Today You will be with Me in Paradise.

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Ben W, Nov 5, 2002.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Recently I attended a bible study held by the local Church of God Seventh Day who teach a doctrine called Soul Sleep. They teach that when a person dies they have no conciousness after death until Jesus Christ brings down the New Jerusalem from Heaven where everyones earthly body will be restored and issued with a judgement. I brought up Luke 23:43 Where Jesus says to the thief on the cross who asks to be remembered, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." First I was told the bible should not have any "commas" in it and that it should have been translated with a "comma" after today so it would read "I tell you the truth today, you will be with me in paradise"

    I am not comfortable with this explanation and even less comfortable with the "Soul Sleep" doctrine. Any suggestions on responding to this?
     
  2. blackbird

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    Brother Ben W!

    Those Seventh Day boys and girls still worship in the shadow of the Sabbath! If they'd get on out into the broad daylight of Sunday they'll discover that there are lots of commas that they are missing out on!

    Your friend,
    Blackbird
     
  3. rsr

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    Hmm. Odd that no major translation puts a comma there. What's the source for this assertion? Not a good one, I'm sure. This is a classic instance of backward translation, making the text fit your theology.

    NET Bible notes:

    [ November 05, 2002, 09:03 AM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  4. zyzex

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    The doctrine of soul-sleep is commonly found taught among some of the denominations. Read II Cor 5:1-9, note vs 8, for the truth of explanation for the soul-sleep idea. (Also, read I Cor. 15;20-28) Our bodies will "sleep" until resurrection day, but our consciousness will always be "alive" -somewhere.
     
  5. Helen

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    Actually zyzex, our bodies will rot. You are probably breathing atoms from bodies of a million people right now.

    The idea of soul sleep is denied several times in the Bible. Paul says that absent from the body is present with the Lord -- no time gaps mentioned there (2 Cor. 5:8).

    In Revelation we also see evidence. In Revelation 6:9 the fifth seal is opened, and the saints who have been slain for the Word call out "How Long?" to God, regarding the judgment of the earth. They are feeling the passage of time and are not asleep.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. Phillip

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    Oh thanks, Helen, I'm glad I didn't have breakfast this morning. :eek:

    According to Sagan, before he went to sleep, 'I'm made of "star stuff"' now, I find out I'm made of all my ancestors before me. [​IMG]
     
  7. Peculiar person

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    Zyzex,
    "Read II Cor 5:1-9, note vs 8 for the truth of the explanation of the soul sleep idea."

    "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. (2 Cor.5:8)" This verse is familiar to almost all who have been taught the immortality of man, but at the same time it is one of the mos misunderstood and misquoted of any verse in the Bible. In order to understand this verse properly, we must see the thrust of Paul's argument in the preceeding verses. Let's see this verse in its context, using a literal translation:

    "For we are aware that, it our terrestial tabernacle house should be demolished, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eonian, in the heavens.

    "For in this also we are groaning, longing to be dressed in our habitation which is out of heaven, if so be that, being dressed also, we shall not be found naked.

    "For we also, who are in the tabernacle, are groaning being burdened, on which we are not wanting to be stripped, but to be dressed, that the mortal may be swallowed up by life.

    "Now He Who produces us for this same longing is God, Who is also giving us the earnest of the spirit.

    "Being, then, courageous always, and aware that, being at home in the body, we are away from home from the Lord,

    "(For by faith are we walking, no by perception),

    "We are encouraged, and are delighting rather to be away from home out of the body AND to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:1-8, C.V.)."

    Verse one states that there are two tabernacles, or bodies, one heavenly and the other terrestriaL (EARHTLY). Verses 2 and 3 explain that at the present time we are burdened in our earthly,mortal bodies; but our hope is that some day we shall be "dressed" in the heavenly body, "that the mortal may be swallowed up by life" (vs. 3)
    When will this mortal "be swallowed up by life?" The moment we die?? No, for Paul tells us in I Cor. 15:52-54 that our mortality will not be changed to immortality until "the last trump." Paul makes it plain that he looked forward to the resurrection, not the day of his death.

    "...we are NOT wanting to be stripped [die], but to be dressed [resurrected]...(vs 3).

    Did Paul then turn around and say in verse 8 that when he died, he would be "present with the Lord"? Of course not. He simply repeated what he had previously stated: (1)that this mortal body was burdensome, and (2) that he would rather be dressed in his resurrected body AND "be at home with the Lord."

    Notice that even in the King James Version, verse 8 does NOT read that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." That reading is a deliberate misquotation designed to prove the unscriptural theory that, "you go to heaven when you die."

    Quote: "(Also read I Cor. 15:20-28) Our bodies will sleep until resurrection day, but our consciousness will always be alive - somewhere."

    One may read these verses over again and again, but will never find any reference to "our consciousness being always being alive." What we are promised is in verse 21: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." Our hope and promise has always been that of resurrection of the dead, NOT that we go to heaven when we die.

    Death is likened unto sleep throughout the Bible. In sleep, the MIND is unconscious and knows nothing. To say that one is conscious and unconscious at the same time is unscriptural and doubleminded.
    We hear in churches, "When you as a Christian die, you will immediately be transported to heaven to join all the others who have gone before who are there, preising the Lord.
    The Bible says, "The dead PRAISE NOT THE LORD, neither any that go down into silence (Ps. 115:17)."
    "If a man die, shall he live again? [apparently not] All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come[the change described in I Cor. 15:51-54]."(Job 14:14)
    The Septuagint rendering of this same passage is very enlightening: "For if a man should die, shall he live again? Having accomplished the days of his life? I will WAIT TILL I EXIST AGAIN."
    According to the Septuagint translation, Job said that he would have to wait in the grave until he existed again at the resurrection. meanwhile...

    "If I wait, the grave [sheol] is mine house; I have made my bed in darkness (Job 17:13)."
    Notice that Job did not say that his BODY would go to a place of darkness, but "I have made MY bed in darkness."
    Sheol is not only a place of silence and darkness, but it is also a place where all mental activity ceases: "For in death there is NO REMEMBRANCE of thee[God]; in the grave[sheol] who shall give the thanks? (Ps. 6:5)

    "While I live I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto God WHILE I HAVE ANY BEING [Sept., "as long as I exist" - Ps. 146:2]
    If "while I live" equals "as long as I exist," then conversely, when David ceased to live, he also ceased to exist. David recognized that he had to do all of his praising God BEFORE he died, because there was no praise or remembrance fo God in sheol. David also said of death:

    "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; IN THAT VERY DAY HIS THOUGHTS PERISH (Ps. 146:4). [Please note that "perish" is from the Hebrew word "abad," which signifies "to be lost." At death, a man loses consciousness.]

    The Bible tells us that Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, and he too confirms what his father David said:

    "For the living know that they shall die; but THE DEAD KNOW NOT ANYTHING (eccl. 9:5)."
    "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [sheol] whither thou goest (Eccl. 9:10)."

    The above-quoted Scriptures are not isolated passages. Throughout God's Word it is taught that the dead are ACTUALLY dead in their graves, unconscious (asleep), and awaiting their respective resurrections. The prophets were all agreed on this issue in contrast to all of the other false religions of the nations surrounding Israel. Jesus placed his stamp of approval upon their doctrines by telling two of his disciples:

    "O fools, and slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets have spoken (Luke 24:25)."

    There is only one man who ever walked this earth who is immortal, and He is the resurrected Christ...

    "...the king of kings, the Lord of lords who ONLY hath immortality (I Tim 6:15,16)."

    Christ is immortal and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Eph. 1:20). He conquered death in His resurrection, and thus we can be assured that we too shall conquer death and mortality at His coming.

    I hope this will help you to understand what happens at death.

    PP
     
  8. hrhema

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    Peculiar person: Are you sure you are Baptist? I have not ever heard any Baptist or Baptist preacher who even remotely believes in soul sleep. You sound like a mixture of Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah Witness.

    Paul said exactly what he said and twisting it to fit your belief in soul sleep won't change the fact that he said it would be better to go on and be with the Lord then remain on Earth.

    The thief on the cross makes it clear that a person who dies goes to Paradise.

    What David and Solomon wrote about does not hinder this truth because the dead does not know anything any more on this Earthly plain . Solomon also spoke of the fact that the soul of man returns to God who gave it.

    Moses appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and this could not have happened if a person just sleeps in the grave until resurrection day.

    Also again you overlooked the fact that the souls under the altar were awake and talking in the Book of Revelation.

    Then you have to deal with the fact of Samuel's spirit being called up from the dead by the witch of Endor.

    You also have to deal with all those who were martyred in the Great Tribulation for they are seen in Heaven alive and well and wearing white robes before the tribulation ever ended.
     
  9. tfisher

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    If Luke 16:19-31 is describing soul sleep, it must be a nightmare.
     
  10. Me2

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    Its going to be a hoot, when the day we all die.
    The next thing we find out is EVERYBODY just died.
    Even the thief on his cross... looking for Paradise
    Its called Resurrection Day, and It only happens once.

    Some want to think of floating around in heaven...body-less.
    We were created to always exist in two dimensions at the same time..
    one material, and the other spiritual.. (right,..heaven is within you)
    In other words..we will never be a human being, without a body, or a spirit.
    one day we die. the next moment, we are existing in a new body and a new spirit.

    But, we cant receive a new glorified body or a new eternal spirit until everyone dies and God re-creates a new heaven and a new Earth...(a whole new universe).
    [​IMG]

    Me2
     
  11. Peculiar person

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    tfisher,(Quote)

    "If Luke 16:19-31 is describing soul sleep, it must be a nightmare."

    No, the nightmare is taking the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus and trying to turn it into a literal story. If one doesn't understand the symbols used in the parable, "purple and fine linen, rich man, poor man, sores, dogs, 5 brothers, Abraham's bosom," etc, the point of the teaching is missed completely...just as the point of the symbols the VISION on the mount of transfiguration or the symbols of the VISION in the Revelation.

    hrhema (quote):
    "Are you sure you're a Baptist."

    I guess that would depend on YOUR definition of "Baptist." I attend Beaver Creek Free Will Baptist Church. I believe that when one is saved, he should be baptised by immersion. What else is needed? Salvation by Grace? Got that.
    Obedience to God? Got that. Eternal life for the faithful, eternal death for the wicked? Got that. Must I believe as doctrine EVERYTHING just as you or some "convention" teaches, or am I permitted to study to show myself approved unto God (not anyone else), a workman who needeth not to be ashamed??

    "You sound like a mixture of Seventh day Adventist and Jehovahs Witness."

    Well, thank you, but I really have no idea what Jehovah's Witnesses teach. As for the Seventh Day Adventists, in some respects (not all) they may be closer to traditional HISTORICAL Christianity than many of our modern denominations. Me? You can't insult me that easily. I believe what I can prove from the Bible. If It happens to conflict with modern orthodox "traditions of men," so be it.
    And, by the way, if it is a poor translation in KJV, I do not mind using other more literal renderings, as you may have noticed.

    Now, I type much too slowly to answer all of your points immediately, but here is an answer to the "thief on the cross" point:

    " And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto the, today shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)."

    The thief had just asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom;

    "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me WHEN THOU COMEST INTO THY KINGDOM (vs. 42)."

    It is obvious that Jesus was not on His way to His kingdom as He was hanging on the cross. In His first advent Jesus came to die; in His second advent He will come to claim His kingdom. At this present time, Jesus still has not come as the triumphant conquerer to set up His kingdom and reign with His chosen (Rev. 5:10).
    So, when the thief asked to be remembered in the kingdom, Jesus assured him that he would be with Him in paradise. Did Jesus side step the thief's question? Or is it possible that He understood the kingdom and paradise to be identical? Isaiah 51:3 reads: "For the Lord shall comfort Zion: He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like THE GARDEN OF THE LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody."

    The Septuagint version renders it in this way:

    "And I will be comforting you, O Zion. and I comfort all her deserts, and I will place her deserts as PARADISE and her wilderness as the Lord's PARADISE. They shall find gladness and exhultation in her, confession and the voice of praise."

    The Septuagint version is very important because it shows how the Judeans two centuries before Christ used the word paradise in translating the Old Testament. We see from the above that they used the word "paradise" in place of “Eden” and “The garden of the Lord. The word “paradise” obviously was a reference to the Garden of Eden. It is used to describe the original condition of the earth before sin entered. It was also used to describe the future, perfected Kingdom of God, when the earth would again become a “Paradise.”
    The Apostle Paul knew a man who went to paradise:

    “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to VISIONS AND REVELATIONS of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago…How that he was caught up [lit.- away] into PARADISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful to utter (2 Cor. 12:1,2,4).”

    This passage is often read out of context [much like 2 Cor. 5:8] to prove that someone went to paradise when he died. But if the man had died, he would not have been able to tell Paul of the experience. Verse one makes it clear that Paul was speaking of “visions and revelations of the Lord.”
    So, the man had a vision of paradise. He went there “in the spirit” only as John did (Rev. 1:10). He saw paradise, the Kingdom of God in its restored condition, which the elect will inherit at the resurrection.
    But how can this be reconciled with Jesus seeming to say that they both would be in paradise on the day of their crucifixion? Luke 23:43, as written in most modern versions, appears to teach just that:

    “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

    However, a study of the original Greek text tells a different story&gt; The following is the Greek with a literal English translation:

    lego…”to you I am saying”
    semeron…”today”
    met emou…”with me”
    ese…”you will be”
    en to pardeiso…”in the paradise”

    “To you I am saying TODAY with me you will be in the paradise.”

    You will notice that it reads "saying today,” rather than "you will be today in the paradise.” In other words, Jesus told the dying thief THAT day: “You will be with me in paradise” (the future kingdom). Rotherham”s Emphasized Bible renders this verse:

    “And he said unto him, Verily I say unto thee this day: With me shalt thou be in paradise.”

    The Concordant Literal New Testament reads:

    And Jesus said to hom, “Verily, to you am I saying today, with me shall you be in paradise.”

    The phrase “to you I am saying today” may sound strange to our ears today. However, there are many occasions in the Bible when “today” or “this day” was used to emphasize a noteworthy day. For example, Moses told Israel:

    “See I have set before thee THIS DAY life and good , and death and evil; In that I command thee THIS DAY to love the Lord Thy God…(Deut. 30:15,16).

    The Companion Bible agrees in its notation on Luke 23:43 - “Today. Connect this with ’I say,’ to emphasize the solemnity of the occasion; not with ’shalt thou be.’ “

    So we conclude that Luke 23:43 teaches that the repentant thief on the cross shall receive a place in the Kingdom of God at the resurrection. The passage cannot be used to prove that the thief was alive that same day in paradise or heaven.

    And please note, the literal renderings make this passage much clearer.
    I'll try to get to the rest of your points when I can.

    PP
     
  12. Phillip

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    Alright folks, throw away your Bibles. Obviously we cannot understand what God is telling us unless we can speak Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.

    It is amazing how people can twist words to make them fit just about any concept. David Koresh and many others in the past were excellent Bible scholars.

    So, I take it you don't believe in hell either? :eek:
     
  13. JIMNSC

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    Peculiar Person - Amen brother! Thank you for addressing what Paul really said about being absent from the body and present with the LORD. He said he would "Rather" - not that he would be.

    About those souls in heaven. Those souls are people.

    Genesis 2:7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    Man became a living soul. In other words, man is soul. It doesn't say that God "gave" man a soul.

    And yes, I would hope any serious student of the Bible would make it a point to look at the Greek in the New and the Hebrew in the Old Testament for key words. After all, those folks didn't talk like we do today.

    Isn't it amazing that the folks Jesus raised from the dead didn't have remarkable stories to tell about how it was in paradise? If Lazarus' soul left his body, didn't Jesus do him an injustice bringing him back to life again - only to have him experience death again at a later time?

    I admire a man who reports on what he has studied PP. A lot of folks won't like you, but you can take solace in the fact that Jesus said he was disliked also.

    Lastly, if the soul leaves the body at death let's think about the lost man. That would mean his soul would go to hell, then be judged later. Why judge a lost man who has already gone to hell? By the same token, what will God be raising at the resurrection if our bodies have already decayed? We get immortal bodies at the resurrection, right?

    Another Baptist
     
  14. rkbo

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    Have you ever had someone say to you "today I am telling you that you will go to Las Vegas" If I was talking to you, you would know it was today. This only makes sense if you put it in the context it was intended. The context is that his prayer would be answered and that this was the day that he would be in paradise.
     
  15. JIMNSC

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    With reference to Ben's original concern that addressed "commas," there was "no" punctuation in the Greek, not just commas. Who then do you suppose placed that comma where it is?

    I'd say it was the translators. Were they inspired or just the folks that authored the books of the Bible?

    When Mary tried to touch Jesus after he arose, He told her not to touch Him as he had not yet ascended unto His Father. What does that mean?
     
  16. rkbo

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    John 20:17
    17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
    (KJV)

    John 20:17
    17 Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, "I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God."'
    (NAU)

    680 haptomai (hap'-tom-ahee);

    reflexive of 681; properly, to attach oneself to, i.e. to touch (in many implied relations):

    KJV-- touch.

    We have the tools to get to the bottom of stuff like this. I have to put a little faith in greek scholarship as I don't know greek myself. This is also what forums like these are for.
     
  17. Helen

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    Hebrews 11 is sometimes called the rollcall of faith, as it gives a partial list of Old Testament faithful and indicates there are many more.

    Hebrews 12, obviously referring to these OT men and women, starts of sayind, 'Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses....'

    Witnesses are not witnesses if they are asleep/unconscious.
     
  18. janji

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    This is very interesting. I was just wondering yesterday about the very scripture where Jesus promises to be in Paradise with the sinner that very day. There must be a comma after today, or well, an assumed comma, because Jesus descended first, right? And He didn't go right to Paradise. Any thoughts? Help!!! Jan
     
  19. rkbo

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    Oh no he did not descend. Only his body did. Remember he said " into they hands I comend my spirit" His work was finished on the cross.
     
  20. RaptureReady

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    Heres a thought. God's day and man's day are different, right.?
     

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