Post-Death Consciousness

Post-Death Consciousness (Leg 8)

10th issue in series (find the other parts here.)

 (. . . Dear Mark . . .)

 

Just one or two more semi-random thoughts for the moment.

#1: The Revelation of Jesus Christ speaks of a city wherein are the headwaters of “the river of the water of life,” and beside that river, “the tree of life.” The tree bears both fruit—12 crops per year—and leaves. The river flows through and departs that city for regions beyond. The tree’s leaves leave that city via the river.[1] The leaves flow to the nations outside the city, for their healing. (No one in Heaven City needs any healing or ever will again.) Treasures from these outer nations are being brought in (through the guarded gates of) that city from these outlying nations.

Things seem to be a mixture without the city. On the one hand you have vicious “dogs,” and “weeping and gnashing teeth.” In short, the population includes unsavory persons to be vigorously avoided. On the other hand, some level of communication with the Holy City is enjoyed, by which (some) healing and refreshment come down. Trade and diplomatic relations exist. That mixture sounds quite a bit like what we have currently on Earth.

Some of us on earth are sending (we hope) treasure ahead to Heaven.[2] We enjoy some healing now, but want the Day and Place and Government where sickness, sorrow, pain and death will be in our past forevermore! We pray earnestly for God to bring His Kingdom and annex our own land. Other men currently live as wild dogs. Everything I’ve stated about this divine City can be verified in the last two chapters of this book, the conclusion of the bible.

#2: The first chapter of the same book (Revelation) says “every eye will see” Jesus retuning, including those long dead.[3] Do they have bodies at this point? Are they naked or clothed?

#3: You stated that the “souls under the altar” in Revelation 6: 9-11 are not literal, and not behaving in a Christ-like manner even if they were. I disagree. Those souls Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness.”[4] The righteousness they hunger and thirst for necessarily includes being avenged on those who habitually exploited and abused them—who ultimately murdered them—for being Christ’s. Have you forgotten that when you forgive you are giving up your right to avenge yourself; you are in fact leaving “room for the wrath of God” who promises He will avenge and repay?[5] Secondly, these souls are given white robes. Therefore, despite not having the glorified bodies they will ultimately have, they seem to have (or feel) need of clothing. (They must, therefore, have forms.) Giving them white robes is sufficient consolation for the nonce.

#4: Within your paper you liken death to sleep, saying one who dies is just as unconscious as one who sleeps. Actually, I am conscious when I sleep. I dream. (Also, people who are awake and talking can influence those dreams.) I do not say what level of consciousness or what form or continuity of body I will have after death as I await the promised glorious body, but—according to John  17:3—I have Eternal Life; my inner man[6] has been quickened.[7] Circumcision, baptism, etc. [8] all show forth a New Creation.[9] The old man dies but the new man[10] comes forth and remains alive. Perhaps this is because “Whoever has the Son has life.”[11]

#5: After his death, Moses made up half a ministry team sent to Jesus (Luke 9:28-31). You will kindly remember that you said a man has no consciousness between death and Christ’s return. You will kindly acknowledge that Scripture clearly indicates that Moses died[12] (and was buried).[13] Your paper makes no attempt to explain this seeming contradiction.

#6: Great portions of Isaiah 14 speaks of the dead being conscious. One passage says, “Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones (v. 9).”

#7: If we take the words of Jonah’s prayer literally, he died—that is, within his death he prayed. Here is the passage:

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said:
‘In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, LORD my God,
brought my life up from the pit (Jonah 2:1-2, 5-6).’ ” [14]

#8: Here is the Berean Bible’s account of Luke 12:4-5:

“ ‘I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who has authority, after the killing, to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I say to you, fear Him.’ ”

#9: David seemed to believe he would see/be reunited with his dead [infant] son when he [David] died.[15] What level of weightiness do you assign David’s confident statement (that receives neither verification nor dispute in the remainder of Scripture) in comparison with statements you cited from (the man) Job (Job 7:8-10, 21; 14:12, 21[and especially in light of Job 14:22]), when we know Job later repented of words he had spoken (rashly)?

In other words, you referred to certain statements by Job that tended to support your theological beliefs. Do you give this statement by David—that he seemingly anticipates a not-too-distant reunion with his departed son—greater or less credence, and why?

 

Sincerely,

 

Martin D. Carlson

 

[1]
No pun intended, except perhaps by my subconscious mind.

[2]
Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Peter 1: 3-9, “but embodied especially in verse 4: viz: “ . . . an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”)

[3]
Revelation 1:7; Zechariah 12:10.

[4]
Mathew 5:6 specifically, but verses 4, 10 and 12 also seem to apply mightily.

[5]
Romans 12:19 specifically, while verses 14-21 provide a wider context. However, in verse 19 Paul is quoting; not composing. The quote comes from Deuteronomy 32:35, but certainly don’t omit verses 42 & 43 for context.

[6]
2 Corinthians 4:16 (KJV)

[7]
1 Peter 3:18 (KJV); Ephesians 2:1, 5 (KJV); Colossians 2:13 (KJV)

[8]
Colossians 2:11-12

[9]
2 Corinthian 5:17; Galatians 6:15

[10]
Old Man vs. New Man: Ephesians 4:22-24 (KJV); Colossians 3:9-10 (KJV). Seems political correctness has crept its ugly head into even many translations I usually prefer. Also, please notice a wider context with both passages. Especially, Ephesians 4:17-32 (or even larger), and Colossians 2:20-3:11 or beyond, but by no means read v. 18!

[11]
1 John 5:11-12

[12]
Deuteronomy 34:1-8; Joshua 1:1-2

[13]
Deuteronomy 34:6

[14]
How? By God’s program of maritime prophet revivification (or Sea P R).

[15]
2 Samuel 12:15-23

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