Saturday, January 2, 2021

What happens when a Christian dies?

NOTE: I wrote the majority of this post back in November 2012.  As I mentioned in my previous entry, I never put this online, because I couldn't PROVE that I was correct.  Some of you have a hard enough time placing all of your faith and all of your trust in God, so the idea of asking you to "just trust me" was NOT going to be an option.  After reading this YOU should have no doubts left as to "what happens next".  To the "apologists" reading this, STOP.  THINK.  I'm not trying to convince you I'm right here.  I'm going to give you the scriptures and then you make up your own mind.  If you already made it up before reading, then I feel sorry for you.  Making up your mind BEFORE being presented with the facts is INSANITY.  I know what we have all been taught on this subject, but something inside of me always felt it was either wrong or incomplete somehow.  Something about just repeating what I've been told always felt LAZY to me.  When God gave me this information (99% in 2012, 1% in 2020), I knew with absolute certainty, beyond any shadow of any doubt that THIS was the correct information.  If we can't trust God's Word to be correct, then we're all lost.  To the rest of you, enjoy and feel free to ask any questions.  Oh yeah, one more thing, like Paul said in Romans, "let God be true but every man a liar".  I don't see any possible way that I'm wrong in what I'm posting today.  With that said, please do your own homework!  Simply quoting scripture out of context won't disprove me.  You're going to have to have proof that what I've given you is both Biblically and Factually incorrect.  Good luck with that!  ;)

This evening (October 2012), I received a most awesome question from someone who happens to be extremely knowledgeable. No matter how much we know, there's always something that we can't put our finger on (myself included).

The Question:

O.K., I am working now in a Dialysis Center (with one foot still in the ER) and this week I have ran across two people who say they are not afraid of death, as they have died and 'nothing's there'. No lights, no music, no "flames", nothing. Now, you and I know this isn't true, but how do I explain to someone that what they experienced is not true? I can't just tell them they didn't really experience it. These two clinically died (or fully believe they did). I simply am stumped on this one....

My Response:

AMENDMENT: What I am about to share with you, is what has been laid on my heart to share, but know this -- What you are about to read is in fact "Biblical", but it does not exactly match what either the early church fathers or the middle age church fathers believed. I would exhort all of my brothers and sisters to search the Scriptures daily to find out if what you believe is true, just as I do. So unless and until you can confirm these things for yourself, I would not recommend that anyone build doctrine on this, but perhaps use it to better understand the Word of God?

As the author of the soon to be released book "But is it Biblical?", I spend a great deal of time helping people to understand Scripture in relation to the rest of Scripture.

What I can tell each of you reading this, is that 99% of Christians have no Biblically literate understanding of death, but hold a "belief" regarding it. Why choose to have your own individual beliefs when Scripture offers us potential answers?

I'll begin with explaining death and then I'll offer you a suggestion for your witnessing...

The first question we have to ask ourselves, is what happens when you die?

1. Do you immediately go to Heaven/Hell (in the twinkling of an eye)?
2. Do you lay in the ground and become bug food?
3. Do you immediately show up before Jesus at the Bema Seat?
4. Do you immediately show up before God at the Great White Throne Judgement?
5. Something else?

So let's see, we can immediately throw out 4, because the GWTJ comes AFTER the Millennial Reign AND is reserved for Non-Christians. What if I told you that death is a combination of 1, 2 & 3 with a smattering of #5?

Step 1:
You die, get buried and become bug food
(sorry, but you won't need that body anymore).

Step 2:
You will be Resurrected during the Rapture.

Step 3:
You will stand before Jesus at the Bema Seat.

Step 4:
Marriage Supper / Heaven

How do I know this? We must all remember, that it's imperative that you always take Scripture in context with the rest of Scripture. Failure to do so will create contradictions that you can't work your way out of.  And besides, those 4 steps above are UNIVERSALLY agreed upon.  Not by everyone, but what can you do with 38,000 denominations?  Right?

Let's begin with laying out the Scriptures that prove what I have stated from a Biblical perspective:

2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

That single verse above from 2 Corinthians is 1 of the 2 sets of verses that "party-liners" stick to in order to prove that their "orthodoxy" is true and correct.  While it is INDEED true, it's not exactly correct.  I'll explain as we go...

1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 - But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

What amazing words, God's telling us NOT to have sorrow at the passing of our loved ones, like we would at the loss of a favorite pet.  With a pet, there is no hope, but those who sleep in Jesus - LIVE!

1 Thessalonians 4:16 - For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

Luke 14:12-14 - Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."

Have you ever noticed that term before: "the resurrection of the just"?  If not, you're not alone, it is widely misunderstood that during the "resurrection", that all men are resurrected at once, but the Bible doesn't say that, ever.  As a matter of fact, there will be two resurrections for two classes of men. One will be raised to eternal life and immortality (the resurrection of the just), while the other will be raised to condemnation and banishment from the presence of the Lord.  Don't hate the messenger, just read John 5:28-29 and Acts 24:15 and MOST NOTABLY Revelation 20:4-5!

This next set of verses is the 2nd set of verses that party-liners point out in order to prove that their incomplete understanding is both true and correct.  Again, I'm not saying that they're "wrong", I'm just saying that they're not quite right.... ENOUGH.  But I digress, please keep reading, I'll explain...

Luke 23:39-43 - Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

And now for the smoking gun.  The thing I didn't see ONCE in 8 years, that it finally had to be pointed out to me by God Himself!

John 3:13 - No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

I've read John 1,000's of times.
How did I miss this?
Have you ever noticed it?
Do you see what I have laid out here?

1. We know that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord". That verse by itself has been horribly misleading to many, because it gives the false impression that "death" is immediately (temporally) accompanied by an audience with Jesus. This is just not Biblically sound as you'll see... While it's not temporally sound, it is however 100% accurate, if kept in context (keep reading).

2. "We who are alive will by no means precede those who are asleep". This should immediately indicate that it's impossible at Rapture time, for the living to be "caught up in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:17before those who are dead. (asleep is a Biblical reference to bodily dead) If the living are technically "second" on Christ's "Rapture List", then the dead will be technically Raptured first! (we're talking milliseconds here if we believe 1 Corinthians 15:52)

3. As we just pointed out in #2, "The dead in Christ will rise first". With Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 15:52 & 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, there can be no doubt as to WHEN the "Dead in Christ" will arrive in Heaven.

4. As for John 3:13, can there be ANY doubt now?  Did Jesus misspeak?  Clearly not.  Jesus tucks these gems into his discourse here and there, and when you come across one like this, it just blows your mind.  Believe me, I read past this one 1000's of times before it actually registered.


John 3:13 - No one has ascended to heaven......

5. For those of you not familiar with the Bema Seat Judgment, this is directly referenced in Luke 14:14. I highly recommend you do some research on this if you're not familiar with the concept. I only reference the BSJ, to help keep the temporal aspect in focus. This of course happens right before the "marriage supper" referenced in Revelation 19:9 & Luke 14:24.

Oh and btw, if you are not familiar with the word "TEMPORAL", please look it up.  It's perhaps a word missing from your vocabulary that would make all the difference in understanding this entire teaching.

So now that I've laid out enough Scripture to lay down the foundation for understanding what happens after "bodily death", allow me to reword all of the above into plain English for those of you who are still a little fuzzy.

When you die, your Soul/Spirit will SLEEP (again, Jesus used this word PLENTY, don't read into it, just let the word be) until the Rapture, at which time you will be CAUGHT UP in the air and will stand before Christ at the Bema Seat Judgment before the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Because as Jesus said, NO ONE HAS YET ASCENDED TO HEAVEN.

But wait! How can I say that when I have to keep 2 Corinthians 5:8 in focus? There's a few groups out there (Jehovah's Witnesses & Seventh Day Adventists, which I am neither) who believe in what's called "The Doctrine of Soul Sleep" and have a whole teaching built around it. While I do NOT agree with their teachings, the SDA's are sort of right, but as usual, it's not for the reasons that they believe. I will not cover this here, but I encourage you to Google "Doctrine of Soul Sleep" for yourselves.

So here's the missing piece... OMNIPRESENCE!

We know that one of the many things that is UNIQUE to God, is His ability to be "everywhere" at once. Well, where exactly is "everywhere"? Well, that depends on your perception of reality, doesn't it? If you were a 1-dimensional being, everywhere would be anywhere in a straight line! If you were a 2-dimensional being, everywhere would be anywhere directly above or below you AND directly left or right of you. For a 3-dimensional being, anywhere would be anywhere above, below, left, right, forward or behind you at any z-axis.

Now, at the risk of losing some of you (but praying that I don't), there are some Scientists who claim that IF God exists (Hey, that's a lot for a scientist to admit), He would be a 10 or 11-dimensional being (This can get muddy, so I'll suggest that you cautiously Google "String Theory"). But let's just jump up one more dimension... If you are a 4-dimensional being (if God exists within 10 or 11, then He certainly can perceive the 4th), then you would be able to perceive TIME. As 3-dimensional beings, we can only EXPERIENCE time in the PRESENT. We can not EXPERIENCE our past, nor our future IN THE PRESENT. BUT GOD CAN, right? Does God not know the ending from the beginning? (See Isaiah 46:9-10 and go ahead and re-read Psalm 139:7-10 for an understanding of God's Omnipresence too)  This is why it is commonly said that "God exists OUTSIDE OF TIME", meaning He experiences ALL OF TIME SIMULTANEOUSLY!  Woah, right?

When we read Scripture having to do with TEMPORAL ISSUES, it's critical that we look at it from God's Perspective and not our own! (Isaiah 55:8Psalm 128:1Isaiah 64:5Ezekiel 18:24-30Psalm 81:11-14Psalm 95:9Psalm 25:1-5 & Proverbs 3:5-7 + more) If God can be (and most certainly IS) present everywhere at once, if you are dead (or asleep) when you are Raptured, you will not have been aware of any passing of time. It will seem as if you died and were immediately present with the Lord, which is EXACTLY what it says in 2 Corinthians 5:8.

Tongue in cheek, I think the reason I was able to put this together so easily, is because of my fascination with Science Fiction and the various theories of TIME TRAVEL.  I know people whose minds go into complete knots, even dealing with the simplest of time travel related situations.  While I don't expect any of you to go out and digest everything there is no know about it, I believe that the majority of the commentators who have weighed in on this subject are not doing this subject justice.  I think they're more concerned with looking bright and smart by towing the company line and that they're more interested in debunking the JW's and SDA's.  I also think that they don't completely comprehend the TEMPORAL aspects necessary to adequately wrap your brain around this subject.  I get the 2nd & 3rd parts, but sucking-up just to get more dollars pushed in your direction is a real crime against God.  Just think, if you were God and you were speaking to us, MAYBE sometimes you'd speak of things from YOUR perspective and not ours.

Just repeat this a few times to yourself: No one has ascended to heaven

I happen to believe that the way that God navigates time answers a whole multitude of issues, but those are best saved for a serious bible study.

What I would say if presented with this scenario:

Oh, so the Doctor said you were dead. Ok, which machine did he use to test whether or not your Soul left your body? According to God, had you actually been "dead-dead", you would have been standing at the foot of God on Judgment Day. Since that didn't happen, isn't it safer to say that God has given you another chance to embrace Him? Isn't it safer to say that God has bestowed the most miraculous of gifts upon you, to be able to seek His face and to actually learn about who He is and not who you believe He is? Haven't you heard that it's God's wish that "None should perish"? Isn't it amazing to you that God has placed me right here and right now with you, in order to help you figure this all out? We'll I'll tell you what, I don't believe in coincidences my friend.... Do you really think you're a good person? (-- You know where to go from here)

For those of you who think I've lost my mind, yes, I'm available for birthday parties, corporate events and even Bar Mitzvahs!  I truly believe that this information is the 2nd greatest gift that God has ever given me, for the first please read Romans 5:12-21!

To those of you who have been checking in 5-10 times a day for the past couple of weeks, I apologize for the delay in posting this entry.  I've written, re-written, changed, modified, nudged and otherwise touched-up this post close to 1,000 times over the past 2 weeks.  I just wanted to be sure that I made this teaching as clear as possible.  As always, I beg you to PLEASE post a question if you are left with questions.

As always, I remind you to not take my word for anything I have written here today. Please, be like a Berean and search the Scriptures to find out whether or not the things I tell you are true! (Acts 17:10-11 NKJV)



  1. I've probably read this a half dozen times. The first time it blew my mind at the same time confirmed a lot of what I was thinking, but still left me with some questions.

    I think I always read John 3:13 in the context of Jesus knocking Nicodemus down a peg in the sense of no one went up to heaven and came back down to report on what they saw. Though Jesus who's been amongst God and the angels since the beginning. So I don't think it proves or disproves anything. Certainly, the other scripture has more weight to it. Though how do we reconcile the parable of Lazarus in Abraham's bosom? Certainly it is a story, though raises a question of heaven/hell or a purgatory-like place.

    Though a few other questions, maybe ones you've pondered yourself. You highlight the already dead/asleep being raptures first, does this apply to Jews first then the Gentiles second as Paul discussed? Raptured and judged first prior to the Christian counterparts. I heard this concept a few years back.

    In the end, we get the same result we deserve, so thank God for that!

  2. James,

    You sir are the gift that keeps on giving! :)
    And I mean that in the nicest way possible, believe me!

    The 2 things I was fully expecting someone to bring up were both "Abraham's bosom" and the issue with Nicodemus. But you gave me the bonus, referencing the Jews being "raptured" first. I've only seen a very few, very insane people discussing this, so I really paid it no mind. But allow me to answer....

    1. I can appreciate you reading John 3:13 in the way you expressed, but as you said "I always read". There's no biblical reason to read it that way. At least not in context. I don't think that Jesus felt like He needed to knock Nicodemus down a peg at all. The HUMILITY it took for one of the CHIEF PHARISEES to come to Him and ask the questions he did, kept Nicodemus as far down on the ground and as much like a child as you could muster. I believe Jesus just wanted to clarify some of the misguided teachings not only of the Pharisees, but also of the Sadducees, which Nicodemus would have been familiar with both.

    2. Abraham's bosom. This is a subject fit for serious bible studies, but to try to short-cut it, it is my understanding, that's "where" we "sleep", while awaiting the Rapture. The Catholics have their "purgatory", which I suppose in a sense has similarities, but certainly not the same "place". Fact is, I really can't determine where the concept of Abraham's bosom **really** comes from. I tried several years ago, but none of the stories rang true for me. And even if they did, there was nothing biblical to anchor it in. The first thing I would ask to anyone who claims to know WHAT Abraham's bosom really is, is "How do you know? Were you there? And if you were there, are you sure you were dead? :P"

    As we read the story of Lazarus, we learn he was ill, then "fell asleep", and then while the scriptures don't detail this "word for word", it's understood (because it's obvious once it's pointed out) that Jesus brought Lazarus back "from sleep" BEFORE he had been buried and BEFORE his body started to decay. I'm thinking that had Lazarus been buried or otherwise in some measure of decay that Jesus wouldn't have brought back a zombie. LOL, right? Another sticking point for some with Lazarus, is that the bible says a man can only die once and then the judgment. So if Jesus brought him back, and then they killed Lazarus, he would have lived twice and died twice. But this is not the case. It's my understanding that DEATH requires a couple of things to be true. 1. Your body must cease functioning, 2. You must be raptured, 3. You must receive your Glorified body. I think it's safe to say that unless and until you go through all of those processes, you've only lived and died 1 time. Jesus bringing him back from "sleep" early didn't really start a "new clock", per se.

    4. As for the Jews being raptured, I remember reading something about 10 years ago referencing John Darby. He had a "dispensationalist" opinion about Israel that really can NOT be understood by reading scripture. Sure, I guess it was nice of him to WANT the Jews to somehow be inheritors of the promise, but nothing in scripture says that Jews will be raptured. I think it's safe to say that 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 details exactly what's going to happen and to WHOM. The disciples of Jesus Christ, which can be easily read in verse 14. :)

    In other news, just wondering how you are coming along with the book?

    Glad to know you read it 3 times!
    Gold star for you! ✰

  3. 1) fair enough on Nicodemus. Though he always seemed somewhat ambiguous: friend/foe, student/teacher(entrapment), etc. He never seemed to have a 'hardened heart.'

    2) purgatory, waiting room, just a parable with Heaven and He'll as the backdrop. As long as our stories finish the same way?

    3). You skipped this one. Ha

    4) Ahh, John Darby, that name sounds familiar. I guess I never quite understood dispensationalism.

    As far as your book, I've enjoyed it. I think it is an excellent Primer for 'digging' deeper into the Bible and Christianity. Reads very conversational, which makes me able to fly through the book. There were a few parts I wished you had more information on. The one that sticks out for me needing more is calling out flaws of various denominations. (Not going to make many friends that way, but it's important for us to see the Truth.) Though come to think of it, you still hit many of the flaws just without "naming-names."

    I'm in the middle of reading several books lately, but I have a renewed vigor to read it again with you coming back online.

    PS- the link you have in there: tinyurl.comthegospelmessage that channel seemed to be removed from YouTube. Hate being the bearer of broken links.

  4. James,

    I really like to think that Nicodemus, as you said, didn't have a hardened heart. It had to be a LOT for someone like him to really sit down with someone who was compared to a criminal. I really believe Nicodemus GENUINELY KNEW that Jesus was the Messiah. As one of the chief Pharisees, he would have known every verse that described who He would be and what He would be like. I'm sure of it.

    I don't think that purgatory and Abraham's bosom are the same "place", but alas it really doesn't matter in the long run. We can ask Jesus these trivia questions throughout eternity. ;)

    I did make an error in my numbering, sorry about that. The good news is I didn't "forget" to give you information, I just missed a number.

    Yeah, John Darby. He's an interesting character. Some people revere him, some people don't know he exists. I say he's a trivial character from the past. If you're a history buff, it's probably a good idea to read and store the information about him for some unknown future reason. :P As for dispensationalism, it's all nonsense. The Catholics used to CHARGE people MONEY for "Special Dispensation". Basically, after a loved one died, according to the Catholic religion, your family is REQUIRED to PRAY FOR YOUR ENTRANCE INTO HEAVEN. Because without the prayers, you'll get "stuck" in purgatory. If you PAID the priest enough money though, he would GIVE YOUR LOVED ONE SPECIAL DISPENSATION and POOF! The red carpet is rolled out and you won't have to worry about them getting stuck in purgatory. Like I said, nonsense.

    As far as the book, I held back in calling out denominations (sort of). True, Chapter 4 (among others) is NOT there to make friends, it's meant to TEACH TRUTH and FACTS. I have spent more time on the blog calling out denominations by name. As I've said before, I'm not concerned with being PC, and I'm certainly not worried about someone not liking what I wrote. I am however more concerned with people being LIED TO and TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF. So yeah, whenever I can find a chance to offer a correction, I don't hesitate. I'm actually considering having a SERIES of books, so who knows, maybe one day there'll be a chapter on the specific debauchery in every one of the 38,000 denominations?! :P

    As for the link, thank you for mentioning it, I found that link died about 5 years ago. It's been fixed in the current incarnation of the book. It may not have been published yet, but I do keep it updated!

    And I saw your follow-up note about Matthew 7, funnier still, I TOO was ALSO discussing that with someone just 2 hours ago! You know, in context, that's pretty darn funny! Imagine the IMAGE! You walking around with a giant wooden plank stuck to your face!! I tell you, there's some really FUNNY stuff in scripture! It's a joy when you find it and REALIZE what you're reading!

    I'm glad my return has motivated you to dive back in. I'm glad God is using me!