to be changed, “In a moment in the twinkling of an eye” to meet Christ in the air when he comes (1 Corinthians 15:52).
This is vitally important to understand because in order for this “quicken” aspect to take place you must have His Spirit (the Spirit of God, which is called the Holy Ghost) residing in you. Paul puts it like this:
“But if the Spirit of him (God) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he (God) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken(G2227) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11
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2. What Happens When We Die?
People are afraid to die if they don’t know what happens after death. What does the Bible say will happen to us when we die? Will we know anything after we die? There is reason to be concerned because there is great danger for those who do not know the truth about death.
Before we discuss what happens to man when he dies, we should first identify several manmade misconceptions as it relates to man and his experience with death.
Is The Soul Of Man Immortal?
I have often heard it said that our soul is immortal, so I decided to lookup those passages of Scripture in the Bible for myself.
To my surprise the Bible doesn’t say that at all. In fact the word “immortal” is only found in the Bible one time and then it is speaking of God (1Ti 1:17).
Next, I decided to look up passages of Scripture related to the soul as everlasting or eternal.
Again, to my surprise the Bible doesn’t say that either.
Eternal (as applicable to the soul of man) = 0
Everlasting (as applicable to the soul of man) = 0
How The Bible Describes Death
1. In The Bible: Death Always Denotes A Separation Between Two Things
This aspect is very important and discussed in great detail (Ref: What is Death?).
2. In The Bible: Death Is Also Likened To Sleep
(Daniel 12:2) “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
(John 11:11-14) “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
The Bible Speaks of Having Victory over Death
Death is a terrible thing, yet because Jesus has promised eternal life to those who believe Him and follow His teachings; We know that death does not have to be the frightening event that ends our life.
The promise that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) means that our death does not take God by surprise. He has something good planned for us that is yet to occur.
As Christians Our Hope Is Centered On The Resurrection
Scripture teaches that we are dead, ‘asleep’, until the day of Christ’s return, in which he will awaken us from the dead, and bring us back to life.
When a person dies their breath (spirit)(H7307) returns to God (Ecc 12:7, James 2:26); their bodies return to dust (Gen 3:19, Psa 104:29, Ecc 12:7); and they will be brought back to life (or resurrected), on the day of our Lord Jesus’ return to the earth (Acts 24:15, John 5:28-29).
The Only Way Out Of Death [Sleep] Is To Be Awakened In The Resurrection.
We as Christians will be awakened, and be granted an imperishable, immortal body – never to die again. Before this resurrection, we are asleep in death.
I Corinthians 15:51-52 NKJV
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NKJV
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Three Major Events Follow
The Thousand Years
Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
The Defeat of Satan
Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Judgment Before the Great White Throne
Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The above is just a general overview.
We cannot say with 100% certainty the exact order of events to come. However, the following link is one I believe provides a very close accounting and order of events to come.
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3. Who Died Then Was Resurrected From The Dead, God Or Jesus?
So let’s just take a minute and think about the (truthful) answer:
Who Died Then Was Resurrected From The Dead,
God or Jesus?
Let us first establish a basic understanding of the word “dead.” Anything that is said to be dead means that it “ceases from living.” (That is its state of existence (as living) is considered to cease. It is either alive or dead, but NOT BOTH at the SAME TIME)
Note: It is this basic principle that actually distinguishes the difference between God and man.
The Bible teaches us three basic concepts that are fundamental to all Christian beliefs.
- As Christians we believe in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16)
- The Bible teaches us that man is mortal, he will die, (Genesis 3:19, Hebrews 9:27)
- The Bible teaches us that God is immortal, in other words, he is not capable of dying. (1 Timothy 1:17, 6:16)
Therefore the answer to this question is simple, God has never been dead.
It is fundamental to the Christian belief that a man named Jesus of Nazareth did die. This man Jesus, whom the Bible identifies as the only begotten Son of God, not only died but was dead for three days.
The Bible establishes who was dead and who was responsible for putting life back into that dead body of Jesus (Romans 8:11, 10:9)
Romans 10:9 does not say God rose from the dead rather “God hath raised him (Jesus) from the dead”, this man whom God named Jesus (John 8:40; Acts 2:22). Of course, it is only through the power of God that anything dead can be given life, just as God took the dead particles of dust from the ground and gave it life, the life which we call man.
Eternal life is given man after death, not before – (Hebrews 9:27, Revelation 1:18) this is also sound doctrine because had man been given eternal life prior he would have never been able to experience death.
The perpetuity of existence.
With the full revelation of the gospel this doctrine was “brought to light” through Christ (2Ti 1:10; 1Co 15:54-55; 2Co 5:1-6; 1Th 4:13-18).
4. What People Were Raised From The Dead In The Bible?
From time to time, we have reports of deaths and people being called back to life. When Christ arose from the dead, he was the first to be resurrected. It is important to note however that the resurrection speaks of that which only Christ began, that is He alone arose from the dead never to die again. So when we speak of the resurrection scripturally, don’t think of someone who has merely died and has been called back to life, because they’re going to die again. The next resurrection will only occur when Christ returns for his people (1Co 15:20, 23, 16:15; Jas 1:18; Rev 14:4).
There are nine individuals in the Bible presented as being raised from the dead. Of these miraculous resurrections, three occur in the Old Testament. At least three individuals were raised from the dead by Jesus. Both Peter and Paul raised a person from the dead and most importantly of all, Jesus himself was resurrected.
In addition, an untold number of saints also “arose” after Jesus’ resurrection (Matthew 27:52-53). It is also possible that Paul was raised from the dead after he was stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19-20).
Elijah Resurrected The Son Of Zarephath’s Widow
1 Kings 17:17-24 (KJV)
17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.
22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.
24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.
Elisha Resurrected The Son Of The Great Shunammite Woman
2 Kings 4:35 (KJV)
35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
This interesting account is recorded in 2 Kings 4. The Shunammite woman had no children. For a woman to be barren in those days was a great source of shame. The word says that her husband was old, which would imply he was unable to produce seed. However, because the Shunammite woman was genuinely kind and generous to the prophet Elisha, he told her she would have a child in one year’s time. God healed her and her husband and she conceived and gave birth to a son.
Later on while working out in the fields something disastrous happens to her son (a head injury or possibly heat stroke) and he dies. Â The Shunammite woman hastily went to the prophet Elisha, and she insisted he go to her son and raise him from the dead.
A Dead Man Comes Back To Life When He Touches Elisha’s Bones
2 Kings 13:21 (KJV)
21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
Even after he was dead, the anointing still remaining in Elisha’s bones raised someone from the dead. Earlier in 2 Kings 2:9, Elisha had boldly requested that he receive a double portion of Elijah’s anointing. However, after Elisha died it looked like it was too late for him to raise twice as many people from the dead as Elijah.
Who would have ever thought that touching Elisha’s bones could raise someone from the dead; certainly not the men that were burying him! Clearly the seeds of faith we sow in the brief time we are in this world continue to grow and accomplish things even after we are long gone.
Jesus Resurrects The Widow’s Son At Nain
Luke 7:13-15 (KJV)
13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter From The Dead
Matthew 9:25 (KJV)
25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
See also Mark 5:42, and Luke 8:55
Jesus Raises Lazarus From The Dead
John 11:43-44 (KJV)
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
Many Saints Resurrected At Jesus’ Crucifixion
Matthew 27:52-53 (KJV)
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Matthew 28:5-7 (KJV)
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
See also Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-11, and John 20:1-10
Peter Raises A Female Disciple Named Tabitha From The Dead
Acts 9:36-42 (KJV)
36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.
Paul Raises Eutychus From The Dead
Acts 20:9-12 (KJV)
9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
A Strong Possibility That Paul Was Raised From The Dead
Acts 14:19-20 (KJV)
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
The scripture doesn’t explicitly say that Paul was dead, but at best he was so close to death that the people who stoned him assumed he was dead. Either way this was a truly miraculous healing. One day Paul was being stoned to death and the next day he was marching on over to Derbe which was many miles away.
5. How Did The Twelve Apostles Die?
When And How Did The Twelve Apostles Die?
Summary: The Bible only mentions the deaths of two apostles, James who was put to death by Herod Agrippa I and Judas Iscariot who committed suicide shortly after the death of Christ. The details of the deaths of three of the apostles (John, the Beloved, Bartholomew and Simon the Canaanite) are not very well known at all, either by tradition or early historians. The deaths of the other 10 apostles are known by tradition or the writings of early Christian historians. According to traditions and the Bible, eight of the Apostles died as Martyrs. At least two of the Apostles, Peter and Andrew were crucified.
Simon surnamed Peter: (crucified upside down)— died 33-34 years after the death of Christ. According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary there is “satisfactory evidence that he and Paul were the founders of the church at Rome, and died in that city. Recognized as the head of the original Christian community in Jerusalem (Israel), he left the city when King (Herod Agrippa I) started to persecute all Christians in Jerusalem and ordered the beheading of the Apostle James (the Great). After escaping from Jerusalem, Peter preached in Judea (originally Palestine) and in Antioch (Syria) where he is historically considered as the first patriarch (bishop) of the Orthodox Church. After staying in Antioch for some time, Peter went to Rome and converted thousands into Christianity. The emperor at the time, Nero, did not like the idea of Romans becoming Christians and used the new members of the group for his amusement (e.g. feeding them to lions or wild dogs, and then burning them at stake in Rome’s coliseum—yes, the tourist spot– if they do not renounce their faith). Peter was one of the most prominent victims of this persecution. He was captured and crucified upside-down at his own request, because he said he was not worthy to be crucified the same way as our Lord. His body lies below the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican City, in Rome.
James (the Great): (beheaded)—the son of Zebedee, the brother of the Apostle John. He was captured and condemned to die by Herod the Agrippa 1 to please Jewish leaders who were furious at the rapid growth of the Church. James was put to death by Herod Agrippa I shortly before the day of the Passover, in the year 44 or about 11 years after the death of Christ. From Acts 12: 1-2.
John: (thrown into boiling oil, but survived)—For most of his labours, John was with Peter in Jerusalem up until the persecution of Herod Agrippa I. During this period, scholars agree that Johh escaped and preached for sometime in Asia Minor (an area around Turkey). Years later, scholars have traced that he went to Rome where it was believed he was persecuted with other Christians and was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil—he miraculously survived. The Roman emperor at the time, Dominitian, decided after the incident to banish John to the island of Patmos (in Greece). When Dominitian died, John went back to Ephesus (in Turkey) where he spent the rest of his days. He died a very old man, the only Apostle to do so.
Andrew: (crucified upside down on an X-shaped cross)—Preached in Georgia (Russia), Istanbul (Turkey), Macedonia and finally Greece. There in Patros, Greece, the Governor Aegiatis was angered by the apostle’s preaching and the conversion of his own family to Christianity. He ordered Andrew to renounce his faith in front of a tribunal. When Andrew resisted, the governor ordered that Andrew be crucified. He was tied upside down to an X-shaped cross with thick, tight ropes but Andrew kept preaching to spectators. He was able to convince many to accept Christianity just before he died after suffering for three days. Parts of his remains are in Constantinople (Turkey), Scotland (England), but his skull is kept in Patras to this day.
Phillip (crucified)—Preached in Greece, Syria and in Turkey (in the cities of Galatia, Phrygia and Hierapolis). Philip partnered with Bartholomew in his missions. According to sources “Through his miraculous healing and preaching, Philip converted the wife of the Preconsul of the city” of Hierapolis. This event angered the Preconsul and ordered that both Philip and Bartholomew be tortured and crucified upside down. While on the cross, Philip continued to preach and he was able to convince the crowd and the Preconsul to release Bartholomew, while insisting that he (Philip) remained crucified. Bartholomew was released but Philip died on the cross and was later buried somewhere within the city.
Bartholomew: (skinned alive and beheaded)—Preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia (Iraq), Persia (Iran), Turkey, Armenia and India. He was skinned alive and beheaded at Derbent (Azerbaijan, near Russia) on the Caspian Sea by order of a local king after a majority of the people of Derbent converted to Christianity. Some of Bartholomew’s skin and bones are still kept in The Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome, a part of his skull is in Frankfurt, Germany and an arm is venerated at the Canterbury Cathedral in England.
Matthew: (burned-to-death?)—He must have lived many years as an apostle, since he was the author of the Gospel of Matthew which was written at least twenty years after the death of Christ. Christian tradition says he preached in Ethiopia (in Africa), Judea (Israel today), Macedonia, Syria and Parthia (northeast Iran). Bible scholars have different versions on how he died. Some say he was either killed with a sword in Parthia or he died a natural death in Ethiopia.
Thomas: (impaled by a spear)—Called by most Christians as the “Doubting Thomas” for disbelieving the Lord’s Resurrection. But after his doubts were erased by touching Jesus’ wounds, he became a fearless preacher of the Gospel and builder of churches. He was one of the first Apostles who preached outside the boundaries of the vast Roman Empire (out of Europe). He preached in Babylon (present day Iraq) and established its first Christian church. Then he went to Persia (Iran) and travelled as far as China and India. He was martyred in Mylapore, India when a local king named Masdai condemned Thomas to death. The Apostle angered the Brahmins (high ranked priests/scholars who served as the king’s advisers) who thought Christianity disrespected India’s Caste System. Thomas was brought to a nearby mountain and was stabbed-to-death with a spear. He is believed to be buried around the suburb of Madras, in India.The earlier traditions, as believed in the fourth century, say he preached in Parthia or Persia, and was finally buried at Edessa.
James Alpheus (the Lesser): (stoned and clubbed-to-death)—We know he lived at least five years after the death of Christ because of mentions in the Bible. Believed to have preached in Damascus (Syria) and acknowledged as the first bishop of the Christians in Jerusalem (Israel). Historians say he was sentenced to be stoned-to-death by the Jews for challenging Jewish Laws and for convincing some of members of the Jewish community to convert to Christianity. James died when during the stoning, one person from the crowd approached him and bashed his head with a fullers club (a piece of wood used for bashing-washing clothes). He was buried on the spot where he died, somewhere in Jerusalem.
Simon (the Canaanite): (sawed or axed-to-death?)—Before becoming an apostle, Simon was a member of the “Zealots”, a political movement rebelling against the Roman occupation of Jerusalem. Identified by some as the second Bishop of Jerusalem after James the Lesser (who was beheaded). He’s also believed to have preached in the Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Mauritania and even Britain. His martyrdom is being debated by scholars and historians who claim Simon might have been crucified by the Romans in Lincolnshire, Britain, crucified in Samaria (Israel) after a failed revolt or sawed-to-death in Suanir, Persia with Jude Thaddeus.
Jude (Thaddeus): (sawed or axed to death?)—He was a partner of Simon the Zealot and together they preached and converted non-believers in Judea (Israel), Persia (Iran), Samaria (Israel), Idumaea (near Jordan), Syria, Mesopotamia (Iran) and Libya. It is also widely believed that Jude travelled and preached in Beirut, Lebanon. He also helped Bartholomew in bringing Christianity to Armenia. The cause of his death in unclear because of the existence of two versions: (1) He was crucified in Edessa, Turkey; (2) He was clubbed-to-death and his body was either sawed or axed in pieces after (together with Simon the Zealot). Some sources say he was buried either in Northern Persia or the most accepted version that his remains are buried in a crypt at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Judas Iscariot: (suicide, death by hanging)—Best known as the apostle who betrayed the Lord by divulging His location, leading to His arrest and persecution. He received 30 pieces of silver from Jewish priests for the information he gave. Shortly after the death of Christ Judas killed himself. According to the Bible he hanged himself, (Matthew 27:5) at Aceldama, on the southern slope of the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, and in the act he fell down a precipice and was dashed into pieces.
Note: There were the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus. Eleven are named in Acts 1:13, “Peter and John, and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. “ Judas Iscariot, one of the original twelve, the one who betrayed Jesus, is not named in that list. That’s the original twelve. Then add Matthias who replaced Judas Iscariot to become one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Acts 1:26). “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14). When we include both Judas and Matthias the total is now thirteen.
We are also told that Paul was one of Jesus’ apostle (Eph 1:1) “Paul, an apostle (G652) of Jesus Christ by the will of God…” (Ref: Acts 9:3-6, 15-16)
We know additional apostles besides these men exist because Christ, after His ascension, appointed “some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers . . . until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
7. What Happens To Your Soul If You Commit Suicide?
Murder is a Sin.
Suicide is murder!
The only difference is that the victim is oneself.
Taking the life of a person is against the laws of man and of God (Exo 20:13, 1Jn 3:4, Jas 4:17, 1Jn 5:17).
Even a murderer can be saved, if he repents (1Jn 1:9).
However, one who kills himself cannot repent of this sin. He could not have repented ahead of the act, because carrying through on the suicide proves the repentance was not genuine. The soul of one who commits suicide will probably receive eternal punishment, I say that with the understanding that “sin” and “sinners” will not be in Heaven, which is reserved for “saints” not “sinners.”
These individuals certainly could not be part of the 1st resurrection when Christ returns for the Saints; those classified as Holy and without blemish (without sin) (Eph 5:27, 2Peter 3:14). Those individuals who have committed suicide (sin) will be with those remaining after the tribulation having to appear before God and judgment.
Revelation 20:12-15 (KJV)
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
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8. What Happens If I Die Before I Confess A Sin?
Let’s first keep in mind what the penalty for sin is, because that penalty has NEVER CHANGED!!
The Bible says when (not if) you sin, you automatically earn the penalty of death.
Romans 6:23 says,
“For the wages (penalty) of sin is death…….”
This was the same penalty Adam received (Rom 5:12-14), albeit under a different set of circumstances. It has been argued that Adam’s acknowledgement of his disobedience (Gen 3:11-12) was a “confession.” It was more likely considered an acknowledgement because he was “caught” and not something He intended to do. Let’s be clear, there is no record of Adam ever asking for forgiveness.
Eph 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” (Lk 21:34-36, 2Peter 3:12-14)
John 3:15 promises,
“That whosoever believeth (belief is more than thought, it requires action) in him (Jesus Christ) should not perish, but have eternal life.”
1 John 1:5-7 clarifies this statement,
“But if we walk in the light (the action – if we live Holy), as he (God) is in the light (is Holy), we have fellowship one with another, and (then) the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. ”
Note: The word “if” (the stipulation) means as long as we are walking in the light (living Holy). Of course we are not in the light if we have un-repented or un-confessed “sin” which yet remains a part of our life.
The Timing of Confession
Here is what the Bible says about timing:
In 1 John 1:9 we are told, “If (the stipulation) we confess our sins, (then) he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
So what happens if you do not confess your sin before death? The result is the same as it would be for suicide.
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9. What Happens If I Am Cremated?
Will God raise up those who are cremated?
This is similar in nature to those questions asked of those martyrs during the Roman era who were burned at the stake or torn and eaten by animals. The answer is the same and applies to any type of death, including those who have been dead a sufficient amount of time for their bodies to return to dust.
Flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, so it doesn’t matter what happens to our flesh after we die. We will all be given a “new” body that does not decay or grow old. Any of the things that can keep a body from being whole at death will have no effect on the spiritual body everyone will receive (Acts 24:15, 1Cor 15:44). However the final destination and end result will vary. Either you will spend eternity with God or receive eternal punishment (John 5:28-29, 2Th 1:7-10, 2Peter 2:9).
Biblical Timeline of the Resurrection Rapture
It Is Not for You to Know The Exact Time
Just before Jesus was caught up to heaven, His disciples asked, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Jesus said, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.” (Acts 1:7) If Christ, our Savior (the one who is coming back for us), does not know when he is to return, we are certainly not “more capable” than Christ of having this knowledge. This is important to always keep at the forefront of our discussion on this subject. Our Primary focus is to be “caught up” with Christ and not be part of those who do not make the rapture concerning the other debated issues.
We cannot truthfully say with 100% certainty the exact order of events to come. It should come as no surprise that not all Christians agree when the Millenium will occur or what it will be like. The following provides some of the arguments.
They are primarily divided into three main groups on this issue: Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism.
Premillennialists believe that Christ’s second coming will occur before the millennium.
Postmillennialists believe that Christ’s second coming will come after the millennium.
Amillennialists believe that the millennium is figurative and that we are already living in it.
We have attached a detailed Biblical timeline (PDF) with good illustrations and scriptures associated with this event.
We Do Not profess the Illustration below to be flawless or the most accurate “timeline depiction” but that it closely reflects the various stages and passages that should be taken into consideration.
Most Christians believe that at some point in the future Christ will return again (the “second coming”), and that there will be a judgment of some sort, and this earth will end and all believers will be able to enter into / dwell with (or be with) our Father (God) up in heaven (God’s Heavenly Kingdom/dimension). Not that we will be limited to that dimension but that we will be able to dwell therein as we will at that time have an inheritance through Christ which makes us ONE as he was with God (John 17:21-22; John 20:17).
Since we are brothers and sisters with Christ, NOT children of Christ (Matthew 12:50, Mark 3:35) we are therefore ONE in Christ, being adopted sons and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:28-29; Galatians 4:4-7)
The word rapture refers to the Christian belief that the righteous will be taken alive by God from Earth to Heaven. This is differentiated from the common belief that when the righteous die their soul goes directly to Heaven. The hope of the rapture for Christians is to escape from the frightening End Time events described in the Book of Revelation which precede the return of Jesus Christ the Messiah to set up his reign.
Rapture is from the Latin rapio meaning to be seized by force, caught, taken. It is sometimes pointed out by critics that the word rapture does not appear anywhere in the Bible. This is partially true. Rapture is a Latin word, therefore, it does not appear in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. However, it does appear in the Latin Vulgate translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, the central rapture proof text in the Bible. The Greek manuscripts have the word harpagesometha a form of the word harpazo which like rapture means to be taken or seized.
The Rapture is described primarily in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 describes the Rapture as God resurrecting all the righteous who have died (1 Cor 6:14), giving them glorified bodies, and then they (those resurrected saints) will depart the earth with those righteous who were still alive, who have also been given glorified bodies.
“For the Lord (Jesus) himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord (Jesus) in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) See also: (John 14:2-3, Rev 3:21).
(As you can see the Bible explicitly describes Jesus coming down “descending” from Heaven and we the saints will be “caught up” to the sky experience when Jesus returns and comes for us, his Bride/we the Church)
Is There A Difference Between The Rapture And Second Coming?
There is often some confusion addressing the return of Christ. The question should be when Christ returns to do what?
One is a gathering up of the saints, his “symbolic” bride (we the church/the saints), who will be caught up to meet him in the air/cloud. This is different from what many call the “Second Coming” of Christ, which is when Christ returns with the saints to earth where he will reign for 1000 years.
Therefore, further clarification is advised because neither of these terminologies is found in scripture yet we often use them interchangeably creating potential confusion if we do not make clear how we define these two events.
There are several important differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ:
The Rapture is believed imminent (Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54).
The Second Coming of Christ will not happen until after certain specified end times events take place (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:15-30).
During the Rapture, believers in Christ will be removed from the earth (1 Thessalonians 5:9) and will join the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
During the Second Coming, believers return with the Lord to the earth (Revelation 19:14).
The Rapture occurs before the Tribulation. (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10).
The Second Coming will take place after the Great Tribulation period (Dan 2:44, Matt 24: 27-31, Rev 1:7, Acts 1:11) with the saints (1 Thess 3:13, Rev 19:8,14) ending the rule of the Antichrist (2Thess 2:8, Dan 8:25b, 2:34-35, 44),
The Rapture will happen in an instant (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).
The Second Coming will be visible to all (Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:29-30).
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