Home » Do We Go Straight to Heaven When We Die?    


Do We Go Straight to Heaven When We Die? — 47 Comments

  1. Breath on me breath of live, fill me with live anew, that I might love as thou dost love.

    Thanks for the timely post above but something always bother me for sometime. I have witness several people died on several different occasion. I was the last person to witness their death. At death people exhale their last breath.
    In Genesis it tells us about how and what God did and man became a living soul. A timely and beautiful process. God breathe out and Adam breathe in-that is the process of respiration.
    According to the reading above it says the word “spirit” simply means breath. I am not so sure I agreed. E.g. in several countries we are taught first aid and how to preform it (CPR) should we find someone NOT BREATHING and without a pulse or what to do if someone is NOT BREATHING but has a pulse. Should someone finds a person not breathing which means their have no breath. Should that person preform CPR on the unconscious person and he recovers and regain consciousness and starts talking, how do we explain that process? Will we say the person spirit leaves them when they were not breathing? Then where did the person spirit went? To God and back, or was that an out of body experience?
    I personally believe our spirit and out breath are two different thing. Our spirit is unseen and it is spiritual.
    When a fetus is conceive in a woman the fetus needs oxygen but the fetus does not breath. It is as birth the beautiful process of breathing begins. It is generally at that first cry the baby breaths in and a beautiful process begins. The process of respiration. If so be, are we saying the fetus had no spirit because the fetus was not breathing before birth?
    Breathing is a physical phenomena, the process of breathing can be seen, can be counted.
    The bible says in Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27 to love the Lord with all of our faculties.
    Can others say what do you think?

    • I absolutely love William's perspective on this topic, but along with you I do have to question the usefulness of defining the human spirit as simply our "breath." To be fair, this idea did not originate with William. Some have called our spirit the "spark" of life, but my understanding is that it takes the continuous exercise of divine power to keep us alive, and not just a "spark." So I'm going to venture an opinion.

      Those who have died (either in or out of the Lord) are in an unconscious state until the resurrection of life, or the resurrection of condemnation, whichever applies. The Bible could hardly be more plain about this. That said, I am inclined to think that we Seventh-day Adventists have sometimes gone to unwarranted extremes in trying to explain this. That is, some of our more common explanations or expressions simply aren't true. We can only know the things that God has revealed to us. Beyond that, isn't it better just to say that we don't understand everything perfectly?

      We are not just a body. According to the Scriptures, we are body, soul, and spirit. According to Paul in I Corinthians 15, in the resurrection of life, or when translated at the 2nd coming of Christ, we'll get a new body of an entirely different kind. If we are going to get a new body, then in essence we are not our body. Our body is a marvelous machine, lent to us, that allows us to function in a conscious state. So, what are we, then? We are a soul. The essence of who we are as an individual is the very definition of the soul, and according to the Bible, when the spirit departs and the body returns to the dust, the soul sleeps. This unconscious state is so complete that we have no sense of the passage of time. This is why Paul, in Philippians 1, can speak as if his death would mean immediately being with the Lord. Subjectively, that's how it will be for the believer, instantly.

      I must admit that the precise definition of the spirit is the one thing that is least clear to me. Obviously, a part of its meaning is that it is the power that keeps us alive. Whether or not the meaning of "spirit" goes beyond that, to include anything specific to the individual, I simply don't know. When the spirit departs, we are dead -- yet not dead in the most important sense, because our future resurrection is a sure thing; so we are really only sleeping. How else could Jesus state that the Christian's persecutors could destroy the body, but couldn't kill the soul?

      We know what we need to know. Death is literally death. When it happens to us, we are no longer around. Yet, as believers, we have not perished. God calls the things that are not as if they were. When He says that we are only sleeping, any physical reality to the contrary is irrelevant. We may not be anywhere in particular, and we certainly don't know or experience anything, but to God we are still alive. That's what Jesus said about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. What a wonderful God we have!

      • Hi R.G. I did not mean to convey the idea that a person is simply breath and a body. My point was that the spirit is simply our breath. Genesis 2:7 Clearly teaches that the soul is the combination of both breath and a body. When the breath leaves the body there is no more soul.

        • Thank you for your response, William. Genesis 2:7 is clear about the creation of man, and how he became a living soul. I believe we must go to other Scriptures in order to know what becomes of that soul when the spirit leaves the body.

          Here is my point. Bible truth is of little value unless we make it about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Our SDA pioneers were blessed to see the truth on the state of the dead, and we are blessed to inherit their insights. As Solomon points out in Ecclesiastes, we all die alike, whether man or beast. Yet Jesus, by His death and resurrection, has brought life and immortality to light. According to John, we who believe have eternal life now. For us, death is only a sleep, and Jesus Himself chose to express this by asserting that our soul still exists (i.e. we have not perished) after this mortal body is destroyed.

          Thank you for preaching the truth about the unconscious state of man in death, but please let's us not accidentally leave Jesus out of it by explaining things in our own way. Personally, I'd rather go with His way of teaching it. Truth is not best pursued by seeing how far we can stay away from error, how widely different we can make our teaching from that of other churches. The track of truth and the track of error lie close together, and I think it is best to agree with our opponents as far as possible. For me, "soul sleep" is that sweet balance.

        • May I ask how to interpret 1Thess 4:14 “...God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus.”, and v 16 “And the dead in Christ will rise first,...”. What is Paul talking about? If Paul is writing about a sequence of actions in this great event, then is there something regarding the soul with which we might be unfamiliar? Perhaps there is a contingency to complete character transformation after death (during “sleep”)? And then to unite the restored character/personality with the new body?

          • Hi Gary,

            This is from the SDA Bible Commentary on 1 thesessalonians 4:14.

            "With him. That is, with Jesus from the grave. paul reaches the crux of his reply to the troubled Thessalonians. They have been concerned over the fate of their dead. The apostle now assures them, by a categorical statement, that God has planned for those Christians who have died to be resurrected as Jesus was resurrected. Such words assured the believers that their loved ones were not forgotten. This inspired assurance would satisfy the queries of the Thessalonians and set their minds at rest. It should be noted that Paul is concerned primarily with the fact that the righteous dead are not forgotten, not with the chronological details of the resurrection. These are set forth in 1 Corinthians 15:23: "Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." Paul wished to stress the fact that as God brought forth Christ from the grave, even so would He bring forth the sleeping saints from their graves."

            I have also heard explanations like Jesus is bringing our personalities back with Him. I have also heard that since the dead in Christ are in Christ that they are symbolically "in Him" When He returns. I have also heard that it meant when Jesus returns to heaven He will bring them with Him.

            To suggest they are alive and returning with Jesus from heaven to earth would defy 1 Timothy 6:16 which claims immortality only belongs to God before the resurrection. The Bible is very clear that the dead are asleep. If there was some form of their life still living in heaven the Bible would be clear about it without us having to read between the lines or search for hidden clues or hints.

      • The bible makes it clear that we do not have a soul, but that we are a soul. The combination of body plus breath of life (spirit) equals soul.

        The bible uses the same description for animals. They too are body plus spirit/breath of life becoming a living soul.

        The separate soul idea originated from Greek philosophy.

        • This is a really great explanation to a query I have struggled with for years. However, I have a possible curve ball I would like to hear your opinion? What of those near death experiences that young children have had? I have heard several over the years where a young child has for whatever reason been brought to the brink of death, and have experiences in heaven. The then recount amazing details about loved ones that could not be known to them. Several mention meeting siblings they had never met in this plain that were the result of miscarriages of their mother’s during previous previous. Or claims they met grandpa, having never met him here on earth, but then when shown pictures, only confirming the pictures of said grandpa when he was in his 30’s? These are babes, no agendas, no lies. Just children saying things we would know to be impossible for them to know? What are your thoughts? Incredible dreams? Even imaginations implanted by the enemy? Thank you for your kind consideration.

  2. One of most widely misunderstood subjects. Thankfully,Adventists dig deeper in scripture although Bible states it plainly-Jesus returns to gather believers for Heaven only after his Resurrection.

  3. I hope i am not too late for this conversation . I would like to clarify a few things:
    1. Why did Jesus find it necessary to use an impractical example in Lazarus "parable".

    2. Moses, Elijah and Enoch in heaven - are they not lost and lonely all this time before other humans join them? Are there no others not listed in Scripture who have special attributes to enter heaven ?

    • Greetings bhud,

      I think Jesus was patronizing the Jews since they thought so much of Abraham and Jesus used him in the illustration, as well as using Lazarus who He raised from the dead.

      In Matthew 27 there was a resurrection when Jesus died. Ephesians 4 tells us they went to heaven with Jesus when He "Took captivity captive." Many believe the 24 elders in Revelation 4 are some of those who were resurrected when Jesus died.

      • I want to make clear what you stated about those who were resurrected when Jesus died. According to Matthew 27:52-53, the saints who were fallen asleep were raised NOT on the day Jesus died, but on the day Jesus rose, that is, on Sunday. They then went into the holy city and appeared to many. I believe they were around for 40 days since Acts 1:3 mentioned that Jesus was around for that length of time. Then on His ascension day, He took them when He ascended up into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), even though these verses didn't mention about those resurrected saints. This event was fullfilled by Leviticus 23:10,11 about waving the sheaf which is a small portion of the harvest field representing those who have resurrected when Jesus rose from the dead. The rest of those who are still asleep will all resurrect together to meet the Lord upon His second coming (1 Thess 4:13-18). Also please see https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/9.2230 for a crystal clear explanation.

          • Are you suggesting that the saints who were asleep were raised on Friday after Jesus died and sat in their graves, twiddling their thumbs while waiting to come out of their graves after Christ's resurrection on Sunday?

            Actually, since Christ is the firstfruits of the dead (1 Cor.15:20), His resurrection must happen first before the saints who were fallen asleep can be raised. In other words, the resurrection of the sleeping saints must depend on Christ's resurrection first. Matthew 27:52-53 has five "and" so we need to put the events in proper order with the support of other scriptures. The graves were opened at Christ's death, probably by the earthquake. This shows Christ's triumph in death over sin, but the bodies of the sleeping saints were not raised and come out of their graves until Christ was raised. Again, please see https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/9.2230 for a crystal clear explanation.

  4. Could you please explain further on the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked prior christ second coming, including those who pierced him as thought in this week lesson as explain under "scope of resurrection"(Teachers edition page 169).

  5. Thanks alot Elder for the most researched commentary.
    Prophet Samuel appeared to the witch at Endo at the request of the unrepentant Saul. When we backslide the Devil is so close to us to lead to much more destructive paths until he sees us dying in sin. The Devil has power to try to replicate our weak faith and direct us to a fallen path when he appears as an angel of light when in fact he is a deciever.
    He brings fear, discouragement and hopelessness to the perishing soul until he succumbs to the tempter of souls. Thank God the power we have in Jesus and the victory won on the cross of calvary. We are more than conquerors with Jesus Christ..."on Christ the solid rock i stand, all other ground is sinking sand'.
    Thanks be to God for speaking to us through scripture about these open secrets about our state when we die.

  6. I don't think that man can be defined as only body and breath, thereby ignoring the component of intelligence that God gives to all his creatures, according to John's introduction "...He (Jesus) is the true light that lights every one that comes into the world." John 1:9.

    Unlike the body and breath, intelligence has no physical dimension. It is God's gift of communication, Job 32:8. Yet by God's design, intelligence seems to vanish as the breath leaves the body. But in that moment, God preserves us in a deep sleep according to Jesus, who declares "God is not a god of the dead, but of the living for all are alive to him!" Luke 20:38.

    How marvelous to know that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and that he will raise all believers to eternal life at the last day: "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day!"John 6:40

    "'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take him at his word"

    • Hi Gilbert, In Genesis 2:7 it says man became a living soul. So man is not just breath and a body. When the breath and body combine there is a soul. When the breath leaves the body there is no more soul. I have had a couple of Baptist friends ask me why I believe in soul sleep. I tell them the Bible does not teach soul sleep. The Bible teaches without breath and body combined there is no soul. The person simply does not exist until the resurrection when Jesus returns breath to our bodies. "Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."

      • Your explanation may be true enough, William, as to the physical reality of death, but I'm afraid that it directly conflicts with the words of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 10:28.

        "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in (Gehenna)."

        According to Jesus, there is still a soul after the Christian dies -- defined as the essence of the individual person, that is -- and that soul or person is asleep. As I understand it, this only applies to the believer. His or her unconscious state in death is only temporary. Eternal life awaits, so being dead for a while doesn't really count. Even the wicked will be raised, but their resurrection will be temporary. Eternal oblivion awaits them, so the book of Revelation calls them "the dead" even now, as opposed to "those who have fallen asleep," in I Thessalonians 4.

        So I'm afraid that I do find the concept of "soul sleep" more consistent with Jesus' own words, even though we are in complete agreement as to the state of the dead.

        • Hi R.G. I find Matthew 10:28 to be in total harmony with my understanding of the soul and the body and the spirit. I do not read into that verse anything at all about the believers soul still existing while they are sleeping. I am glad that we can be in agreement even though we may not see eye to eye on every little detail.

        • The difficulty in describing the state of the dead is that it is very much dependent on how much one knows about the physical processes life and how these support the identity of the individual. The “mathematical” formula body + spirit = soul might make simple-minded doctrinal sense to someone in our time, but the person who wrote Genesis 2:7 may have understood these words in the context of part two of the creation story in a much different way.

          As was pointed out in a previous comment, a living soul is more than just a breathing body. From my own experience, when I go to visit my mother who has dementia, I see less and less of her each time. As the memory and processing parts of her brain gradually stop functioning, less and less of her “spirit” is evident. And depending on which parts of her brain go first, she may literally become a breathing corpse.

          We should be careful not to read into the words of those who wrote the books of the Bible more than they intended. Our necessity to prove doctrinal points was not necessarily their intent or their necessity. They did not write a collection of proof texts – they wrote stories, poems and guidelines for our journey to the Way, the Truth and the Life.

          • Thanks Richard, I can understand how hard it is to see your mother drift away like that. I have had similar experiences with loved ones. My soul very much resonates with what you have shared. I remember years ago going to a bodies exhibit at a local museum. Of course I could see a big difference between body parts without a soul and live body parts with a soul. I still believe breath and a body make a living soul, but I understand there is more to the soul than breath and a body. Otherwise we would be vegetables. A friend once explained it like this, your souls is like a hard drive. When you die God sets the hard drive on a shelf in heaven. When Jesus returns He takes the hard drive off the shelf and places it in a brand new computer. He saves our personality, the twinkle in our eye, our being.

          • These most recent comments are very much along the lines of the thoughts that were filling my mind during a long walk this afternoon. It is not safe to make assumptions, or even supposed deductions, on the basis of something we don't even understand. When God breathed the spirit of life into the body He had formed from the clay, that obviously must have involved a whole lot more than just blowing in air. We could blow air into a lifeless body all day long, and it would never come to life.

            We might try to understand things, just a bit, by saying that our body is the hardware, and our soul (and, to a lesser extent, possibly our spirit) is the software, but such an analogy must necessarily fall far short of the reality. A computer is not a living being, and never will be.

            We all experience what it is a be a living soul, but the truth is that we know virtually nothing about how such a phenomenon can even be, nor of what it actually consists. We can know just as much as God sees fit to reveal, and nothing more. This is why I think we need to be very careful to rely upon the written word, regardless of how well or poorly we understand it, and to avoid fruitless conjecture.

            When Jesus says that our enemies can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul, it is not reading anything into the text to say that the soul still exists. This is its plain and obvious meaning. The one clear implication, to me, is that the true believer who has "fallen asleep" in Jesus has not perished, just as John 3:16 says. Beyond that, I have no idea what else it may or may not mean, because God has not seen fit to let me in on the mysteries of how He creates and preserves the individual soul. I only know that, when by His grace I am among the redeemed in heaven, I'll still somehow be the same person in a new body, able to remember my life from the present evil age, able to meet and enjoy the company of people whom I already know and love, and that they will be able to discern the uniqueness of my personality and appearance even in the new body.

            The more I think about these things, the more I want to love God.

          • Hi Richard.

            I have made the statement that body + breath of life (spirit) = soul.

            Simple-minded doctrinal sense aside, it is the clear definition from the Genesis account. The statement given by God is that Adams clay body was breathed into by God, and he became a living soul, or nephesh (hebrew) or perhaps more accurately, a sentient life.

            We realise that the breath of life hid a vast transformation, clay became carefully constructed and programmed DNA. Cellular structure in its molecular design is staggeringly detailed. The normal operation of a living cell has been equated with New York City in rush hour, with the activities of every individual, every motor, every light, switches, electrical circuits, lifts, doors, hurrying pedestrians all with a destination in mind. Now compared to a single cell? That cell is busier.

            Not only was that all created in that instant, but so was the neural network, completely and perfectly formed, but with intelligence and knowledge already implanted. Adam was created with a knowledge of language, the ability to focus his eyes, the knowledge of how to walk, to reach out and pick up and put down, hand-eye coordination fully developed. All the things a new born baby cannot do.

            Despite our vast scientific knowledge we have little inkling of how the brain actually works. We know the structure, the chemicals and ions involved in triggering a synapse to fire, but no understanding how that makes a living sentient being.

            We know that in order for the brain to work properly, the underlying structure of molecules must exist within very tight boundaries. We see the results of that molecular level failure when dementia strikes in any form. The personality disappears as the machine breaks down.

            Just because the mechanism is incredibly complex, does not negate the simple truth that what God supplied to Adam and Eve in the instant of His breath was life in all its complexity and exquisite detail along with that undefinable and intangible impression upon the neural pathways.

            Jesus, dying on the cross, feeling the crushing weight of all the worlds sin, and experiencing first hand Gods abhorrence for sin, having become sin its-self, the serpent on the stick, could not see beyond the grave. He felt sin was too great, the gulf it created between him and his father was an obstacle impossible to overcome. Nevertheless, feeling that the penalty would doom him for all eternity, separated from his father, he faced death and accepted its embrace for love of our dying race. His faith shaken to the core, enough to wrench the awful cry, “my god, my god, why have you forsaken me”, he still grasped at the promise and with all that made him who he was, he committed it into his fathers care. It was not his soul, it encompassed everything that he was, all the undefinable detail that made him human, he trusted his father to restore intact and perfect.

            In this he was and is our perfect example.

            The idea that the cellular state within our minds can be known and restored by God, is much harder than numbering the hairs on our head, but for the audience and scientific level of knowledge then able to be grasped by them, the description is equivalent. Just as Jesus made clear that our thoughts are as an open book to him.

            The idea of some intangible energy called the soul, lifting up from our bodies and existing apart from it, immortal, is the stuff of fancy.

            We are physical beings, in a physical universe, obeying the laws of physics. Just because it is incredibly complex and that the sum of the parts is vastly exceeded by each human, still does not make it more than what the incredible power of the breath of God can supply.

            It is unshakeably true that clay + the power of God cloaked in the simple phrase “the breath of life” does equal a living intelligent and beautiful soul, in all its original form preserved by the knowledge of the same God who sees the future as clearly as the present - another even more inexplicable facet of divinity.

        • I fail to see the difference between soul sleep and soul deadth. The state of sleep and death, Jesus resurects both as evidenced by Lazurath. To Jesus sleep and death ment the same. You are limiting Christ power of resurection when you say soul sleep, as we humans relate sleep to a beating heart, with a brain unaware of surroundings until awoken if heart still beating, lungs still sucking in O2 to keep the heart beating.

          Matthew 10:28. Christ is saying, man cannot keep Christ from resurecting the soul that died in Christ.

          Soul sleep, is saying God is incapable of resurecting with your soul as the origional JG White after your death. That would be limiting His power. I believe My creator has the power after I die to raise me complete body, mind, and soul, with my polished white as snow character, by the blood of Jesus Christ.

          Yes, in my mind William is exactely right reguarding life after death. There is no life after death, until our Lord and Saviour calls us from the grave(dust).

          Who ever heard of my breath sleeping any way. Breath(soul) sleeping(absent) for more then 3 minutes in most circumstances equals death.

  7. Hi William how do you explain Jesus word's to the thief on the cross when others use it as their proof of "us" going to heaven when we die? Luke 23:43

    • The original manuscripts have no punctuation. The comma was added by man when translating into English. The comma was simply misplaced. The manuscripts are inspired. The punctuation is not. Instead of reading,

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

      It should have read,

      “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee To day, shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
      ‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:43‬ ‭KJV‬‬

      See the difference? Jesus was promising him that day but did not say they would be in paradise that day. When you place the comma in the right place it harmonizes with the rest of Scripture, most importantly it harmonizes with John 20:17 where Jesus says after the resurrection that He had not yet ascended yet. He had been in the grave the entire time.


      • My apologies for in essence duplicating the second part your post there William. I somehow overlooked it.

        On the subject of translation I actually agree with the punctuation because of the habit of Jesus to say “Truly I say to you” which he then followed by a statement of import. Some statement that he wanted us to pay careful attention to.

        So yes, I think the comma is in the right place.

        What we fail to study though is how Jesus used that word. Whatever the Aramaic word was that we now read in greek as “semeron”, Jesus used to Peter in Luke 22:61. Peter however, denied Jesus the next day, not that day, not “today” in the English sense.

        The word meant more in the near vicinity, or like “this day” in “this day and age” in both instances. To the thief, sleeping with no knowledge of the passing of time, Paradise was at the door.

        It can be very difficult to understand the true meaning when Jesus spoke Aramaic, which was then translated into Greek, then to English. A translation of a translation.

        The startling fact that Jesus made was that a dying man, who had led a life of sin, had at the last moment acknowledged his guilt, and then like drowning Peter, he cried out “Lord, save me!”.

        No sinner can cry out to Jesus in true repentance and not receive instant pardon. This is the lesson of great import that Jesus was making in that phrase.

        Line up all the verses that speak of death and the state of the dead, such as that of Abel in your article, and when carefully studied, with due weight to those texts in which the state of the dead is the actual topic, and the bible teaching is plain. Hermeneutics in short. Seek the clear answer from where the subject being studied and the subject of the text align, and assign them the most weight in the conclusion.

        We can also apply reason, and if we believe in instant transport to heaven upon death, the tears of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus was Jesus feeling sad at having to rip him from the bosom of Abraham and require him to return to the dark world after tasting paradise for many days.

        Viewing the resurrection miracles take on a whole new light if you believe in instant heaven.

        Further, for Jesus being already in heaven immediately after the crucifixion, for what purpose did he return to his body wrapped in the death shrouds? He wanted that for what? And the souls under the altar in Revelation travel to earth from heaven to retrieve their long decayed bodies? Joseph wants his old dry bones back that the Israelites carried out of Egypt?

        If you go directly to heaven you annul the purpose of the resurrection.

        Reason works equally well when we remember that our God invites us to come and reason together.

        The dead, as Jesus clearly taught when teaching the state of the dead as the actual focus of his words, sleep.

        To Martin Luther we as Seventh-day Adventists owe a deep debt for for breaking the chains of popery that set the protestant path on firm foundations. In particular, he was an early and most strident voice in the state of the dead. He wrote this:

        'For just as one who falls asleep and reaches morning unexpectedly when he awakes, without knowing what has happened to him, so we shall suddenly rise on the last day without knowing how we have come into death and through death.'

        'We shall sleep, until He comes and knocks on the little grave and says, Doctor Martin, get up! Then I shall rise in a moment and be happy with Him forever.'

        In his clarity of thought and deeply spiritual bible study Martin Luther has given us many of our now almost unique beliefs.

        Protestantism is falling, it is now almost indistinguishable from Babylon as the hard won truths of the early Protestant reformers are lost.

    • Hi Rochelle.

      For the answer to whether Jesus and the thief were in paradise together that Friday evening, turn the page in your bible and read the words of Jesus to Mary in the garden.

      Here we find the newly risen Jesus, still waiting on earth, not yet in heaven nor yet been to heaven as he clearly states (John 20:17) “I have not yet ascended to the Father”.

      Jesus slept in death, tasting death just as we do, dying like any other human being, trusting and relying on his Father to call him when the time came. In this he was our example.

      He most certainly never went to heaven between the time he spoke to the thief and when he spoke to Mary, and thus could not have been in paradise that Friday with the thief. He was speaking of the future time when the thief would be raised up together with all the sleeping saint at the trumpet call of the King.

      • Thanks William and Ian for explaining further about the thief on the cross and Jesus statement to him.
        It stands out clearly now that you both mentioned Jesus comment to Mary about not returing yet to His Father you n heaven.

  8. A few years back my cousin had a heart attack and had to be revived. He told me he died and had “ an out of body” experience. I believe in what the Bible teaches about death an explained it to him. However he holds on to his “out of body” experience as proof that when someone dies they are on their way to heaven or purgatory or down below. I really can’t explain away his “ out of body experience.” Please advise.

    • Hi Tony, maybe someone in the medical field could give a better explanation, but what I understand from those in the medical field is that the very last phase of dying is a very euphoric experience that some people take as an out of the body experience. Plus I have been with dying people who were also hallucinating.

    • The brain shuts down without oxygen rather quickly but in those fleeting seconds it (you) are aware of impending death, but in a peaceful and powerless way. The thoughts are free of the body’s condition and feelings as they are dimmed in those closing moments.

      A similar experience, though slightly different in some ways, occurs with various drugs including those we use in anaesthetising patients for an operation.

      A pilot passing out in g-force testing equipment due to the same reason, restricted oxygen flow to the brain, can also have the same.

      Do not rely on the experiences of an oxygen deprived brain for explanations of what happens after death.

  9. Hello William,

    Just a comment on “By the way the word ‘spirit’ in Job 27;3 in the original manuscripts is the word ‘pneumo’.” My understanding is that Job is written in Hebrew, not Greek, so the English transliteration would be “neshâmâh” (H5397 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). “Pneuma” (G4151 in Strong's) is the English transliteration of the Greek word that can mean breeze, breath, spirit, etc.

    Richard Ferguson

  10. Wonderful article and discussion. What has been bothering me about this subject is what part of the body does an evil spirit occupy? And what does Paul mean about being absent in the body and being present with the Lord. And he wanting to leave this tent to be home with the Lord. 2 Cor 5:8?

    • Eudora as I read your question and Williams answer including his link, these words flashed into my mind. "When we walk with the Lord in the light of His word, what a glory He sheds on our way, while we do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey." The full lyric is found on line and in many Hymnals. I do believe with obey we must attach love. And with all who will trust, love, and obey.

      I do believe 2Corinthians 5:8, metafore can be explained by a Hymn also. "Living for Jesus, who died in my place, 
      bearing on Calvary my sin and disgrace: 
      such love constrains me to answer his call, 
      follow his leading, and give him my all." Shirley an out of worldly experience.

      Hear is another metafore, by my favorite author. "...Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul." COL 159.3

  11. So are we in a deep sleep after we die.

    I am terrified that we will be able to know what is happening after death..are we in a coma like sleep?

    • No reason to be terrified Haley. The next thing you will know Jesus is coming!

      “The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.”
      ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭9:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  12. Hello,thanks for the good work you are doing.its quite commendable to help people learn the word of God.may GOD continue enriching you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>