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Monday, January 9 2012
Your Spiritual Record
"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." (Genesis 2:7 KJV)
According to the Holy Bible, souls are entirely physical - therefore subject to death, "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
"3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19 KJV)
Just as humans have no consciousness before they were alive, so too they have no consciousness after they were alive (i.e. when they are dead), "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing." The "memory of them is forgotten" is obviously referring to the dead person's memory, since others, those still alive who knew them, do have a memory of the person who died.
"9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 KJV)
According to the Word of God, there is no difference between the physical existence of humans and that of animals - "as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast."
"3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
But wait, why do the verses above say that "the dead know not any thing" and "all turn to dust again" when it also refers to "the spirit of man"?
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live"
The Messiah was resurrected from the dead. No resurrection would have been necessary if He were alive, or somehow alive and dead, at the same time. The very definition of the one and only Messiah was that He would be resurrected after having been truly dead for three days and three nights.
"19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear [see also Legions Of Men And Angels] pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 19:35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken [see Do Spirits Have Bones?]. 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
Jesus didn't "go to heaven" when He died. Note that right after His resurrection from the dead, He plainly told Mary of Magdala that He hadn't yet been to heaven - He was only then, while again alive, about to do it (see Pentecost: Unto The Morrow After The Seventh Sabbath).
"20:17 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." (John 20:17 KJV)
But what then did His "giving up the ghost" mean? As we shall see, it was the same for the Messiah, as it was for all who died - the actual Hebrew word means dying breath. If you've ever seen anyone die, you know how the last breath is unique because, regardless of the sound that may vary from one person to another, it is followed by absolute stillness - the "soul" (the body, as we've explained from the Scriptures) goes from animate to inanimate at that moment. It is a single breath unlike any other breath of that person's entire lifetime - but entirely physical.
In the Old Testament, the original Hebrew word (see also What Language Is Pure?) translated as "ghost" in the term "giving up the ghost" is pronounced gaw-vah and means to breathe out, to exhale. As actually written in the Holy Scriptures, "giving up the ghost" means nothing more than a dying breath.
"25:8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre" (Genesis 25:8-9 KJV)
In the New Testament, one of the two original Greek words translated as "ghost" in the term "giving up the ghost" is pronounced ek-psoo-coe and means to breathe out, to exhale. As with the Hebrew word explained above, the Greek word, as actually written in the Holy Scriptures, "giving up the ghost" means nothing more than a last gasp, a dying breath, as in the example of Ananias and Sapphira - after which they were buried.
"5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him" (Acts 5:5-6 KJV)
Two Greek words are used in the account of Jesus Christ - interchangeably. Mark and Luke use the Greek word pronounced ek-pneh-oh which means exactly the same as the Hebrew and Greek words described above - to breathe out, a dying gasp.
"15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." (Mark 15:37 KJV)
The word "spirit" in Luke 23:46 above is a translation of the Greek word pronounced pnoo-mah - which also, surprisingly, literally means breath. That same word, which is translated as "spirit" in Luke 23:46 is translated as "ghost," as in "giving up the ghost," in Matthew and John as quoted below. The words all mean the same thing in the original Hebrew and Greek - breath.
"27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost ... 27:59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 27:60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed" (Matthew 27:50,59-60 KJV).
Just as (and because) the Messiah was resurrected, so all who are dead are awaiting their resurrection (see the Fact Finder question below). That means that there is some "record" of each person, right down to every memory that they physically lost when they died i.e. "the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." While there are many who debate that point, there is a recorded incident from the past (along with the obvious proofs of it described in the resurrections of the dead of the future) in the Holy Bible that proves that the spiritual record exists, but is not alive in the dead.
"Consulting with the dead" was declared, by the LORD, to be unlawful, for two reasons. The first is that most who make the claim are simply frauds. They, like the typical carnival side-show fortune-teller, can't really do it. They are liars.
"18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee." (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 KJV)
The other reason, and the Biblical incident that it is based upon, is much more controversial - it's prohibited because it can be done, not directly by any physical human, but by someone who has access to a "familiar spirit" who makes the unauthorized access for them. Righteous spirits (angels) don't disobey God, but unrighteous spirits (demons) do disobey God. Consulting the dead is consulting with a devil, who accesses something that no one has a right to.
As we've proven from the Scriptures, the dead know nothing - they are in a state of absolute unconsciousness with the physical memory that they had returning to the dust. But the spiritual record, although not "immortal" in the sense that it is now functioning and awake (as we are about to read and prove from the example of Samuel), exists, somewhere, where it awaits its legitimate purpose at and for the future resurrection. Until then, that spiritual record is as dead as their physical memory.
Saul made illegal access to that "record" of Samuel (see The Prophets: Samuel), by means of a witch (see Sorcery) who had a "familiar spirit" - a co-operative demon (hypocritically so as well - Saul did it after he had "cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land"). Many debate the incident; some even say that it wasn't really Samuel, but the Bible says that it was Samuel, who, as a righteous man, even rebuked Saul for doing it i.e. "Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?" The incident provides the Biblical proof, in Samuel's own words, that the dead are dead, that an unconscious spiritual record of the dead person exists for the sole purpose of the future resurrection, and that such consulting of the dead is evil.
"28:7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her.
Notice also that the witch "saw" the spiritual memory of Samuel awakened by "ascending out of the earth," not coming down from "heaven" - a clue as to where the spiritual records may be kept, right at hand for the coming resurrections of the dead that will also come out of the earth (see the Fact Finder question below).
This Day In History, January 9
475: Byzantine Emperor Zeno fled his capital at Constantinople; one of his generals, Basiliscus, then seized control of the empire.
1324: Italian explorer Marco Polo died.
1522: Adrian of Utrecht was elected as the first and only Dutch pope. He was the last non-Italian pope until the Polish-born Pope John Paul II over 450 years later (see The Struggle For The Papacy; listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).
1719: Philip V of Spain declared war on France.
1760: The Battle of Barari Ghat, one of a series of Afghan victories over the Marathas in their war to gain control of the decaying Mughal Empire. It gave the British time to consolidate their power in Bengal.
1792: The Treaty of Jassy ended the Russo-Turkish War; the Russian frontier was extended and the Ottomans (a centuries-long ruling dynasty of Turkey; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) also gained territory.
1793: Jean-Pierre Blanchard of France made the first balloon flight over North America.
1806: British naval hero Horatio Nelson was buried at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. He led the British fleet against the French at Trafalgar in October 1805 where he was mortally wounded.
1873: Napoleon III, Emperor of France, nephew of Napoleon I, died.
1905: "Bloody Sunday," a massacre of peaceful demonstrators that marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution of 1905.
1908: Count Zeppelin announced his plans to build an airship that could carry 100 passengers.
1915: Pancho Villa signed a treaty with the U.S., halting border conflicts between the U.S. and Mexico.
1923: Don Juan de la Cierva, Spanish flier and inventor, made the first successful flight of an autogyro, forerunner of the helicopter.
1957: Anthony Eden resigned as British Prime Minister just months after the Suez Canal crisis.
1960: Construction began on Egypt's Aswan High Dam.
1964: 22 Panamanian students were shot dead during riots which began after U.S. residents of the Panama Canal zone prevented them from raising the Panamanian flag there.
1972: Fire destroyed the liner Queen Elizabeth as it lay in waters off Hong Kong.
1980: In Saudi Arabia, 63 Muslim extremists were beheaded for their part in the siege of the Great Mosque in Mecca in November 1979.
1982: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck eastern Canada.
1992: Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina declared a Serbian republic.