Thursday, February 22, 2018

Are believers “raised” immediately after death?

With the death of Rev. Billy Graham, I see many insisting he’s “in the arms of Jesus.” I might be totally wrong, but I don’t believe anyone is immediately raised from the dead – with the exception of the three men mentioned in Scripture who were raised individually: Yeshua (Colossians 3:1, 1 Corinthians 6:14-20, Ephesians 4:7-10), Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11).

We don’t see any other “individual raisings”; but we do see “raisings” of "many" on the day Yeshua died:

Matthew 27:50. Then again Y'shua cried out with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51. And immediately, the curtains at the door of the temple were torn in two from the top to the bottom. And the earth was shaken and the rocks were split. 52. And the tombs were opened and many bodies of the Set Apart believers who were asleep arose, 53. And went out. (AENT)

From what we can see in Scripture, the next “raising” will happen when Yeshua returns. Believers will be “caught up” (1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17); with the FINAL “catching up” happening at the end of Yeshua's thousand year reign when ALL (including every unbeliever since the beginning of time) wll stand before YHWH on Judgment Day (Revelation 20:11-15).

This seems to be the death process for Believers:

(1) Our nefesh (soul) dies (Ezekiel 18:20 and Romans 6:23) and our ruach (spirit) returns to YHWH who gave it (Ecclesiastes 9).

(2) Everyone who died pre-Yeshua, excepting Enoch and Elijah and "many of" the Set Apart believers mentioned in Matthew 27:51-53, is still in the grave awaiting judgment.

(3) The fact that the "dead in Messiah rise first" upon Yeshua’s return (1 Thess 4:16) indicates they are STILL in the grave until his return; and that no one has been raised since the day of Yeshua’s death.

I also contend that the scripture "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8) is NOT talking about immediate transformation where believers will be immediately next to YHWH/Yeshua. This is evidenced by Revelation 6:9 which tells us there will be souls "under the altar waiting"....

It means no matter how long we've been dead, when we wake up it will seem like no time has passed.

Some attempt to use Luke 23:43 as proof that we ARE immediately sent to heaven, but I contend we must look at the context:

Luke 23:43 - "Y'shua said to him, 'Truly I say to you today: You will be with me in paradise.'"

The footnote in the AENT says: Compare the emphasis: "I say to you: *Today* you will be with me in Paradise" with, "I say to you today: *You* will be with me in Paradise." The first [emphasis 'Today'] promises the immediacy of ascension, as in "today." The second [emphasis 'You'] promises that as Y'shua is speaking in the moment, that "you" (the man) will be in paradise." It is the second emphasis this scripture intends.

2 Corinthians 5:8 - "Therefore we are confident, and desirous to be away from the body, and to be with our Master (Y'shua)."

The context says nothing about an IMMEDIATE resurrection.

1 Peter 3:18-20 - "For the Mashiyach also once died for our sins, the righteous for sinners; that he might bring you to Elohim. And he died in body but lived in spirit. And he preached to those souls which were detained in Sheol (Hades) which were formerly disobedient in the days of Noah when the long suffering of Elohim commanded an ark to be made, in hope of their repentance; and eight souls only entered into it and were kept alive in the waters."

Revelation 6:9. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them who were slain on account of the Word of Elohim, and on account of the testimony to the Lamb which was with them. 10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Master YHWH, you Set Apart and True, do you not Judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11. And to each one of them was given a white robe; and it was told them that they must be quiet yet a little while, until the consummation of their fellow-servants and Brothers who were to be killed as they had been. (AENT)

From what I can see, there’s nothing to indicate an immediate resurrection after death. When we die, we’re simply “asleep” and when “raised” it will seem like no time has passed. It's all in YHWH's good timing.

The bottom line, of course is that we can't REALLY know the answers to any of this UNTIL we're out of our earth suits, viewing God through TRUE spiritual eyes!  Smile

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