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  1. Thank you very much this very important study of death. I hope that as Christians, we study the Bible to know for ourselves what it says about death. Too often we hear our loved ones being in heaven looking down and having a good time there. The truth should be shared everywhere we go and people need to know that we only go to heaven when Jesus returns the second time.

    They also need to know that in order to go to heaven they have to be obedient to God and accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for their sins.

    Let us be vigilant in serving, and trusting God and make heaven our goal for hell is for Satan and his followers.

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    Comment by Michelle Williamson — April 11, 2013 @ 11:17 am

  2. [Moderator Note: Please use full name when commenting]

    Very well put. Sometimes we as Seventh-day Adventist's don't understand death as stated in the Bible. I don't think that people don't read the bible, I think at times we just don't understand what we read, and I am grateful that there are persons out there that God can use to explain the truth to people like me who most times don't understand. You really open my eyes.

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    Comment by sylvester — April 11, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

  3. I thank the Lord about this topic. What I love is that one day we are going to shine and arise forever. Our bodies will not die, so we must forcus on God not on earthly things for they are going to wither like flowers. I thank the Lord Amen.

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    Comment by sharoon Sveto — April 12, 2013 @ 3:21 am

  4. I'm truly blessed by this topic. I like the content... Happy Sabbath.

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    Comment by Crosby Sixakwe — April 12, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  5. Thank you pastor for the well expounded lesson. I hope to share it with friends on facebook.

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    Comment by John Kaluba — April 12, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

  6. While doing a study on this we felt there are passages we need to harmonize with the rest of the Bible - 1. Luke 16:19 - 31 Lazarus dies and goes to heaven, the rich man dies and goes to hades, and therefore some use this passage to explain immortality of the soul. so how best do we explain this ? Our conclusion was that parables do not teach doctrine.

    But the one we found a bit difficult was Acts 7:59 -60 "While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit ...When he had said this, he fell asleep. " .

    And also Luke 23:46 "Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last."

    What did Stephen and Jesus mean by 'spirit'? Did they simply mean the breath of life?

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    Comment by Bothwell Watadza — April 12, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

  7. Bothwell, you are on the right track. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus was simply a parable not meant to be taken literally. If you take it literally that he died and went to heaven then you have to also take it literally that we went to Abraham's bosom. Obviously Jesus is just patronizing the Jews. After all, would a drop of water really help the rich man if he was burning in hell? This is obviously just a parable to make a point. Why else do you think the man in the story is named Lazarus who Jesus really did raise from the dead? Jesus ends the parable by saying, "They would not believe though one came back from the dead."

    In Acts 7 and Luke 23 the spirit is simply the breath.

    Thanks everyone for joining the discussion and happy Sabbath!

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 12, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

  8. Thank you William for this wonderful lesson about death.

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    Comment by kenneth Ananaba — April 12, 2013 @ 10:59 pm

  9. Great study!
    When Lazarus was raised from the dead, the most natural questions would be, 'What was death like? What did you see, feel, touch, smell'?
    If you think about it, mighty Pharaoh s built pyramids to the great mystery... And here, in our grasp is the answer.
    Why isn't there a book of Lazarus, extolling the wonders of the afterlife? The answer is clear! He experienced nothing. 'The living know that they should die, but the dead know not anything'.

    Have a wonderful Sabbath Day!

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    Comment by Harvey McCluskey — April 13, 2013 @ 12:02 am

  10. I pastored one lady who had been "in the truth" for at least 15 years. After I preached a sermon on the state of the dead, she came up to me with questions for clarification. After we prayed and studied the word further, she confessed to me that for the first time in her church experience, she finally understood the state of the dead. I agree with you William when you say that we cannot take it for granted that everyone in the church has been taught and understand all of what we say we believe.

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    Comment by Fred Moore Jr — April 13, 2013 @ 5:46 am

  11. Thank pastor for clarification on this topic. Allow me to comment, The word of God is like sharp knife. As we believed in him and his words that doesn't change for ever and ever then we should not fear of sickness or death because death is swallowed up in victory and i like the scripture that give me hope of life.

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    Comment by moses laku — April 13, 2013 @ 10:06 am

  12. William, thank you for an insight concerning the parable of Lazarus and the rich man that I hadn't thought of before. It does seem to me though that Jesus was hitting on several things besides the raising of Lazarus. Minimally you got me to think about the relationship between the two. From what I can see, apparently the raising of Lazarus came after the telling of the parable since the miracle took place just prior to His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is possible; however, that Jesus knowing what was going to happen in a sense might have set the stage for the miracle in telling this parable. Interesting!!

    To me another teaching of the parable that is obvious is our treatment of other people in this life and its relationship to the next one. The rich man ignored the needs of Lazarus and because of his selfishness found himself on the wrong side of the judgment. That also was a problem that the scribes and Pharisees had that Jesus brought out in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    Another view is one that Ellen White brings out which comes at the end of the parable in the following verses. "Abraham said to him,`They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said,`No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' But he said to him,`If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead'" (Lk. 16:29-31 NKJV).

    The Pharisees were rejecting Jesus even though He was prophesied many times in scripture. The point is that if they didn't believe what the scriptures said about Him they wouldn't believe even if someone like Elijah, one of the great prophets in their eyes, were raised and testified concerning Him. Or for that matter one who was brought back to life by a miracle of Jesus that testified to who He was.

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    Comment by Tyler Cluthe — April 13, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  13. Living people sleep. Dead people dont sleep. Word "sleep" , to me, sounds diferent from "dead". Is it a state or is a faith statement that we believe in resurection and because of that call a death state "sleep". If it is a faith statement than there isno need for clarification what state of sleeping of dead people is; if it is oposite than "sleep"is a state in which we are alive but not in corespondence with world. We are silent and not consious.

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    Comment by goran bosanac — April 14, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

  14. Hi Goran, Yes being dead is not literally sleeping as you say. It is a figure of speech that Jesus and Paul used, meaning a state of unconsciousness, but would be awaken again.

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 14, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

  15. William, I really appreciate and reading your blogs. I am a recently re-baptised member of the SDA Family and having this rebirth at this time of my life has rejuvenated me in reading God's inspired word and learning more about Him.
    I pray the Lord will continue to bless you as you continue to bless us with your blogs. The Good news is exactly that - Good and wonderful news - and all needs to hear it in order to feel that peace and love that only our Saviour can offer.
    God bless you.

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    Comment by Nicole Gooden — April 15, 2013 @ 3:04 am

  16. Moderator's Note: "Please use full names. Comments containing first names only may not be published."

    I fully agree with the Introduction as I study I realize how little I actually know and I see that there are a lot of people in my church that don't know as well fear for argument sake because they are completely lost in a conversation. What I have discovered is that Adventist don't list the exceptions verses where they talk about Mind Body and Spirit and Mind body Spirit and Soul with an explanation so sometimes we are talking to a friend telling them the principles that we learn and lo and behold these exceptions come up and we are unprepared for any questions and it really takes the air out of our tires. I would personally like an explanation for these exceptions and I would like to know why the new testament writers seem to talk a lot more about the mind body spirit and should as if they were separate entities. Thank you.

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    Comment by Carlos — April 15, 2013 @ 3:52 am

  17. Is any thing to hard for God? Jesus said He was the truth;the way and the Life. He is the tree of Life in the mist of the Garden.Thats why He said Eat Me. Which is a hard saying for some people.Yes all Men and women die but Life is in Him;Jesus Christ.

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    Comment by John H Nichols — April 15, 2013 @ 6:43 am

  18. [Reminder: Please use first and last name when posting comments.]

    Do u know why people say a person who die go to heaven it's because of (the breath of life; and man became a living soul.) These way we have problem and people pray dead people.

    My question is at that time maria and maria from magadala go to grave of God what did they do? coz people say that they bow on a dead person coz they go to GOD and wash the body and do other things. so that’s way I’m having this question. what they show as to do?

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    Comment by Thandiswa — April 19, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

  19. I have really learnt a great deal on this lesson. Last week during our youth Sabbath lesson, someone asked on what happens when we die. It turned out that almost everyone did not know the answer to the question. Therefore we assigned each other to go and read more so that we should share the findings when we meet the next Sabbath(January 8th, 2014). I therefore would like to thank you all for your contributions. I will definitely share with my fellow youth in our Sabbath Youth Class. May God grant you more wisdom as you are spreading the good news until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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    Comment by Sheripher Dinala — February 4, 2014 @ 2:40 am

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