Part One


  © Del Leger 

Most of us approach this subject with a previously established bias and tend to look for evidence to prove what we want to believe.  Is something true because you believe it, or do you believe it because it’s true? 

Should we use the bible in an attempt to prove what we believe, or should we believe what it proves?  Cherished beliefs are hard to change, but then - what do we have to fear from the truth? 

Words have meaning, but do your words mean the same as my words?  Tweaking the meaning of a word is a favorite tactic of the deceiver.  Therefore, a standard definition of usable words is essential for effective communication, so let’s go to the dictionary.

Important English words defined

Truth: a verifiable, indisputable fact. (Fact: actual, real and provable).

Life: animate existence, capable of functioning in a physical or spiritual state of being.

Death: the end of life, the total and permanent cessation of all vital functions of life.

Mortal: subject to death, either physical and/or spiritual, perishable.

Immortal: exempt from death; exempt from oblivion; imperishable, everlasting.

Perish: pass out of existence, decay, cease to be, come to an end.

Spirit: a life giving force; soul; the active presence of God in human life.

Sleep: a natural periodic suspension of consciousness; a state of being suggesting sleep as in death or coma (coma: state of deep unconsciousness, unable to communicate).

Vision: something seen in a dream, trance, or mental image, whether of supernatural or imaginative, of what is not actually present in space or time, as visions of the past or future. Apparition. 

Parable: a discourse conveying the intended meaning by a likeness of something comparable, but not the same.

Absolute: infallible, unambiguous, conclusive, unquestionable, faultless, complete, sovereign.

Would there be some so bold as to change the meaning of these words in order to support their cherished beliefs?

Are we willing to accept correction?  Can we accept Paul’s admonition in 2 Timothy 3:16 or will we continue believing Satan’s lie that since we are Gods we therefore are fully capable of deciding for ourselves what’s true or false, or right or wrong?


Undeniable truths given to men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16).

1. God only has immortality:

“The King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see:” (1 Tim 6:15-16).

2. Man called mortal

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory:” (1 Cor 15:54). Also see Job 4:17, Rom 6:12, Rom 8:11, 2 Cor 4:11.

3. No man has ascended to heaven:

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven:” (John 3:13).

Not even David, “For David is not ascended into the heavens:” (Acts 2:34).

4. All men die:

 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12).

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).

Even David, “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day:” (Acts 2:29).

5. What the Bible says about death:

“The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence:” (Ps 115:17).

“For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks” (Ps 6:5)?

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish:” (Ps 146:4).

“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. 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:” (Eccl 9:5-6).

6. Death described as sleep:

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth (where they presently are) shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt:” (Dan 12:2).  But not until they are resurrected!

“He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn:” (Matt 9:24).  They knew the maid was dead.

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many:” (Matt 27:52-53).

“Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep:” (John 11:11).

“Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead:” (John 11:14).

It is significant that there is no record of anyone who was brought back to life saying anything about being in paradise or being conscious of anything at all.

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:” (Acts 13:36).

For David as with all who die, time for them has ended, but will begin again when they are resurrected.

7. All to live again:

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, (coming means not here yet) in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation:” (John 5:28-29).

8. The first resurrection (spiritual):

Revelation 20:4-6 gives us a description of those of the first resurrection. These are not subject to the second death.

9. The second resurrection (physical):

“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection:” (Rev 20:5).

“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:” (Job 19:26). Also see Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Matt 10:15; 11:23-24.

10. Some to die a second time:

“Whosoever was not found written in the book of life” (Rev 20:15).

“He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death:” (Rev 2:11).

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power:” (Rev 20:6).

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death:” (Rev 20:14).

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death:” (Rev 21:8).

The second death is a resurrection to damnation (extinction) (John 5:29).

11. Death and hell to be abolished:

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory” (1 Cor 15:54-55)?  (Are we not all still corruptible and have not yet put on immortality?)

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Rev 20:14).

“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch” (Mal 4:1).

“And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts” (Mal 4:3).

Death and hell have perished, (passed out of existence).

12. Spirit defined:

“Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being (soul)” (1 Cor 15:45-49 Gen 2:7 AMP).

“As long as my life is still whole within me, and the breath of God is [yet] in my nostrils,” (Job 27:3 AMP).

“The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).

“Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway” (Luke 8:54-55).

“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (Ezek 37:10).

13. The three parts of man 1 Thess 5:23:

1. The body or flesh: made from dust, the physical part (Gen 2:7, 3:19) (Hb. Basar, Gk. Soma and sarx).

“Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, (spirit) they die, and return to their dust” (Ps 104:29).

2. The spirit: comes directly from God, the breath of life, that which gives consciousness: (Gen 2:7, 6:17, 7:15, 7:22), (Hb. ruach Gk. pneuma), variously translated as mind, heart, or spirit and sometimes breath or wind, when referring to things that can be felt but not seen. Not to be confused with the Holy Spirit or evil spirits.

“But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8).

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Eccl 12:7).

“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” (Zech 12:1).

3. The soul: (Hb. nephesh Gk. Psyche) the unification of the spirit and the body. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).

“Man became a living soul,” (Gen 2:7, 1 Cor 15:45), (One wonders, when something “becomes”, how could it be anything before it “became”?)

Scriptures show that, the soul and the spirit can be divided and therefore not the same.  “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,---“ (Heb 4:12).

14. The soul can die:

The soul dies when man dies, “the soul that sinneth it shall die,” (Ezk 18:4, 18:20). The soul being composed of the spirit and the body, when the soul dies both are gone (Lake of fire).

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28).

Some have compared man to a computer system: the body is like the hardware; the spirit like the software, without the software the hardware is just an inert piece of metal. Without the hardware the software cannot communicate. Neither will function without the other and separately they are of no value.  However, when software is installed into the hardware it becomes a marvelously functioning computer system.

Likewise, the body of man without the spirit of life is an inert pile of dust, and the spirit (whose function is to bring life to the body), without the body has no way to function (James 2:26). But, when God breathed the spirit of life into man’s body, man at that time became a living soul (Gen 2:27).

15. God knows the end from the beginning:

“I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done,” (Isa 46:9-10).

“---(God), Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed” (Rom 4:17 AMP).

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Rev 22:13).

Satan, who has deceived the whole world, (Rev 12:9) has tweaked God’s word to the extent that even the elect, if it were possible, would be fooled (Mat 24:24).

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (if you don’t die, aren’t you immortal?) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil:” (Gen 3:4-5).  A half-truth is a total lie, besides, if you only have half, which half do you have?  Satan has convinced man that his own personal opinions are as good as God’s truths.

Private interpretations:

“[Yet] first [you must] understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of any personal or private or special interpretation (loosening, solving).”

“For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it [to do so--it never came by human impulse], but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21 AMP).

Satan has said that since we are like God, we can know (decide) for ourselves good from evil, right from wrong, true from false. (And we do that to our own detriment).

Based on the absolutes that are found in God’s inspired word, can you distinguish some of these private interpretations from those of His truths?

1.   Man has an immortal soul that cannot be destroyed and lives on after death.

2.   At death the body returns to dust, but the spirit goes to heaven (or hell) fully conscious.

3.   The spirits of the dead are conscious and are right now in heaven, hell or purgatory.

4.   Since the resurrection of Christ, all the dead saints and all that die in this age go to heaven.

5.   Those saints that were resurrected when Christ rose went with Him to heaven, never to die again.

6.   All the dead are asleep, and at the return of Christ will be resurrected doing the very thing they were doing at death.

7.   Under the right conditions, the dead can communicate with the living.

8.   The thief on the cross went to heaven with Christ that very day.

9.   Enoch did not die but went straight to heaven because God took him.

10.  Lazarus is in heaven and the rich man is in hell.

11. Moses and Elijah are in heaven because Peter, James and John saw them talking to Jesus at the transfiguration.

12. Elijah went to heaven without dying because Elisha saw him go up to heaven in a whirlwind.

13.  Paul said, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, therefore we are conscious and with the Lord at death.

14.  God is not the God of the dead, but the living. Therefore the dead are alive in heaven.

15. The saints under the altar that cried out to God prove that the dead are in heaven and are fully conscious.

16. The dead are unconscious, the spirit of life has returned to God, their bodies have returned to dust; the next instant of their consciousness will be at their resurrection.

“--- in the consciousness of the departed believer there is no interval between dissolution and investiture, however long an interval might be measured by the calendar of earthbound human history.” (F. F. Bruce p. 440).

What he is saying is that, time has no meaning for the unconscious.  This would allow Paul to say things like, being absent from the body and (not “is” as it is often misquoted) present with the Lord, and still not invalidate his (as well as Christ’s) statements of death being like a deep sleep.  (Note that the word is, is in the present, but and does not designate a time). 

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa 8:20).  Beware of those who say that God’s law is done away; the light of God’s word is not in them!

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4).  God’s law was, is and always will be in force!

“But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8).

 “a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:” (Ps 111:10).



Could it be that I have the wrong opinion on life after death?  If so I am open to discussion, but please review part two first.

Del Leger, Pastor, Christian Church of God, (970) 249 6857, ã1/31/08

Article Notes:

Others Who Chose To Believe Their Bible Over The Traditions Of Man.


Bishop N. T. Wright of the Anglican Church, the fourth most senior member of the Church of England has challenged the belief that Christians go to heaven when they die.  In his new book, “SURPRISED BY HOPE” Bishop Wright quotes the Bible as saying that man enters an intermediate state between death and the resurrection described as sleep.

He states that much of “traditional Christianity” has been influenced by pagan philosophies. He cites Dante’s “A Divine Comedy” in particular, (which was written as a mock of the ridicules traditions of Christianity) as setting up a heaven, hell and purgatory immediately after death.   


Even Martin Luther believed that there was no consciousness after death until the resurrection, and stated that such a belief was just another Catholic lie.  However, the Lutheran Church of today has chosen to follow the traditions of man.


“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, or a dogma, we become automatons and cease to grow.” Anais Nin


William Tyndale, who printed the first New Testament in English wrote:  “In putting departed souls in heaven, hell, or purgatory you destroy the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul prove the resurrection….  The heathen philosophers, denying that, did put that souls did ever live…. If the soul be in heaven, tell me what cause is there for a resurrection?”  

Why check our brains at the church door.  Listen to some good advice from Buddha:

“Believe nothing just because a so-called wise man said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held; believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it.  Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.”  Buddha.