Post-Death Consciousness


Receiving a monograph in support of soul sleep or zero-consciousness between death and the future bodily resurrection, I felt inclined to answer with a contrary view, placing new scriptures into play.

~Martin D. Carlson



You may suppose this “preamble” is a small work coming before the main body of the work to explain something about the main body of the work. If such is the case, you are in grave error.[1] In fact, this preamble is a short work coming before that preamble (to the main body of the work) to explain that preamble (to the main body of the work). Let’s see if I can give some light as to what I mean:

Keep Reading: Pre-Preamble


I first met my friend Dr. Agonson face-to-face more than two decades ago at a semi-formal gathering of doctorate level scholars and amateur theologians held on the Oregon Coast. (Although I am not typically in the habit of name dropping—as I have found through the years that no one will listen[1]—I may mention that he and I are on first name bases. —That is, I often call Him Dr.without so much as a quaver.)

Keep Reading: Preamble

Leg 1

. . . I found some of your arguments more persuasive than others. I don’t know how I will proceed here, but probably more with scriptural references NOT utilized than with refutation of those you cite. However, I do hope to refute a few of the proofs you offer. Perhaps I will use NIV as a default, except where noted.

Keep Reading: Leg 1

Leg 2

At this time, according to the principals of “disclosure,” I frankly admit to you that I believe that “death” is the post-mortem jail for every refractory[1]person preliminary to judgment and sentencing. Death—including by any other name (Hell, Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, the pit, the unseen, behemoth, leviathan, etc.) —will be the unhappy lodging place of the unredeemed prior to post-judgment prison—the lake of fire.[2] Whoever dies in rebellion, supposing himself (his own) god—having imagined “in the land of the living” that God may indeed be mocked—will have his first wakeup call in this jailhouse.

Keep Reading: Leg 2

Leg 3

By reading your paper, I’m guessing you would call post-death Rachel “weeping for her children” a parable, metaphor or figure? Fine, but it was prophecy given in the Old Testament, which the New Testament claims is fulfilled in a peculiar way: (Jeremiah 31:15-16 (and onward) says:)

Keep Reading: Leg 3

Leg 4

Of Jesus it is said that “He came to His own people,” and was by and large rejected. But some Jews received Jesus, including him who became the Church’s first martyr. In the process, Stephen—perhaps the more encouraged by the vision he saw—seemed to suppose he was leaving Earth for immediate reception in Heaven:

Keep Reading: Leg 4

Leg 5

I began this paper without a clear idea of where it would go. Truly, I have brought new scripture into the discussion—parts of the Bible that I felt thematically relevant, which you had not brought to the topic, that I considered essential to a thorough examination. I now see, however, that I have done little or nothing to dispute your scripturally based proofs that a man’s consciousness ends when he dies. I now beg the right for a little latitude[1] in so doing.

Keep Reading: Leg 5

Leg 6

And on to ghosts, assuming we all take the meaning to be disembodied human spirits. “The 12” [give or take one apostle] twice set Jesus up to tell them, “Silly apostles, ghosts, don’t exist,” but He “failed” to do this. In the second instance,[1] He might even be said to have affirmed their existence, saying the equivalent of, “Such don’t eat and have palpable flesh as you see and feel of me.”[2] But I throw that in as more of a random thought than a strong argument. Except:

Keep reading: Leg 6



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