Posts by Joe David Wilson

One Body of Christ Part 3

Often asked, but not often allowed to answer is the question; “do you people think you are the only ones going to Heaven”? This is obviously a question that engenders emotions, but often the questionnaire is not really looking for the answer, they are looking for a heated argument!! Interestingly, what causes this question to be asked is anger. Someone has made someone insecure with their religion!! They are looking for someone to unload on and you get chosen.
As already discussed, the Bible teaches the church is the body of Christ. This may not mean a lot to some but it does to those who are honestly seeking salvation. Notice the word “body” is singular. The good Book NEVER tells us the church is made up of several bodies!! The church is the bride of Christ. Notice again please, this is again singular! Yes, the Lord is married to the church and she is His bride, wife AND He only has one bride!! Ephesians 5:23-25 NO, NO, the denominations DO NOT MAKE UP THE ONE BRIDE! How do I know? Paul writes: “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:24 NO DENOMINATION is subject to Christ in much of anything!! They have their own rules, creeds, manuals, church covenants, and catechisms. These are written by their “clergy”, not the apostles of Jesus Christ!! These writings start off with “We believe”. Notice: they do not start off with “The Bible teaches”. You cannot have but ONE captain on the ship of Zion; if you do all you have is confusion11
The church is the “house of Christ”, Hebrews 3:6, being His, it wears His name-hence the Church of Christ/Church of God, Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2:1, Acts 20:28 (Some get confused with the use of the two names when they really are one. Christ is/was the only one who was God that ever had a body; therefore, He is the God that purchased His Church!!) All these names: bride, church, wife, mother, pillar and ground of the Truth, Kingdom, family, and others ALL represent certain facets of the relationship Christ has with the Church. Example: my wife is a woman, wife, mother, best-friend, encourager, support, Postal carrier, grand-mother, and other things. Like the church, she is ONE but all these descriptions of her tell the functions she has and the jobs she performs, yet there is only ONE of her Does it offend you that I have only ONE wife, my children have only ONE mother, my grandson has only ONE grandmother on the father’s side of the family? Don’t let that be a hindrance to you in learning the truth about the Bride of Christ!! IF THERE IS ONLY ONE, the church being the body, wife, bride, support, family of Christ-He has only ONE!! Oh yes, my wife lives in only one house, has only one husband, answers only to one man in her life, and wears my last name: does that offend you? Neither should it offend you about the Bride of Christ, HE HAS ONLY ONE AND BUT ONE!!!
Now, back to the question: do we think the Church of Christ will be the only Church that will go to Heaven? Can I answer a question with a question, with your permission? How many women do you think I take home to my house every night? No, I am not God, not even close, but, He established the pattern for me to follow!! You see, we have a covenant together established by the state of Tennessee that we have with no other human being. We swore allegiance to this covenant and have no other such covenant with any other. Does this offend you that I have provided only ONE house for my ONE wife and we live on ONE street? Why then, feel hard at the Lord’s children??

One Body of Christ Part 2

The Body, II When a question is asked of you try to determine the intention of the inquirer! Often members of the Churches of Christ are asked: “Do you think yours is the only church?” As I advised last week, don’t answer this question before you have had at least a little time to teach this person. Like any other subject, one cannot jump into a discussion of the molecular structure of the atom the first day of Science. Often people think of a Church as a religious club just like some social clubs to which they belong. You belong to the Free Masons, I belong to the Odd Fellows; they both are good in many respects. To say one is better than the other seems to be out of order: especially to someone who does not know anything about the either. But, if you then told the individual that if they belonged to the Masonic Lodge they would go to Hell, you would get quite a different reaction. They consider this a matter of opinion. Religiously, people think of denominations the same way. They belong to one, or their parents did, or some of their friends do and they are considerate of the one to which someone they know belongs. They really have no way to understand just what you are saying or why you are saying this about something they have not seriously considered anyway. Again, they think all churches are alike, they all serve the same God, and they all read “right out of the Bible”, so you are attacking God to make such a bold statement about their Church. Finally, if their mother or father or some loved one died in that denomination, they immediately add to your statement that since they died belonging to the denomination of their choice they are currently burning in the fiery hall eternal Hell!! Add to this the passion of what they consider an insult and you have a situation that is not conducive to a Bible study!!
Truth is the greatest friend anyone has. Add to this fact that Jesus Christ has no one to defend His Word but you and one quickly sees why a person who would not otherwise harm a flea all of a sudden is picking a fight the accosted individual has not asked to enter!! It also is not something they consider important; all denominations are the same, some are just a little different, but all serve Christ: or so they have been told. No wonder the reception is a little icy!! Add to this a person who WAS GLAD TO SEE THEIR FRIEND, thinking they are joining a friendly conversation, find they are in the middle of an argument. They are not only embarrassed, feel offended and jabbed with a strong right hook somewhere out of nowhere, but have had their life changed never to be the same. See why they are not now ready to study the Bible!!
What do you do when they ask? ANSWER them. How? With all the love you have. What do you tell them? All you think you have the time and they have the understanding to handle. Do all you can to set up a time to discuss the matter when you can fully study the question. If you do not want such a study, you have not lost anything.
What is the answer? There are several ways to approach this study. One is that the Church is the body of Christ, Colossians 1:18, and there is one body, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, and but one! “There is one body, and one Spirit even as ye are called in one hope of your calling: One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”. Ephesians 4:4-6 this is pretty hard to argue with!! How many bodies? ONE What is the body? THE CHURCH How many churches does the Lord possess? ONE, AND BUT ONE, 1 Corinthians 12:20 What is offensive about this? Nothing IF you are looking for Truth. Consider those who ask, consider the Lord who is to be defended, and teach them when they are ready.

One Body of Christ

There are many times a member of the body of Christ is asked a question for which there is no answer that will be satisfactory. The person asking the question is already ready to have their feelings hurt or be made mad at the answer. We must be careful in answering this question for some who ask it may be seriously seeking the truth, others, no matter what is said, will ever be considerate of the truth. The question is “do you people really think you are the only CHURCH?”
Sometimes because of a misunderstanding of the subject, maybe because of a made-up mind, or because some un-thoughtful member answers before they get their brain in gear; a person outside the body of Christ gets a bad taste in their mouths for the truth. TRUTH IS TRUTH no matter who approves or disapproves it. Romans 3:1-4 No one is hiding from controversy or denying truth; all we are trying to do is give an answer of “the hope within us, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15
Most religious people think of the church as some social institution to which they belong and ONE IS AS GOOD AS THE OTHER. Some are offended when a saint answers their question without finding out just exactly why they are asking. When a question is asked just to spite the one asked, it is up to you if you answer the question at all. Many times I have told the person I perceive asking me a question making light of the truth who have never heard and who are not ready or prepared to hear the direct answer; “Are you really wanting to know the answer or are you just disturbed because someone has made you feel inferior whom you did not strike out against and you looking to get even with them through me”?!! Or I might say; “you have the right to withdraw your question, I don’t think you really want to hear the correct answer”!
Christians are not trying to inflict any pain on any sinner!! We are not about the business of insulting anyone just because we can. Many times our motives have been impugned, and our Lord and His Church have suffered from false advertising, or the person asking wanted to know IF we would really tell them what they had heard was told to someone else who had asked that question!! We are not in the position many times to understand neither the motive nor the desire of those who ask: be careful!!
No child of God is afraid of the truth nor are we afraid of the personal consequences exacted on us!! There is NO greater joy we have than to teach God’s Word to those who do not nor have not heard it. We have to be careful what we say because you never want to harm the glorious truth. We also are not going to “run scared”. It is a wise Christian who determines the REASON a person asks. When Christ was before Pilate the scriptures tell us; “like a Lamb before His shearer, so opened He not His mouth.” It would not have done Him any good, the questions were not asked for the right reasons, and the questions were not asked looking for the truth.
Some questions cannot be answered unless a groundwork of truth is laid that will allow the inquirer the reasonable ability to understand the answer??!! When your children ask you the answer to a math problem, do you answer the question immediately or do you set with them and explain the principles that will allow them to work the problem the next time they run into it? If you immediately answer the question are you really wanting to teach them how to work the problem or are you in a sense just trying to get them off your back? If you know they do not have a background or a way to understand just HOW the problem is worked and you answer it, have you helped them?? WISER CHRISTIANS ask questions before answering the unprepared!!

Meaning of Life Part 15

We are still looking for the “I” that is the lord of the soul and spirit of man. Everything involved in conscious personality is related to the brain, but not originated by it. The brain can be the seat of thought without being the source of it!! “I” not only uses the brain, but “I” educate and fit it for its work!! The brain itself has no knowledge or thought-no power to originate either. The difference between the brain of a baboon and a man is in the being behind it. It is not the brain that thinks, remembers, wills, obeys, or intends. If one could dissect the brain all they would find was a mass of cells, nerve centers suffused with blood. If the same brain is dissected when this individual dies, one would find the same mass of cells, nerve centers suffused with blood!! What learned, what grew, what became more wise?? ‘I’ do not die, cease, where does the “I” go?? “I” am not the brain and the brain is not the “I” that is me, in fact “I” control, possess, and use the brain as though it belongs to me (as I do my right hand or arm while “I” am in the body) for it is mine, but I am not the brain!!
The “I” is not thought, feelings or emotions, either!! No, the real “I” is the conscious person behind all I do, is greater than my earthly tabernacle, and cannot be produced by mankind (and he has tried). All that is of my tabernacle is mine. “I” have been allowed to use, abuse, or destroy what God prepared me. If ‘I’ think, ‘I’ feel, if ‘I’ desire, ‘I’ plan, if ‘I’ want, ‘I’ make plans to obtain, yet the “I” remains the permanent thing behind everything. Though my body constantly changes “I” constantly fuel my life as though I own it!! This “self” that is within me has conviction, opinions, duties, and desires. It knows, has a consciousness of right wrong stored in it that allows “me” to make proper decisions!! The “I” is a permanent-behind –the scenes, separate pre-existent totality who wanted a place to belong!! This self has conviction: “I” will always be, live forever, and if ‘I’ claim the right Lord, ‘I’ will spend eternity with my one true friend, from whom “I” began. Paul writes about “a law written in our hearts” Romans 2:15, and the apostle John calls this “I” the light in every man. John 1:9 ‘I’ am not of this Earth, ‘I’ am from above!
The “I” is not the Soul! Adam became a living soul. Instead of saying I have a soul, I should say I am a soul, a living soul. The Supreme Spirit touched with His finger the body of Adam and the true Adam began to be. As an electric spark flashing into his body, Adam becomes a living soul. I know the soul is not the “I” for “I” can lose it!! “For what is a man profited; if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 Gaining the world loses the “I”. “I” am the invisible immortal being clothed in a material body in this stage of existence on the planet Earth. “I” am the emanation from God’s nature intended to live in harmony with Deity for “I” was born to serve the Lord!
Can the “I” be destroyed? If “I” have survived the rigors of physical child birth, emergencies untold, and sustained all subsequent changes of every part of the body-will the “I” not survive the putting away of the whole body at death?? You, “I” must live forever and ever-whether exalted or degraded in character or station, you or the “I” are forever, never can we get away from Life. Let the soul feel its own dignity, measure its own worth, and know its importance for look what God did to show its value, He gave His only begotten Son!! He created it, stamped it with His own image; redeemed it by the incarnation and death of Christ. Just what is the “I” that it means so much to God? God’s value which He set on the soul is without comparison. Who, what am “I”?

Meaning of Life Part 14

Is Heaven real or is it the result of the fertile imagination of a man mocking mankind? Heaven is to be IF eternity has a purpose since it is THE expression of LOVE of one Deity to another, It is the final revelation!! Interestingly, Heaven is not described as is Hell. Man needed to know what to avoid but not what God has in store for “them that love Him”. Heaven is also somewhere. I am not sure it is as much an address as a situation or maybe both. It seems it is always used as such in scripture; all we can be sure about is that Heaven will be where those who possess the nature of God are.
Another interesting thing about the situation or place called Heaven is that it is always associated with Joy, Happiness, and Fulfillment!! It is the ultimate adoration expressed for anyone, anytime. Here, the “redeemed from all the earth” will be busily engaged for all eternity. Here, there is no thing as SIN. Here, the chief cause of sorrow and separation will not be. Here, no curse or result of sin will be. Never in Heaven will imperfection be nor there a dead level of existence! Some have chided the saint with the perceived boredom they think Heaven will have. As God has made us to always achieve, improve, learn, grow, and think, how would Heaven not be but a sped up version of all the above? How would anyone ever be “bored”? (It has always been my personal opinion that anyone who could consider Heaven boredom need not consider going to this glorious place!!) Here, the best, most obedient, best improved, highest attained, fondest associates will live. How could that create boredom?? If it is, I would like a little of this special boredom, AND I will take all you want to miss!! Here, all the characteristics of personality are explained and glorified. We will then know WHY we were as we were, understand WHAT we were to God, and see the PURPOSE for His plan. There will never be any un-employment. Life (as we know and define it) means growth, activity, learning, and improving. Unlike life on this planet, labor that does not weary the soul will be ours. Disappointment will never mar the placidity of that society and with all of this our picture is still marred with illimitable imagination that will be far short and inadequate for God’s expression of Love to all who labored for Him and His Son, here!! They who hope to enter this wonderful existence MUST begin by doing God’s Will here, for that is ALL THAT WILL OR CAN BE DONE, THERE!! Anything you don’t like about God, here, you had better get fixed. God said; “I change Not” so don’t think Heaven will be made up of a society of the “do nots” and the “me-ocrats”. If you don’t do His will here, how can you expect to convince Him His will is not important, there??
Just for one moment consider the majesty of such a place. We all have seen the fine attainments of man’s architecture, imagine, there!! We do have a small comparison. Compare a man-made church with the Church of Christ. The purchase price of the Church of Christ with the price man or men have paid to establish, theirs! Imagine what man would have come up with IF Christ had not given His church for them to make a damning copy.
How will it be in Heaven? There is no language allowed man to describe the realm of the spiritual. As the “natural body” is not the explanation of the “spiritual body”, what can explain to man what God has not revealed??!! Jesus sought not to indulge His people with elaborate descriptions of the life beyond, all He said is, “I go to prepare a place .. that where I am you may be also”. For those who live in the true purpose of this life, death is a graduation into “the life that is life, indeed.”

Meaning of Life Part 13

In the ages of the far future through stern discipline and punishment for sin, all men shall at length be restored, redeemed, made holy and happy. This is the doctrine of Universal Redemption. The only trouble with this doctrine is it is a lie from Hell!
That all souls who fail of the grace of God, eternal life shall be punished, not by eternal torment, but annihilation, complete loss not only of God and Heaven, but “I” will NOT cease to exist. Ceasing to be, forever and ever, man will never know the FULL anguish, eternal misery. Complete destruction of body and soul will end what began in non-existence. Nothing is lost or harmed. The “I” will become non-existent. It must have taken A long TIME to think up this lie. It is more complicated than the previous lie and soothes the sinner into a deeper sleep in the mire of degradation
All who die in sin shall be banished from God’s presence and exist in a state of conscious suffering for all of Eternity. This concurs with the teaching of the Scriptures for the future life: the man who is redeemed will live gloriously well with the good from all ages of existence while the damned shall live in an unutterably painful existence with the evil; with the garbage of mankind. Malignity of sin will mean misery and ruin to the impenitent, irretrievable ruin. The fatal, irrevocable result of unrepented sin surrounds three words. Damned, Hell, and Everlasting.
The word damn is heard often. Every time it is heard it is spoken by those who give it no consideration. It means to condemn, to judge adversely. “Woman, neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” John 8:11 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16 “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Romans 13:2
Hell, the Greek word Gehenna, is used 18 times in the New Testament. Once it is translated from the word tartarus, 2 Peter 2:4, five times from the Greek word Hades, the unseen realm, twelve times from the word gehenna a word that was a metaphor from Hinnon, a valley outside Jerusalem where garbage, debris, dead bodies of animals and unclaimed humanity were pitched. In this valley a constant fire burnt, we are told. Hinnon had previously been the place the Jews offered their children to the god Moloch.
Everlasting is from the Greek word aionios. It means all of the period to which it refers. If it refers to time, it is not limited. If it refers to timelessness, it is infinite. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on then that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
So horrible is the punishment of the wicked, God used figures of speech to describe it, not words. To misuse the teaching about this place is to cause it to lose its power as a deterrent.
Then, there is Heaven. To the finite mind, Heaven is inconceivable. No experience man can have will prepare him for this Place. It is impossible to realize. As the spiritual body is analogous to the earthly, as the oak is the result of the acorn, as the Lily is the result of a bulb, and the flower of the seed; so Heaven is end of the righteous!! Heaven is supreme joy. Heaven is to be a condition as much as a place. There must be a Heaven somewhere, no other conclusion befits a benevolent Creator!!

Meaning of Life Part 12

For all the years I have been trying to search the mind of God I never caught the total significance of the Judgment Day (maybe you think I still haven’t!). I knew that only the saints will be judged on that day, not for sins but for reward, I knew the sinner would not “stand in the judgment”, Psalms 1:5, and that this day will be the most terrible reprieve from punishment and anguish that only God could conjure. The sinner will be relieved of pain and anguish just to return to pain, NO day of relief will ever again be offered. I knew that Christ would use this day to glorify His Church with a “job well done” ceremony before all who had made light of us while on this earth; but as THE day to separate the earth-life and intermediate-life from eternal-life I had never imagined!! On this day everything changes that was ever known. Life will continue, as has been shown in the previous articles, but life will not be the same. The saint will live in the euphoric glory awaiting the glory we have looked, prayed, and anticipated for so many years of trials and dishonor while the sinner will finally get the payment for his/her deeds of disobedience. If the payment for service is the antithesis of payment for disobedience, the horrors of Hell, yet undescribed in scripture, reveal the “glory that shall be revealed in us”!! Just think, one day time will come to a complete stand-still. Earth-life as all mankind has experienced it will close as the Earth vaporizes in fire and smoke. The world crisis called the second advent will be on us. At this crisis the Lord places the dread drama of the Judgment on the souls of the redeemed. The sinner has to stand by in unbelievable horror and merely watch (probably hoping somehow, someway the God he/she disobeyed has changed His mind and allowed the second chance the Jehovah Witnesses’ have lied about to occur). The saints who are amongst the redeemed who “left their first love”, “put their hand to the plow and turned back”, or “forsaken Christ having loved the pleasures of the present world” are deciding by this time their previous sentence to the Hadean World after death was now finally a mistake and are resting rather comfortably among those who on the earth they were not too glad to accompany (and yet there is still an agonizing doubt)!! Time is non-existent, night will not come, events will continue. Although we are accustomed to day being ended by night, here, day continues. THEN, there comes a call from Christ and His Church proudly begins to assemble in rank and file around His Throne. THE GREAT SORTING OF HUMAN SOULS IS NOW BEING COMPLETED!! The future has become the present; all those who were resurrected with bodies are being sorted some to the right, some to the left!! NOW!!
Sheep go of their own accord following, as accustomed, the commands of the One on the Throne. Some begin to break rank creating chaos and confusion (they always wanted THEIR WAY) and bands of angels immediately separate them from the others. The Judgment of character (not citizenship), continued obedience (not whether they were baptized for the remission of sins), and conscience (the reason obedience was rendered or refused) has begun. It is a judgment of doom, Matthew 13:43, 7:21-22. It is a judgment of separation, Matthew 25. It is a judgment of retribution, Colossians 3:25 It is a judgment of finality. Mark 10:15 Now, the laughing and fun-making has all stopped, now, there is not ONE dry-eyed saint.
The next thing to which our attention will be drawn is the cry, unbelievably loud, unbelievably horrible, unbelievably surreal of those who had almost been forgotten who had been looking on while the events of the Judgment of the Church of Christ had been taking place. Oh! wait!!, some of the saints are joining them!!

Meaning of Life Part 11

Shall we be greater fools in Paradise than we are here? I asked this question some time back and no one has answered. Is there a Paradise be for us? Who has instructed us as to the life shortly beyond our existence, here? Some of these questions must be answered or we will never know until death is experienced the verity of Christ revelations. All of our information comes from one source, Christ. He came “to abolish death and bring life and immortality to light.” 2 Timothy 1:10 He came to become “Lord both of the dead and the living.” Romans 14:9 Is the intermediate state of the redeemed something we can know? Paul writes; “For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” Philippians 2:23-24 Can we have any confidence in revelation if the source of the revelation is not validated? Are we going to be greater fools in Paradise than we are here??
If we are conscious of existing in Paradise when we are there, in what form will this consciousness take? Absent of the brain, for it is left in the body when buried, how will man be know? Science has made great strides convincing modern man how important the brain is and in the meantime, discounted the “I” to non-existence!! If we have a memory in Paradise what will we remember? Abraham said; “Son, remember”. Luke 16:25 Who gave us this account? Is His word trustworthy? Some might discount the second stage of our existence, but who are thy calling a liar? If man will always exist, that man will always BE, that it is our nature to BE; the “I” of which we are studying deserves a lot more attention. The “I” is the continuation of the same being that it was while it lived in the tabernacle of flesh while here!! If there is no conscious awareness after we leave the body who made up all this we have been referencing by scripture?
If there is no consciousness after this life, what meaneth the scripture; “But ye are come ….to the spirits of just men made perfect”? Hebrews 12:23 Are we not to look forward to a reunion and fellowship with kindred spirits? Who is this “family in heaven”? Ephesians 3:15 Has anyone actually ascended into Heaven? Can one ascend into Heaven without a body? If no one but Christ has ascended into Heaven, with whom shall we be and where? We, who have obeyed the gospel of Christ, have left our mortal bodies here on this earth!! If there are no spirits with whom we will fellowship, life after death would be a lonely existence like solitary confinement? Is punishment to the spirit here (loneliness) joy to the same spirit, there? It is not the pain of death that gives death its horror, some know NO pain, but that dread of the uncertain-unconscious-darkness-mysterious sleep–the tomb-the grave, the unknown, that man dreads. The scriptures teach us that life in the unseen Paradise will be with all the personality-inner feelings-individuality we have had here and we will be with a company of kindred spirits where loneliness is forgotten!! At the hour of our passing, Christ, the death Angel, will be waiting to welcome us and take us to Paradise.
We see three stages in our life history. First, the existence in this body, next the existence when this body is severed and the “I” continues, and finally the third stage, the final-the ending of ages. The Judgment-Heaven-Hell- stage that is still future for all humanity will only be a memory!! What death is to the physical, the Judgment is to the intermediate. Judgment Day is truly the end of the AGES of Man! Ageless, man will then be as AGELESS as the God who made him/her. This is all we should all be preparing!!!

Meaning of Life Part 10

Death makes NO break in consciousness, memory, or me; the only difference is where I live. Unlike birth, death does not discontinue or begin anything, it just continues what has already been. For the Christian the next stage of existence begins the fulfillment of a long awaited reality, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. When the prophet Stephen was in the act of leaving his physical body he cried out; “Lord Jesus receive my spirit”. Many have thought this a prayer when in fact it was the next step. Paul reminds us “being absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 On the Mount of Transfiguration we were privileged with knowledge some have not gleaned. On this occasion we see man in his three states of existence. Peter, in the physical state , Moses, in his spiritual state (called the house from heaven, 2 Corinthians 5:2), and Jesus in His glorified body (that for which we all await the resurrection, Philippians 3:21, 1 John 3:1). Having seen this over and over man has not recognized it. The butterfly is a representative of the three bodies shown in God’s nature. The worm changes into its transitional body, the cocoon, and finally blossoms into a beautiful butterfly and yet it is the SAME animal all the time!! Would anyone want the worm to remain in its physical state and miss the beauty for which his Creator intended?
Shall we be greater fools in Paradise than we are here? If “far better”, as described by the apostle Paul, better than what?? The only thing with which we can compare our existence in Paradise would be the life lived in this present realm. If conscious: conscious in what type of body? Is the “house from heaven” not always present when we are at home in this body? In the Greek language, this body is our oikadonen, our permanent home. We are made with two different bodies, the mortal house or skenos from the word tent a temporary dwelling, and the house from heaven, the oikadomen, a far more permanent house. It is like the stages of a space ship. There is the initial rocket which burns for a while and is thrown off. Another rocket then burns until the ship gets into orbit. Neither rocket is the pay-load or the important part. The mortal house will be “taken down” when death occurs as God loosens all the parts. This “loosening of all the parts” is called DEATH. When this happens, we will not become extinct, we will just throw off the first rocket!! We possess memory, and we all will have memory; but how can we remember when our brains remain in the tomb? Shown in nature, confirmed by scripture, man, the “I”, has all these without any human body available!! We are a continuation of the same being, just as the worm!! Now you can understand a child with no brain stem or one that is retarded.
Abraham was buried and “gathered to his people”, Moses was told to “Get thee up into the mountain and die, and be gathered to his people”, and David said; “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me,” but Jesus told the thief; “Today, shalt thou be with Me in Paradise”. How could this be? If they did not recognize, then they could not have known any of these things. What is apparent but not discussed is that souls recognize souls!! How else could this be explained? Samuel, Saul, Moses, and Elijah all are on record as seeing a spiritual vision apart from bodily form or shape. The great apostle John writes: “we know not what we shall be like, but we shall see Him as He is and we shall be like Him.” 1 John 3:2 HOW COULD THIS BE?? Many things we are not told by God how He shall do things, we are not to worry about the how. We had better leave that up to God!! He has already got it all worked out!!

Meaning of Life Part 9

From Hades to the side of the Ancient of Days, this is the trip Jesus made when on a cloud He rode out of His temptation. Luke 22:28 What a time of ecstasy for Him who had ‘endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself’. Abraham’s bosom, the name given the Paradise of the Hadean World, had been the place Christ had promised the ‘thief of the cross’ a reunion. “Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise” tells more in this declaration. All of the modern philosophers think Jesus meant “today shalt thou be with Me in Heaven”, and so they read this statement, but Christ had “not yet ascended to His Father”, John 20:17, therefore, Heaven, the place which is also called Paradise was not the destination of Christ and the thief that day!!
Hades is a ‘life of waiting souls’. It is clear they are conscious of their situation, have vivid remembrance and feelings about those whom they have left behind. Some are in pain, some in comfort. Lazarus and Dives were actively alive, each feeling, each knowing. Dives was keenly aware of his misery while Lazarus was clearly conscious of comfort. Luke 16:19-31 In this in-between-world men are living in a state of life as conscious and vivid as those of us who are alive on the atmospheric part of this earth; death does not break continued consciousness; there is no break, the soul and spirit continue in conscious existence.
While here, Christ had said: “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living”. Matthew 22:31-32, Mark 12:26-27. The apostle Paul, when telling of his “out-of-the-body-experience” testified he did not know whether he was “in the body or out of the body”. John, in receiving the book of Revelation, knew he was “in the spirit”. Both knew they knew; they were not unconscious. The intermediate state of man is not a Rip van Winkle sleep we all take waiting to suddenly awake at the Judgment-in a moment- as if no interval of time had lapsed in between. We do not go unconscious at death and suddenly awake at the sounding of the last Trump. Enoch’s translation, Hebrews 11: 5, Moses and Elijah’s appearance on the mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17:4, the seat beside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Matthew 8:11, John in the spirit, Revelation 4:2, Lazarus and Dives, Luke 16, and Paul in Paradise, 2 Corinthians 12, and the consciousness of the damned of 2 Peter 2:4 all testify to the conscious existence of a life beyond the pale of existence, here! Death provides no chasm of consciousness.
The Hadean world is a place of clear memory, unclouded by the events of our every-day activities. “Son, remember” were the words that rang out off the walls of that World that no longer can be communicated by the damned. What was it like for men like Abraham to be in a world with those who had rejected the God Abraham had served while on the earth? Sure, they could tell there was a difference, but was that all the righteous were to receive for service to the God they had served? How could that joy of being better off for having served God not have been dulled being separated from the unrighteous by only a great gulf? Did it make some cry out in despair or did they always know Christ was coming to redeem them from the domain of Satan? Memory is something MORE than impressions on the gray matter of the brain- memory is in man, the “I”, himself, who is behind the brain and directs it, and therefore MUST go on with him when-ever and where-ever the “I” goes!! “In thy lifetime, thou hadst good things and Lazarus evil”. Active memory will be as much a part of eternal Hell as temporary, it is far better to “try and fail to succeed, than to fail for never trying at all”!!
Running from God, here, will only make the torture of Hell worse!!