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Wednesday, November 12 2014
Job 33: The Postponement Of Death
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept"
The English word "postpone" means to "change to a later time." Every living creature is, by definition, subject to death - regardless of age or circumstances (see also What Makes Physical Life Possible?). A perfectly healthy person can die (e.g. from war or accident) before someone who has a serious illness. A young person can die from any illness, accident or violent act the same as any old person. Being physically alive, in a mortal body, is a fragile state of postponing death.
The "postponement" of death has another meaning. Those who die have their lives postponed to a later time when they will be resurrected (see the Fact Finder question below to understand when the dead will live again). They are not lost or gone forever. Although dead, those who die go instantly, from their conscious perspective, from the last moment of their conscious lives, to the next conscious moment of their lives - the same as a person sleeping through the night. In effect, everyone experiences a death and resurrection every day of their lives - that's the reason that the Word of God directly describes it in that way.
Even the Messiah "slept" in exactly that way, in total unconsciousness, until He was resurrected (see The Day That The Messiah Was Crucified).
"15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." (1 Corinthians 15:20-23 KJV)
Elihu was a young friend of Job who remained silent while the elder men debated what had happened to Job (see Elihu's Answer). Elihu had the disadvantage of youth, having not yet grown in the height and depth of wisdom that can come from a lifetime of good and bad experiences (unless one ignores and squanders their life lessons - whereby the saying "there's no fool like an old fool" applies very well to them), but at the same time he had the advantage of youth in that he was not weighed down by many years of grudges and psychological scars.
Elihu was relatively shallow, but more pure in his views. Some refer to it as "innocent eyes," while others call it naive ("Marked by or showing unaffected simplicity and lack of guile or worldly experience"). In this experience, Elihu was nevertheless able to see more clearly what the wiser men did not perceive in themselves. Regardless of the level, Elihu had a very good understanding of the postponement of death - both meanings.
"33:1 Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words. 33:2 Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth. 33:3 My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. 33:5 If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up. 33:6 Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay. 33:7 Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.
Fact Finder: When will the dead be resurrected?
This Day In History, November 12
764: Tibetan troops occupied Chang'an, the capital of China's Tang Dynasty.
1035: King Canute of Denmark (ruled England, Norway and Denmark) died at age 40.
1439: Plymouth, England, became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.
1812: In their retreat from Moscow, the remnants of Napoleon's "Grand Army" crossed the River Berezina; 10,000 stragglers were left behind.
1833: A meteorite deluge occurred, estimated at 1,000 per minute. Scientists believe that about 25,000,000 enter earth's atmosphere each day.
1859: In Paris, France, the first flying trapeze act was performed, by Jules Leotard at the Cirque Napoleon, without a safety net. The body-hugging costume he used was later named after him - leotards.
1867: A major eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy began and lasted for several months.
1912: A search party found the remains of British explorer Robert Scott and his companions after their ill-fated South Pole expedition.
1918: The day after the First World War armistice (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary abdicated, making Austria a republic.
1923: Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) was arrested for his failed "Beer Hall Putsch" 4 days earlier.
1933: The Nazis Party and their leader Adolf Hitler received 92% of the vote in the German election.
1938: High-ranking Nazi official Hermann Goering stated that Madagascar should become a Jewish homeland.
1939: The occupying Nazi forces in Poland ordered Jews to wear yellow arm bands.
1942: The British 8th Army under General Bernard Montgomery captured Tobruk in Libya, taking over 30,000 German prisoners.
1944: The German battleship Tirpitz, sister ship of the Bismarck and Hitler's last major warship, was sunk by Lancaster bombers at Tromso Fjord in northern Norway.
1948: In the aftermath of the Second World War, Japanese Prime Minister Hikedi Tojo and 7 others were sentenced to hang by a U.S. war crimes court for "breaching laws and customs of war." Among the specified war crimes for which they were convicted and sentenced to death by U.S. judges was the waterboarding torture of prisoners - the very same form of torture used in the present-day "war on terror."
Waterboarding was actually invented during the Church of Rome's "Inquisition" in which people were tortured into "conversion."
1968: The U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Arkansas law that banned the teaching of evolution in public schools (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
1969: After the "classified" incident was made public by independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the U.S. Army announced that it was investigating Lt. William Calley for his ordering the massacre of over 500 Vietnamese civilians (unarmed old men, women and babies) in their village of My Lai in March 1968. Calley was later convicted of the war crimes, but was quietly released from custody not long afterward.
1982: Yuri Andropov was elected First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party following the death of Leonid Brezhnev.