Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Intermediate State

So far we have covered the easy stuff. In the beginning, I had to pray and struggle and study and read to pull together an understanding from scripture of what happens to the spirit between death and the resurrection. There are certainly not long treatises defining that state of things. As the study evolved, things began falling into place. I believe that we have adequately established that the spirit is not breath or animating life spark and that, at death, the spirit leaves the body. The logical place to go next is to Sheol and Hades. Bring your shovels and we will begin to excavate the mysteries of death.

Sheol and the Soul In the Old Testament

Sheol is a Hebrew word that refers to the destination of those who die. The body, in the Old Testament, is always said to go to the grave, while the spirit, we are told, goes to Sheol. There is a consensus of both Hebrew and non-Hebrew scholars that Sheol is the abode of souls and spirits of those who have died. Here are a few examples:

1) “‘The underworld…whither man descends at death.’ The origin is traced to sha-al, to which mediums and spiritist directed their questions to the dead and the hollow place in the earth where the souls of men went after death.” A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament p. 982 by Brown, Driver and Briggs

2) “Sheol denotes the place where departed souls are gathered after death.” Commentaries On the Old Testament by Keil and Delitzsch.

3) Renowned Princeton scholar, B. B. Warfield, states that there is no “hesitation to allow with all heartiness that Israel from the beginning of its recorded history cherished the most settled conviction of the persistence of the soul in life after death…The body is laid in the grave and the soul departs to Sheol.” Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield, pp. 339, 345.

4) “In the Old Testament, man does not cease to exist at death, but his soul descends to Sheol.” The New Bible Dictionary p. 380.

5) Current and past rabbinic literature agree that the soul is conscious after death: “The Talmud…knows of a kind of intermediate state of the soul between death and resurrection…” Essays in Greco-Roman and Related Talmudic Literature p. 36 by Guttman.

6) Charles Hodge says “That the Jews believed in a conscious life after death is beyond dispute.” Systematic Theology p. 770.

Sheol Versus The Grave

Because the KJV has translated the word Sheol as grave in 31 instances and hell in 31 instances, conditionalist theologians, such as Edward William Fudge and SDA scholar, Edward Froom, have insisted that Sheol must always mean the grave. Most highly accurate modern translations use the word Sheol for Sheol, meaning the underworld for the soul/spirit, and the word grave for kever. “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor wilDiagram of Typical Above-ground Tombs In Israell You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” Psalms 16:10 (NASB) This clearly identifies Sheol as the destination for the soul. “Jacob set up a pillar over her grave (kever); that is the pillar of Rachel's grave to this 

day.” Gen 35:20 (NASB)

Sheol is identified as the under world or under the earth (a dimension other than the world): “Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth.” Isaiah 14:9 (NASB) Graves (for bodies) in Bible times were sepulchers that were above the ground, not under the earth or beneath. Souls in Sheol are depicted as conscious, often speaking, while those in the grave are shown as unconscious. "The strong among the mighty ones shall speak of him and his helpers from the midst of Sheol, They have gone down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’” Ezek 32:21 (NASB)
Here are other distinctions between kever (the grave for the body) and Sheol (the underworld for the soul):1) The word Kabar (to bury) is used in connection with kever but never in connection with Sheol. One can be buried in a grave but not in Sheol.

2) Kever is used in a plural form (graves) but never is Sheol plural.

3) A grave is located at a specific site. Sheol is never given a location because it is accessible from everywhere at death, and, in fact, no grave is necessary for someone to go to Sheol (as when Jacob believed that Joseph had been torn apart by wild animals he speaks of him as being in Sheol).
Typical Above-ground Tombs in Israel
4) A grave can be bought or sold, but never


5) A grave can be owned, Sheol cannot.

6) A grave can be in a choice location but Sheol is never poor or rich.

7) A dead body can be dropped into a grave but not into Sheol.

8) A monument can be erected over a grave but not over Sheol. Interior of Above-ground Tombs in Israel

9) A grave can be opened or closed by humans, never Sheol.

10) A grave can be touched, not Sheol.

11) Touching a grave makes one unclean. That is never applied to Sheol.

12) A grave can be chosen; there is no picking and choosing of Sheol.

13) Bodies or bones can be removed or uncovered from a grave but not from Sheol.

14) A grave can be decorated, but not Sheol. Cemetary in Israel with Above-ground Tombs

15) Graves can be defiled or robbed, not Sheol.

16) Humans can destroy a grave but not Sheol.

17) A grave can be full, not Sheol.

18) A grave can be seen; Sheol is invisible.

19) A grave can be visited, not Sheol.

These distinctions are never blurred, lending credence to the statement that the grave is the destination for the body and Sheol for the soul/spirit. (Much of the information above was gathered together in Death and the Afterlife pp. 76-77 by Dr. Robert A Morey.

Condition of Souls in Sheol
In the Old Testament, death is described as departing from the living but reuniting with the dead in Sheol. It is interesting to notice that there was an upper part of Sheol and a lower part (perhaps denoting differences in where the wicked and the righteous dwelt). “For a fire is kindled in My anger, And burns to the lowest part of Sheol” Deut 32:22 (NASB) In the Talmud the wicked were in torment in Sheol, while the righteous occupied a different part of Sheol where they were in bliss. This is probably what Christ was referring to in the story He told of the rich man and Lazarus. You will remember that the rich man had to look up from torment to see Lazarus in comfort at Abraham’s side. There are other Old Testament instances of 'Rich Man and Lazarus 2' by Duncan Longinhabitants conversing. "Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones. They will all respond and say to you, 'Even you have been made weak as we, you have become like us.’” Isaiah 14:9-10 (NASB)

At death one becomes a rephaim (ghost, shade or disembodied spirit, disincarnate): Job 26:5; Ps. 88:10; Prov. 2:18; 9:18; 21; 16; Isa. 14:9; 26:14, 19 but is never described as passing into nonexistence. This universal assumption allowed the disciples to think they were seeing a ghost, or spirit, when Jesus came walking to them across the water, when Jesus appeared to them behind locked doors after the resurrection and when Peter escaped from prison and showed up at the house of the gathered saints.

As spirits, the activities that were possible in the body are no longer possible - such as planning, doing business, worshiping in the temple, offering sacrifices or praises, marrying, eating or drinking. As we see in the Lazarus story there is a “great gulf fixed” between Sheol and the living that cannot be breached. Therefore there is no awareness of what is happening on Earth. It is life in a different dimension. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” Eccl 9:10 (NASB) This subject and passage will be discussed in greater detail in What Do the Proof Texts Prove? that deals with the most prominent proof texts used by proponents of soul sleep.

For those in the less desirable neighborhood in Sheol, there are the following experiences: God’s anger (Deut. 32:22), terror (Ps. 116.3), and trembling (Job 26.5), while the high rent district (the bosom of Abraham) held joys and bliss. But even so, those who wrote in the Old Testament did not yet have a full revelation of what would happen to them after death. They always faced the prospect of death with mixed, torn emotions, fear and a sense of loss. They begged to be delivered from it.

The incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ broadened the understanding of the fate of souls in death such that, in the New Testament, the writers understood that when they were away from their bodies in death they were with the Lord. For this reason they considered death to be “gain” and anticipated it with joy, hope and faith. The writer of Hebrews reflects this contrast, “Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham.” Heb 2:14-16 (NRSV) Prior to the cross there were only glimpses of glory like the stories of Elijah and Enoch being taken into God’s presence.

Hades in the New Testament
Hades is the Greek equivalent to Sheol in the Old Testament. The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) was translated into the common (Koine) Greek a century or two before Christ. It is referred to as the Septuagint and provides valuable insight into the meanings of words later used to write the New Testament in Greek. In it, the word Hades is used for the Hebrew word, Sheol, 64 out of 71 times. The other seven times it is the word used for other Hebrew words. These seven instances provide valuable information.

The Septuagint never translates the word Sheol as grave, tomb, sepulcher or any Greek equivalent. In the same way, the word Hades is never used for any Hebrew word that means grave, tomb or sepulcher. Prov 2:18 is one example of the other seven instances. Here the Hebrew word Rapha, meaning a shade, ghost or disembodied spirit - is translated to the Greek word Hades This demonstrates that it was understood to be the world of spirits. This takes on importance because it offers proof that the translators of the Septuagint did not get this concept from Platonic Greek philosophy, but from the Hebrew meaning of Sheol itself.

The words Sheol and Hades do not refer to a place of unconscious nonexistence. To allege otherwise is simply to ignore the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament defines the word Hades as “the underworld…the place of the dead” p. 16. Thayer’s Greek-English lexicon p. 11, explains that Hades is derived from two words that mean invisible or unseen. Thus it refers to “the common receptacle of disembodied spirits.” Again, the Princeton theologian A. A. Hodge, in Evangelical Theology pp. 372-3, writes, “Modern Hebrew and Greek scholars…unite with near unanimity in maintaining that these words (Sheol and Hades) never on a single occasion in the Bible mean either “hell” or “the grave,” but always and only the invisible spirit world.”

Unfortunately, the KJV incorrectly translated both the words Sheol and Hades as grave, death, and hell. However, it can be demonstrated that this does not accurately represent their meaning. Here are some examples:

1) The Greek word thanatos is the New Testament word for death, not Hades. That there is a difference is shown in this text, “’Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death (thanatos) and of Hades (Hades).’” Rev 1:17-18 (NASB) Therefore, Hades is not death.

2) Hades is not the grave because the Greek word, mneema is used for grave. The same arguments would apply here for the word Hades as applied before for the word Sheol since we know that the word Sheol is translated as Hades in the Septuagint.

3) The Greek word Gehenna is the word for hell or final punishment, not Hades. So, Hades is not hell either.

4) Hades is not Heaven because the Greek word ouranos is used for Heaven.

Now we know four things Hades is not. So, what is it? Since it is the word used for Sheol in the early Greek translation of the Old Testament, it would include, but not be limited to, the meanings of Sheol. The New Testament builds on the meaning (from the Old Testament) of the soul in death since Jesus brought a much greater revelation of what had previously been shadowy and vague.

Between the Old and New Testaments, the rabbinic literature shows that they had come to understand that there were separations in Sheol: one where the wicked went and suffered, and one where the righteous were taken (often called Paradise or Abraham’s bosom). This forms the basis for the story told by Christ of the rich man and Lazarus.

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' Abraham replied, 'They have 'Heaven or Hell' by Duncan LongMoses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" Luke 16:19-31 (NIV)

This story may and may not have been about real people, but whether or not it was, the story is consistent with the teachings of the Old Testament and was an extension of the writings found in the intertestamental period. If it were a subversive doctrine that had the potential to lead people to spiritualism and deception by demons, Christ would not have told it. If it was a parable, it did not contradict the teachings of the scriptures, but pulled the story from truths - just as all of His other parables did. He was describing the situation of humans after death that is upheld in the scriptures available at that time.

Understanding of life after death was greatly increased in the gospels, and achieved the greatest clarity in the epistles and other writings that followed Pentecost. This is consistent with progressive revelation. It was a common practice among rabbis to tell stories using real people (such as Abraham) that could not have actually taken place in order to illustrate truths. The clear truth Christ is presenting is that after death, the wicked go to a dimension that is full of distress, and the righteous to an existence of joy and comfort. The parabolic nature of the story is suggested by the request for water, from which a spirit could not benefit. Nor was He suggesting that we would be talking with the wicked while in Paradise. He emphasized that there was a great gulf fixed between the two to prevent this, then went on to make an exception for His illustration. He did not, however, correct the fact that spirits were conscious after death.

Prior to Christ’s ascension to Heaven, biblical writers tell us that believers and unbelievers 'Standing Between Heaven and Hell by Duncan Longboth entered Sheol or Hades. The thief on the cross said, "'Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!' And He said to him, 'Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.'" Luke 23:42-43 (NASB) Now as you put together what we have learned so far, this makes perfect sense. Christ died under the conditions of those living before the resurrection, therefore, when He died, His body was laid in the tomb but His spirit went to Hades (the lower parts of the earth). Therefore, the thief would have been with Christ in Paradise (another word used to describe the portion of Hades that the righteous entered before the resurrection) that day.

There are a number of references to Christ’s entry into Hades that are distinct from being in the tomb, “Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, 'He was not abandoned to Hades, (where souls are in the lower parts of the Earth) nor did his flesh experience corruption (in the grave).'” Acts 2:31 (NRSV) If He was not abandoned in Hades, it means that He was there - and was not left there. In 1 Pet. 3:18-22 Jesus goes into Hades to announce the completion of the atonement, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison…” 1 Peter 3:18-19 (NASB) In the same book, Peter says, “For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.” 1 Peter 4:6 (NIV) This is an interesting text to ponder. It suggests that those who died having believed what they did know of God, may have died without knowing the full extent of the gospel. When all things were accomplished, Christ went to them to reveal the rest of the story of salvation, announcing also to them, “It is finished.”

The Transition

The transition is seen in Eph. 4:8-9, “Therefore it says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’ (Now this expression, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth (Hades)?” And remember that his tomb was above ground. They rolled a stone in front of the entrance and it was rolled away. Tombs from that day are still plentiful in Israel, and are above ground, not under. Even the current cemeteries in Israel have crypts that are above ground, not in the “lower parts of the earth,” which we saw before refers to Hades, the place for the spirits of those who have died.

It was assumed by Paul that Paradise was no longer in Hades but in the third Heaven. “I know 'Going Home Come Up Here' by Duncan Longa man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.” 2 Cor 12:2-4 (NASB)

After the ascension of Christ it is clear that believers go directly to be with Christ in Heaven.

1) “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better…” Phil 1:21-23 (NASB)

2) “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight —we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” 2 Cor 5:6-8 (NASB)

3) “You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm…But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” Heb 12:18-24 (NIV)

4) “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained.” Rev 6:9 (NASB)

5) “And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God.” Rev 20:4 (NASB)

As I put these scriptures together, they began to explain themselves. What had made them complex and indecipherable before were the presuppositions that I felt I had to keep in place at any cost - even when they didn’t fit. Review this chapter again and again and see what good sense it makes, and how it untangles the impossible maze in which we lost our way. Then remind yourself that you are now seeing it the way the vast majority of Christianity has understood it for two thousand years - because it is what the Bible says.

Pastor Chuck Smith, Founder of the Calvary Chapel movement has this to say in his book, What the World Is Coming To?: “When anyone from the Old Testament died, they went to Hades (Sheol)... It was the abiding place of everyone who died, but it was divided into two sections. When Jesus died He descended into Hades and preached, according to Peter, to those souls in prison (1 Peter 3:19). According to Paul, when Jesus ascended He led these captives from their captivity (Ephesians 4:8). He emptied that portion of Hades where the faithful with Abraham had waited for God to fulfill His promises.”

The Fate of the Lost

Probably the most difficult subject to deal with in discussing the afterlife is the fate of those who choose to reject the gospel and their Redeemer. There is such a strong revulsion in our hearts toward the thought of anyone's suffering, hurting or being punished. Part of that is our own ability to relate to what it would mean to us if we were the ones - or our family or friends. It is the kinship with humanity that we feel. We know deeply that our escaping eternal loss is not on the basis of our goodness. We are the same as those who are - lost except for the blood of Christ. Our hearts grieve to think of any of our human race in agony. However, the Bible does warn, entreat and describe about that fate to dissuade any from choosing a path of destruction and sorrow.

If we are repulsed by torment, think how God must feel the pain. He poured out all of Heaven so that not one person would have to go that route, except by choice. We are not being disloyal to God by talking about the final fate of the lost. He is the One who did not want anyone to be ignorant of the consequences of separating oneself from Him. Jesus speaks more of the end result for those who reject His gift than any other person in scripture. Why? Because He was the One who paid the price. Who could possibly care as much as the One who gave His life?

Unavoidably, we must also study the subject of hell, but I will procrastinate intentionally from tackling that just yet. This study will stick to exploring what the Bible says about the intermediate state between death and the second resurrection of the lost. This has always been a conundrum for me, but like so many other subjects, when I have decided to consult the Bible, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it turns out that it isn’t as difficult as I expected. It’s been a choice to read the Bible and believe what it says, taking it literally unless the Bible or nature indicate otherwise. By doing this, I discovered that the passages that have seemed so difficult, muddy, obtuse, and downright confusing - are actually surprisingly straightforward and clear.

Of what could the torment of Hades or hell consist? We have language that depicts fire. What kind of fire. I can remember telling someone that going thru medical school was a trial by fire. Since then, other things have eclipsed that fire, but none of them (with the exception of two times) actually involved physical fire. Follow this line of reasoning with me. If God is love, mercy, light, health, kindness and so forth - then separation from God would be hatred, revenge, darkness, sickness, meanness and so on. Extrapolate that to every characteristic of God that would be absent, leaving nothing but the opposite. I can’t think of a more accurate description of hell. This completely dispels the false accusation of a vengeful God who takes glee in torturing people throughout all eternity. On the contrary, people will have made the decision to separate themselves from God. This will be expanded later.

As we have seen before, the scriptures indicate that the wicked go to Hades at death. Here is what Peter says: “the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.” 2 Peter 2:9 (NASB) The word “hold” here connotes a present, continuous action and would not support a future sense of unconsciousness. So, they are being guarded, as in prison, and they are in torment (the absence of the goodness of God) currently and continuously. It is obvious from the context that those being held for the Day of Judgment are conscious and in torment. At this point, we will not go further until we discuss the judgment and hell.

These are very different concepts from those taught in Adventism. If it seems strange or unsettling - perhaps scary - that is to be expected. Hang in there with me. Go over it until it becomes clear to you. I have found that the first instinct an Adventist has when confronted with teaching that contradicts their traditional understanding, is to run back to Adventist resources to decrease the dissonance created by the conflicting information. Let me give you this challenge. Don’t give in to it. Instead, commit to studying the subject from the Bible. Avoid running back to Ellen White’s writings, Adventist authors and Adventist commentaries. You already know what you will read there. You may find it interesting to bounce the information in this study off of one of your non-Adventist, Christian friends, and get their take on the contents of this study. It may give you the confidence to entertain the possibility of a new perspective.

Summary of The Intermediate State

1) There is nearly unanimous agreement among biblical scholars that Sheol in the Old Testament is the destination of departed spirits, both good and evil, after death.
2) The body goes to the grave while the spirit/soul go to Sheol.
3) When studied in context the grave cannot be Sheol and Sheol cannot be the grave.
4) The Old Testament clearly describes those in Sheol as conscious.
5) In the Old Testament there are two separate experiences (locations?) of the righteous versus the wicked in Sheol.
6) The wicked go to a condition of torment. The righteous are taken to Paradise, or the Bosom of Abraham, described as a place of bliss.
7) Hades is the New Testament equivalent to the Old Testament Sheol.
8) Hades is not death, the grave, hell or Heaven.
9) Even Christ’s spirit went to Hades at death.
10) After the resurrection, Christ took with Him believers who had been kept in Hades. Paradise is now in the presence of the Lord in the third heaven.
11) Since the resurrection of Christ, to be absent from the body is to be with the Lord: a truth learned by nearly every Christian.
12) Hades has not changed location or condition. It is a place where those who have chosen to separate themselves from God feel the fearful effects of that choice until their resurrection.
13) There is no way you could get this the first time thru. So spend time with it. Go over the scriptures with prayer, and persist until you feel the settling conviction of the Holy Spirit's peace.
Quiz For The Intermediate State
Choose the correct answers:

1. The scholars quoted above understand that Sheol is:
A. A gathering place for the conscious souls or spirits of those who have died
B. A wrap to throw around the shoulders on cold evenings
C. An elderly woman
D. The grave

2. Sheol and the grave are not the same thing. The following are distinctions between the two except:
A. A grave can be bought and sold, Sheol cannot
B. A grave is in a specific location; Sheol is not
C. A grave can be decorated, Sheol cannot
D. A grave holds the spirit and soul; Sheol holds only the body

3. The Bible speaks of a person at death becoming all of the following except:
A. A Rephaim (shade)
B. A ghost
C. Nonexistent
D. A disembodied spirit

4. When the Old Testament speaks of going down into Sheol at death it suggests all of the following except:
A. The righteous went to a place of blessing and bliss.
B. They all remained unconscious until the resurrection.
C. The lost went to a less desirable neighborhood where there was suffering.
D. The souls in either compartment of Sheol were conscious.

5. Because there was a vague understanding of death before the cross, there was fear of death. The writers of the New Testament state that since Christ came ,the fear of death has been destroyed for believers.
A. True
B. False

6. The Septuagint was a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into the common Greek a century or two before the time of Christ. It translated the word Sheol (Hebrew) into the Greek word Hades.
A. True
B. False

7. Princeton theologian, A. A. Hodge, states that modern Greek and Hebrew scholars are unanimous in agreeing that the words Sheol and Hades in the Bible refer to hell or the grave, but never to the invisible spirit world.
A. True
B. False

Match the Greek word to the English equivalent:

8. Thanatos
A. Hell
9. Mneema
B. Heaven
10. Gehenna
C. Grave
11. Ouranos
D. Death

12.Which the following statements is incorrect?
A. While Jesus’ body was in the grave ,His spirit went to Hades to give the Good News that the plan of redemption was completed.
B. After the resurrection, Paradise moved from Hades to Heaven.
C. Jesus went into soul sleep.
D. Paul identifies Paradise as being in Heaven after the resurrection.

13. Since the resurrection of Christ, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
A. True
B. False

14. Where are the wicked since the resurrection of Christ?
A. They are nonexistent.
B. Death Valley, California
C. They are soul sleeping.
D. Their bodies are in the grave; their spirits are in Hades.

Answers: 1-A, 2-D, 3-C, 4-B, 5-A, 6-A, 7-B, 8-D, 9-C, 10-A, 11-B, 12-C, 13-A, 14-D Spirit Table of Contents

The Next Chapter: What Do the Proof Texts Prove?

Have you had texts running around in your head the whole time you have been reading these studies up to this point? Have you been saying, "Yes, but what about..."? There are answers to those questions. Sometimes the programming has been so complete that its hard to even conceive of a possible explanation for things that have the aura of airtight arguments against the immortality of the soul. Since you have heard those arguments all your life, it's time to listen to a different concept.

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