Christian Churches of God
(Edition 2.0 19990814-19991206-20071128)
Death is the cessation of our physical life. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, therefore the corruptible mortal body must change to put on immortality as God intended for us. This change necessitates the death of our human fleshly form. Our temporary human existence will be replaced by a higher form of life. And it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.
To everything there is a season,
A time and purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die. (Eccl. 3:1-2)
The following Scripture should be read in the event of suicide and other such circumstances.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse: therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying His voice and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."
Death is our primary enemy.
1Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
The spirit returns to God at death.
Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?
Ecclesiastes 12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Psalm 31:5 Into thy hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
For we have no memory:
Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward; but the memory of them is lost.
Psalm 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who can give thee praise?
The dead dwell in darkness.
Psalm 143:3 he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. (KJV)
There is silence:
Psalm 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. (KJV)
The same fate awaits all mankind:
Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. (KJV)
Zeker (SHD 2143; zay'-ker, from 2142) is translated as: remembrance, memorial, memory and remembered. Many individuals are remembered, but the dead know nothing and have no memory. They are not in Heaven watching the struggles of the living.
We are as asleep or unconscious:
Luke 8:49-56 While he was still speaking, a man from the ruler's house came and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more." 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, "Do not fear; only believe, and she shall be well." 51 And when he came to the house, he permitted no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and bewailing her; but he said, "Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping." 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, "Child, arise." 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once; and he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed; but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Ecclesiastes 7:1-2 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death, than the day of birth. 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting; for this is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart.
God has no pleasure in death.
Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live."
Is there life after death?
Job asked the question: If a man dies shall he live again? And he answered: All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer you; You shall desire the work of your hands (Job 14:14-15).
1Corinthians 15:20-23 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (KJV)
When our spirit returns to us we will once again have life.
Psalm 68:20 Our God is a God of salvation; and to GOD, the Lord [Elohim Yahovah, YHVH], belongs escape from death.
Why must all die?
We all must die because we all sin.
Romans 5:12 Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.
James 1:15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.
(See also Rom. 5:21; 6:16;21.)
What is sin?
1John 3:4 Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
While death is the compensation for sin, life is the gift from the resurrection by God, on whom we rely.
2Corinthians 1:9 Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death; but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead;
Eternal life is the gift of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Where and how did sin originate?
Sin developed from the deception of the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4) beginning in the Garden of Eden.
The deception transmitted here is that we have an immortal soul and can't really die. Therefore, we do not need the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which destroys Satan's workings.
1John 3:8 He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
Hebrews 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
Genesis 2:15-17 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die."
Genesis 3:1-4 Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?" 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die".
Adam and his offspring had an opportunity to obey God and not die.
Genesis 3:22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever"--
There is a physical as well as a spiritual life, and both exist because of God.
Job 12:9-10 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
Job 10:12 Thou hast granted me life and steadfast love; and thy care has preserved my spirit.
Isaiah 57:15-16 For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 For I will not contend for ever, nor will I always be angry; for from me proceeds the spirit, and I have made the breath of life.
Job 33:4 The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
God the Father has life inherent or in Himself and gives life to all, including Christ. He has set a way before us.
John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself,
If God took back His Spirit all flesh would perish together.
Job 34:14-15 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. (KJV)
We will die physically, but will live eternally in the Spirit.
1Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit;
Mark 10:17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
We can, however, shorten our lives.
Ecclesiastes 7:1617 Be not righteous overmuch, and do not make yourself overwise; why should you destroy yourself? 17 Be not wicked overmuch, neither be a fool; why should you die before your time?
The question above was pondered and studied by
and he/she found the answer and responded to the calling.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.
(Compare also Mat. 5:19; 19:17; Jn. 14:15; 15:10; 1Cor. 7:19; 1Jn. 3:23-24; 5:2-3; 2Jn. 1:6; Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 22:14.)
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey his voice, and that you may cling to him, for he is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.
Loving and obeying the Lord our God, or 'Yahovah our Elohim', means life to us all, but we can choose death.
Jeremiah 21:8 "And to this people you shall say: 'Thus says the LORD: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.
Resurrection is anastasis (SGD 386); an-as'-tas-is from 450:
1) a raising up, rising (e.g. from a seat)
2) a rising from the dead
The dead then lie, as in sleep, in the grave. At the resurrection the dead hear a voice and are brought back to life (Jn. 5:25-29).
John 5:25-29 "Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, 27 and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
All mankind, whether they
desire it or not, will be resurrected, each in their turn. This order of the
resurrection we see clearly:
Firstly, Christ is the first of the first-fruits (1Cor. 15:19-23). Christ has already been resurrected and has been given eternal life from that event.
Romans 6:9 For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
Believing this is the source of our faith and our salvation.
Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
(Compare also Acts 17:31; Rom. 4:24; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20;
Col. 2:12; 1Pet. 1:21.)
Secondly, the next event is the First Resurrection at Christs return. This event is in sequence:
a) The dead rise first (1Thes. 4:16); then
b) We who are left alive will be caught up with them and go to be with Messiah at Jerusalem (1Thes. 4:17).
1Thessalonians 4:13-18 But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
It is necessary that we rise from the dead and are resurrected as spirit beings because flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1Cor. 15:50-55). The Gospel or good news of the coming Kingdom of God is the message that the Messiah preached.
Mark 1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
Luke 4:43 but he said to them, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose."
Luke 8:1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him,
Today, most do not know the secrets of the Kingdom, which we all will be placed in from the resurrection.
Luke 8:10 he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
Mark 14:25 Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
This will take place at Christs return to save those who wait for him, being as if asleep meaning dead.
Therefore, we must be changed from the physical to the spiritual. This is done in order and sequence, as we are selected from Gods foreknowledge, as being ready to follow Him in obedience to His Laws in the Holy Spirit.
1Corinthians 15:21-26 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Order (SGD 5001) tagma, (tag'-mah from 5021) means that which has been arranged, thing placed in order.
At the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ, all people will be resurrected and brought to an understanding of God and His nature (Rev. 20:5,11-15). From this point we see that at death all the individual can do is wait. Job showed us that in Job 14:14-15.
With his eyes and no others (eyes) Job would see his Redeemer.
Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (KJV)
Ezekiel 37:1-14 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Our task is to commit our ways to the Lord and he will establish our thoughts, bring forth our righteousness, and establish the meek in the land (Ps. 37:5-11).
While he/she was alive
walked worthy of the calling (Eph. 4:1-3). He/she fought the good fight, as did Paul (2Tim. 4:6-8).
1Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
1Corinthians 15:50 I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Our hope today is the crown of righteousness, which follows in the resurrection. 1Thessalonians 4:13-18 shows that we, as the dead in Christ, will rise.
Our hope is in the resurrection (1Cor. 15:42-57).
1Corinthians 15:42-57 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 50 I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Lo! 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 imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For this we now wait as did Job (Job 14:14-15) for we all shall live again. It is only because of Christ's acceptable and victorious sacrifice that death is "swallowed up". For our life here is but a foretaste of what our Father has prepared for us beyond the grave and the resurrection from the dead (Rom. 6:5).
Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
From this phase we see the new future of mankind before us. There will be a new Heaven and a new Earth (Rev. 21:1-7).
Revelation 21:1-7 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; 3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; 4 he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." 5 And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6 And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. 7 He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.
All those who overcome and conquer in faith will receive the Spirit of God the Father, and this is what gives us life.
Romans 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.
Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."
Revelation 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death.'
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.
Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire;
As for death, Hades, the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot is removal from the presence of God. Not the individuals who have committed these sins, but the actual sins themselves murder, fornication, lying etc. will be destroyed in the second death. Death and the grave are the last enemies that will no longer plague spirit-filled individuals. This also includes the fallen rebellious Host who will live as humans and will need to repent.
Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; [The] God is our salvation. Selah 20 Our God is a God of salvation; and to GOD, the Lord, belongs escape from death.
Death has reigned from Adam (Rom. 5:14) and life from Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:17,21; 1Thes. 1:10; Col. 1:22; 1Tim. 1:10; Heb. 2:9; 9:15).
Therefore, we do not need to fear death.
Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Our All-knowing and Almighty God; we commit to your safe keeping your faithful servant and our friend,
We give you thanks for the life you have given us and we pray for your intervention and safe keeping of the family and friends of your servant,
We ask this by the authority of your only-born son, our friend, Jesus Christ. AMEN.