Asleep in Jesus

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Brother Bob, May 19, 2006.

  1. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
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    1 Thessalonians, chapter 4

    "13": But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

    "14": For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (If God is going to bring them then it must mean coming from Heaven for that is where God is?)

    "15": For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    "16": For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: ( Here it says the dead "not asleep" )

    "17": Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    "18": Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

    I have my beliefs on what this means but would like the beliefs of others on who the "asleep" is. I know the Bible speaks at times of death being asleep, but it also says "thou fool, how can that be quickened, unless it dieth first."
    In order to be resurrected you have to be "dead".
     
  2. bound

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    I'm impressed with your thoughts here and the possible implications that they might bring to the text.

    I'm not sure that I can honestly offer anything of real value at this time but you've given me a wonderful moment to reflect on these verses in a new light and to ponder what this might reveal.

    Thank you Sir and God Bless.
     
  3. Scott J

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    I think this has been used to justify "soul sleep" but I would say that the use of "sleep" and "dead" was probably used to distinguish the spirits of the saved dead from their reunified, quickened, and glorified flesh.
     
  4. bound

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    Hi Brother Bob,

    I hope we find you well and at peace in the Lord today! I have a few moments while at lunch to make a few remarks on this intriguing post although I am not sure where you where going with this on first blush I found it thought provoking.

    I'm sure you are aware of the 'general teaching' on these verses that the Apostle Paul uses the term 'asleep', as Scott was so astute to pointed out, to speak to the congregation of Thessalonica concerning those members in the Church who have passed on (i.e. died).

    I get the impression most scholars derive this from the later half of verse 13 where such sleeping would cause 'sorrow' in others which have no hope'. From this key verse I get the impression that scholar deduce that Paul is speaking of the sorrow typically accompanied those who have witnessed the death of loved ones and had no hope of life after death.

    The interpretation of this verse appears to setup one's interpretation of the rest of the passage. Of course, you notice that Paul later, in verse 16, uses the proper term 'dead' without any further allusion to them being 'asleep' which does appear to confuse matters doesn't it?

    Understanding this apparent break one could conclude that those 'asleep' could mean something else other then literally being dead. Is this where you were going?

    If so, I do believe the idea is rather intriguing and I thought about this afternoon and did a little reading over lunch to reach my own conclusion. I am appreciative at your keen provocation in this because I greatly enjoyed pondering it. Thanks again.

    Ultimately, though I believe the popular opinion of the scholars on this passage is the correct one and I will attempt to share with you why I've reach that conclusion. Perhaps my rationale is flawed so I'd like for you to check it for me.

    The reason I believe that 'those asleep' are 'those who have passed away' is this last part in the verse 'in Jesus'. If 'those asleep' are those who have not be 'awakened' to the Gospel and thus made 'alive' in Christ I have great difficultly believing Paul would articulate them as being 'asleep in Jesus'. Of course I'm only guessing that this might be where you were going with this but it's one interpretation which 'jumped' out at me on first blush.

    So as it stands with me, those whom Paul was speaking as being asleep are those Christians who have dead before the expectant Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour.

    With regards to your comments I can only suggest that your assumption is one share by many including me.

    Please note that both 1 and 2 Thessalonians dealt with misunderstandings with the Second Coming of our Lord.

    Here it has been historically interpreted that Paul is trying to allay concerns that those who will actually be present for the Second Coming would in no way precede or have advantage over those who have fallen asleep and that those who have fallen asleep will have no disadvantage for having not lived till that faithful day.

    So here we are rolling along with a pretty ironclad interpretation and we encounter the use of the word 'dead'! Have we been led astray by Paul apparent use of 'asleep' as an allusion to those who are literally 'dead'?

    Well it's possible but it is my belief that Paul was exercising pastoral care in using the allusion 'asleep' until he had allayed concern for those who are literally dead up until this point. Why stop now you might ask? Well I believe he feels he's established his case for those are are literally 'dead in Christ' to be risen with Him. With such news there simply is no real reason to remain concerned or sorrowful.

    So here Paul delivers the good news all Christians have the hope of reunion with loved ones in heaven! Amen!

    Now that is something which could serve to comfort one another.

    Honestly I would love to hear your interpretation on it as well as anything which you think that I have overlooked.

    Thank you Sir and God Bless.
     
  5. webdog

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    I don't know, I don't think when Jesus said to the thief on the cross "today you will be with Me in paradise", he had a long nap planned.
     
  6. bound

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    Ouch! Did I leave that impression Webdog or are your replying to Brother Bob? If I left that impression I would like to address it because that is not my intension at all.
     
  7. webdog

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    not you, bound, I was replying to the OP in general by BB.
     
  8. Salamander

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    The "dead in Christ" have died to themselves and are alive unto God, that came about by their getting saved.

    Those people who make up the Body of Christ are raised to new life, but their bodies are not dead, for they are still alive and walking and breathing.

    The ones who are "asleep" is speaking of the body that died, but not the eternal soul, for that is present with the Lord.

    If one studies the word "sheol" which means the grave, also meaning "hell", they will see that those saved are not in "hell"/ sheol/ the grave.

    Now if one believes in purgatory....... :rolleyes:

    These passages are dealing with a literal physical ressurrection of the incorruptable body, not the soul, nor the spirit who are already in Christ, who just so happens to not be in any grave.

    It is those incorruptable bodies that we will occupy for eternity and return riding the white hosres to reign with Jesus for the Millenial Reign.
     
  9. npetreley

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    I think, as far as believers are concerned, "sleep" and "physical death" are synonymous. I think that the authors used the word "sleep" because we have eternal life. We never really die. Only our flesh dies. I think it's a red herring to suggest that because the Bible also says "the dead in Christ rise" that we had to be dead in some way other than what it means to be "asleep" (our bodies died). Dead, asleep, for the believer it's the same diff.

    For example:

    This makes absolutely no sense if both words "die" mean exactly the same thing.

    Short version: I think this is a non-issue.
     
  10. Brother Bob

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    excuse last post too late to erase!

    Revelation, chapter 6
    I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

    "10": And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

    "11": And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

    (We see in the above Scripture there were souls under the Altar of God who yet had not their white robes and something disturbed them and they cried for vengance on them that dwell on the earth, so it is apparent that these souls were in Heaven under the altar of God and were lacking their white robes. But something happened to disturb them and God give them then their white robes, now where did the white robes come from?)

    (We see in the following Scripture where one of the 24 Elders in Heaven asked the same question, "who are they who are clothed in white robes? Sir thou knowest, "these are they who have come up threw great tribulations and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. So therefore those souls under the Altar didn't have white robes because the blood had not been shed, something disturbed them which I believe to be the sheding of the blood. But the point I am making is there are souls in Heaven, now who are they?)

    Revelation, chapter 6

    9": After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

    "10": And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

    "11": And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

    "12": Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

    "13": And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

    "14": And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    9": After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

    "10": And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

    "11": And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

    "12": Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

    "13": And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

    "14": And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.


    (We see below that God will be bringing something with Him in the resurrection and it certainly is not the bodies for they are in the grave, so it has to be the souls of the righteous who are asleep in Jesus Christ waiting for a little season until thy fellow servants which dwell on the earth shall bear the cross also, then God will bring them back to reunite with the bodies and both soul and body will go to Heaven to live forever.)

    1 Thessalonians, chapter 4
    "13": But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

    "14": For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
    (couldn't be the bodies for they are dead and must die in order to receive the change from a natural body to a spiritual body for a natural body can't go to Heaven and neither can it look upon God. For only the pure in heart shall see God.) Amen,

    BBob Your thoughts?
     
  11. Me4Him

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    Re 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, ( Heb 12:1 a cloud of witnesses,) and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, (Jesus) having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

    15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

    16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (rapture)

    This "white cloud" is the souls of the saved, to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord, beside the "soul" never dies.

    Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

    Coming with Jesus, they are first Rapture, then we are "changed".


    BOB

    Those souls under the altar are those saints killed during the trib, the next Angel to come out of the temple.

    Re 14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

    18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

    19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

    20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
     
  12. Brother Bob

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    I believe the souls under the altar are the souls of those who died in faith before Jesus died for the souls of them too were carried away. That was when the rich man went to hell and the beggar went to Abrahams bossom for the rich man said in yonder's world I have five brothers but Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets so it must of been in those days. The white robe came from the blood of Jesus and he had not died as of yet but when He did there was a fountain opened for sin and uncleanness and half flowed to the former sea and half to the hinder sea. I think the fountain flowed back and fulfilled God's promise to Israel that the Messiah would come and those souls that were under the altar received the blood of Jesus then, hence the white robe were given to them. That is the only place I have read where the white robes come from.
     
  13. Me4Him

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    Jesus preached to those who died prior to his coming and them led them "captive" as he ascended to heaven, so "Abraham's Bosom", was "clean out" at that time,

    Prior to Jesus, souls went to Abraham's bosom, since then they are "with the lord". (wages of sin paid)

    Those under the altar are "killed for the testimony of christ" during the trib.

    Re 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

    Re 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

    And they will have "Moses and the Prophet" (Elijah), the "two witnesses".

    Re 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
     
  14. Brother Bob

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    I am sorry Me4Him; It says they were slain for the word of God. I realize it could mean Jesus when it say God but I think it meant God himself in this case. What you said about them accending to Heaven still goes when what I said about the white robes were given when Jesus shed His blood for that is where white robes came from and no where else I can read. I think that has aready happened for when we are born again we recieve the blood of Jesus now and the white robe inwardly but those who died before He did had to wait on the promise of the Messiah to come of which Jesus was the Messiah. God told them to rest on a little while longer until their fellow servants on the earth should suffer also which is you and I and then we all will be united. I believe when the fifth seal was opened is when Jesus was crucified for they received white robes and they came from His blood. I am sorry but I believe that it will be a quick work the Lord will do when He comes. I know we are worlds apart in our beliefs about the end of time but we seem to agree about almost all thing on how thing are to be now with Christ and for that I am thankful. I believe Abraham's bosom is a type and figure of God. I think that is what the Scripture means. I think the beggar went to be with God and the rich man went to Hell or at least the souls of both. I am completely lost when you talk about the trib and some of the things to take place. Maybe it is just above my head but I feel comfortable with my beliefs on the souls. I think them that are asleep in Jesus that God wlll bring with him is the souls of the righteous to be reunited with their changed bodies to Spiritual bodies for it is sown a natural but raised a Spiritual but still the same body. I hope this is not a wedge between us for it certainly is not on my side. Blessings,

    BBob
     
  15. Brother Bob

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    I am sorry Me4Him; It says they were slain for the word of God. I realize it could mean Jesus when it say God but I think it meant God himself in this case. What you said about them accending to Heaven still goes when what I said about the white robes were given when Jesus shed His blood for that is where white robes came from and no where else I can read. I think that has aready happened for when we are born again we recieve the blood of Jesus now and the white robe inwardly but those who died before He did had to wait on the promise of the Messiah to come of which Jesus was the Messiah. God told them to rest on a little while longer until their fellow servants on the earth should suffer also which is you and I and then we all will be united. I believe when the fifth seal was opened is when Jesus was crucified for they received white robes and they came from His blood. I am sorry but I believe that it will be a quick work the Lord will do when He comes. I know we are worlds apart in our beliefs about the end of time but we seem to agree about almost all thing on how thing are to be now with Christ and for that I am thankful. I believe Abraham's bosom is a type and figure of God. I think that is what the Scripture means. I think the beggar went to be with God and the rich man went to Hell or at least the souls of both. I am completely lost when you talk about the trib and some of the things to take place. Maybe it is just above my head but I feel comfortable with my beliefs on the souls. I think them that are asleep in Jesus that God wlll bring with him is the souls of the righteous to be reunited with their changed bodies to Spiritual bodies for it is sown a natural but raised a Spiritual but still the same body. I hope this is not a wedge between us for it certainly is not on my side. Blessings,

    BBob
     
  16. npetreley

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    Your problem, Bob, is that you're not interpreting things allegorically. When the Bible says "slain" it is just a symbolic representation of having gone on a sleigh ride. The word of God here represents the fact that many see "God" as a type of Santa Claus. So in this case when it says they were slain for the word of God, it really means they took a sleigh ride to the north pole to visit Santa Claus.

    Are you getting this down?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Origen would be proud.
     
  17. Brother Bob

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    Why have you been on the ride to the north pole or did you read it in a funny book with all the rest of your studies?
     
  18. npetreley

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    No I made it up. It's in the great tradition of Origen. To translate of his more famous quotes: "The Bible is of no use to those who read it for what it says when it is much more fun to make it say anything you want by reading it allegorically."

    By the way, I'm not poking fun at you, Bob. I'm poking fun at those who read the Bible as allegory and as a result come up with the most bizarre doctrines. Even though we disagree strongly about many things, I don't think you do that.
     
  19. Me4Him

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    Well, you might be surprised to learn that I don't totally diagree with you.

    If you read the link I've posted, you'll find that scripture has a "Dual application", one to cover Jesus's "Spiritual coming" and the same verse will also cover his "literal coming".

    Because of this "Preterist" see Revelation as having already occurred, while the Church still sees it as future, both are 50% right. [​IMG]

    The "Spiritual" opening of the first seal was Jesus revealing the Antichrist.

    Joh 17:12 but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

    Of course the "Literal opening" will be when he appears after the rapture.

    2Th 2:3 and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    I haven't made any effort to sort out all the seals, or even study the trib period, "I won't be here". [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The Jews were invited to the "Lamb's marraige supper" and refused, so everyone who is "in heaven" between Jesus's coming and rapture, are at the lambs wedding, no one under the altar, after the rapture, is when the AC begins killing people, especially Jew who come to believe in Jesus, the same ones who refused the invitation to the lamb marraige, these are the one under the altar, and not at the wedding.

    The Lamb's marriage take plce during the trib, the "remarriage" between God/Israel, takes place in "CANA", during the MK, Jesus and his disciples (Bride) are invited, and the "MOTHER" of Jesus is there.

    Re 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the "WOMAN" (Israel) which brought forth the man child. (Jesus)

    God being married to Israel, and making a wedding for his son, two wedding, but you have to understand it in context of the "Trinity".
     
  20. Me4Him

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    Ac 17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.

    Mt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

    They don't know just how true their "idle words" of "hearing it again" will come to pass. :eek: :eek:
     

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