Do believers really go to Heaven when they die? The folly and conjecture of a conscious dead state... By Craig A. Olson, 2008-2020
The topic of the resurrection is not discussed heavily today, mainly because it is widely misunderstood. But since the resurrection is
the heart of Christian doctrine and belief, should we not wish to understand it? There is a major difference between the belief in the
biblical Complete Resurrection view, and that of the more traditional Partial Resurrection view. Proper understanding of the
resurrection has a great bearing on how we understand end-times events and evangelize truthfully, as well as our desire of truth over
tradition. Satan loves extra-biblical beliefs such as the Partial Resurrection view, in part because it causes divisions among believers.
It also causes confusion among believers and increased inability to reach lost souls. And most importantly, it reduces the value of the
resurrection almost completely. Apostate believers have inadvertently adopted an incorrect view of the resurrection. Don't go through
the wide door! Jesus describes what will happen to most believers in Matthew. These believers, therefore, are ineffective and actually
destructive in spreading the good news about the coming kingdom. Only one resurrection view is correct. Let's examine the
difference between these two views.
Men say we have hope in death; but the Bible claims over and over that our hope is in the resurrection. Unfortunately, most believers
have gullibly taken on the traditional view of the Partial Resurrection, believing that a human's mind and body can exist apart from
each other simultaneously; and that the minds of believers float away into heaven and remain conscious when they die. This extra-
biblical belief supports a dual human existence of body and mind. But the Bible never describes separation of the mind and the body.
Because the Partial Resurrection myth is so important to so many, all other scriptures describing the very important human
resurrection are continually explained away as body-only. This is how believers that don't have the Spirit get around the truth. Every
believer subscribes to either the Complete Resurrection view or the Partial Resurrection view.
To say part of a person goes to heaven when he dies and that part joins the other part later, is a fairytale which began with the pagan
beliefs of the early Greek philosophers. The view that a person's soul goes to heaven when he dies cannot be found in the Bible. With
a little twisting, the Bible can say whatever one wishes it to say - at least to that particular individual. Most beliefs have been taught by
men and handed down. This combined with improper definitions of terms leads easily to false teachings. The Partial Resurrection
view results from confusion over what the Bible teaches about the resurrection. Most who hold this traditional view have been sold a
bill of goods, and then go on to attempt to defend this view instead of learning and defending the truth. Some who end up studying it
come to the proper conclusion; but most allow Satan to continue his work of reducing the value of the resurrection. It is common for
humans to unknowingly attempt to justify their false beliefs by accepting traditional explanations, then themselves twisting scriptures
even further to justify these explanations.
After a chosen believer (saint) dies, he will immediately realize that he is being gathered together with his fellow saints. He is
unaware of any passage of time between his death and resurrection. As far as he's concerned, he will go immediately from his first
earthly life to a gathering in the air which brings them to Armageddon. Jesus said that once a saint is deceased, he (his body and
mind) was asleep. What does this mean? It means that he will subsequently awaken. Like Jesus, the saint sleeps until his
resurrection on the third day (i.e. third millennium, as we will discuss). Many past Christian scholars such as John Wycliffe, John
Milton, William Tyndale, and John Wesley believed in some variation of Soul Sleep, which occurs between one's earthly death and
the upcoming rapture/resurrection; and many also maintained the Complete Resurrection view (I will elaborate on a few of the beliefs
of some of these men shortly). Because the Partial Resurrection view is steeped in Catholicism, some said that once you remove
purgatory, you can then remove dualism, which is the Partial Resurrection view taught in most daughter denominations to this day.
A person is a soul. The Hebrew definition of this word implies that a man IS a soul, not that a man HAS a soul. This soul comprises a
body and a mind, which are inseparable; and spirit, the breath of life, which gives life to the soul, can be added or removed. Every
human possesses these components. For an example, please see Genesis 2:7, regarding how Adam became a soul.
The Bible says a soul can be bought, can work, can touch objects, can lie, can eat literal food, can bleed, can lust, that the GRAVE is
for souls, that a soul can wither away because of lack of food. A soul can be humbled with fasting, be persecuted, can be torn apart,
AND a soul can DIE.
Confusingly and traditionally, most believers call a person's spirit his soul. The spirit has no consciousness in and of itself, but simply
gives a person life. This life-giving spirit is not the Holy Spirit. A person's mind controls his body, and remains inactive with his body
at death. The mind and body are rebuilt at once, together, at the resurrection. There are a plethora of verses proclaiming the
resurrection, and not a single one of them proclaims the resurrection is body-only. For example: 1 Cor 6:14: "By His power, God
raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also."
David, the king of Israel and author of many of the Psalms, whom God called "a man after My own heart" (Acts 13:22), did not go to
heaven at his death. The apostle Peter stated: "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both
dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day" (Acts 2:29). He then added that "David did not ascend into the heavens" (verse
34). David is included in Hebrews 11:32 among those who died in faith, and in verse 39, David is one of those of whom it is said: "And
all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise." David will be part of the first resurrection, of
which Christ was the firstfruits. Thereafter he will remain on earth in the coming kingdom that Christ spoke of so often in the Gospels.
Jesus said to His disciples, "Where I am going, you will go later." 'Later' did not refer to the moment of their deaths. It refers to the
resurrection. Christ would be resurrected on the third day, which represents His third millennium. The disciples will also be
resurrected in the third millennium, which is also the third day. Jesus said in John 6:54 that He will raise all saints (chosen believers)
up on the last day. Not their bodies, but them. The 'last day' is a very special day indeed! This day is God's seventh day, Christ's
third day, the Sabbath, the Paradise, the Messianic Kingdom, the day of rest, and the Millennium. There was no indication that
Christ's mind floated up into heaven and his body met up with it later. Simply put, He was fully dead in the grave, and rose on the
third day. The saints will also be raised on the third day (a Biblical day represents a thousand years, 2 Pe 3:8 and Ps 90:4). Jesus
gave up His spirit at death, but one's spirit and one's mind are not the same. When His spirit left His body, his body had no life in it.
Jesus temporarily could not think, nor act, nor move. He temporarily gave up His life at the cross; he did not give up His mind. When
He died, He was fully dead. The resurrection is useless without death.
Jesus' Body is certainly part of Jesus, but His body is certainly not all of Him. In fact, He lost His human life, and His body did not see
decay! Decay starts on the fourth day (study Lazarus), and as predicted, Jesus was raised on the third. Jesus Christ died for the sins
of the world - Jesus Christ's body did not die for the sins of the world!
Again, just before He was crucified, Christ told His disciples in John 13:36, "where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will
follow later." Did He say, "go later," or "follow later?" So, He must return for us to follow Him at that time. Similarly, in John 14:1-3 He
states: "I go to prepare a place (a position) for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with
me; that where I am, there you may be also." These verses clearly tell us that we don't go anywhere, except to the grave, until He
Where in the Bible does it state that Jonah was partially out of the whale while he was in the whale for three days? Nowhere. Where
in the Bible does it state that Jesus was partially out of the grave while he was in the grave for three days? Nowhere. He was fully in
the grave; then on the third day, fully out.
During this current age, Jesus is preparing positions for the saints for some point in the future. After the seventh day (the Messianic
kingdom on earth), the seven days of history will be complete. Then the Hew heavens and earth, the eternal state, will begin. Millions
of saints who have died, along with millions of saints who are alive, will be gathered unto Christ and meet in the air as we begin the
1,000-year Messianic kingdom. What a time this will be!
The tradition that man is both in heaven and in the grave has no place in Christian discussions, especially at a funeral. The primary
text in the New Testament that tells us what should be preached at funerals is I Thess 4:18. Here, Paul points the bereaved to the
hope of the resurrection. The resurrection is the moment they will again be aware of their surroundings, if they were saved before
death. If our sleeping loved ones are already enjoying heaven, there is no need for the resurrection. The Full Resurrection is the
heart of Christian doctrine. If you don't understand it, please don't fool yourself into thinking you can go around selling the traditional
Partial Resurrection view, and expect to be saved. You will be held accountable. The Holy Spirit has clearly revealed the Full
Resurrection view in His Word, to those who want the Truth.
Many use 1 Cor 15:55 at funerals: "Death, where is your victory or sting?" But, if you look a few verses before that: perishable must
become imperishable and mortal immortal (53). The DEAD will be raised imperishable (52). The explanation is simple: the Christian
dead will receive imperishability at the resurrection, not at death.
The Pharisees believed that their Father Abraham was in a Paradise, ready to receive every dying Pharisee. They believed in this
falsehood well before Jesus exposed it in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16. And they believed that since Abraham
was their descendant, they were automatically included. Jesus blew that theory away by using this belief against them in this
amazing parable. The paradise of the Jew at that time is not Christian doctrine. There is no Biblical teaching about this paradise, yet
the Pharisees and Sadducees believed it before Jesus told this satirical parable. Abraham never hinted that they would be going to a
paradise because of their lineage. This belief can be traced to have come from Greek mythology even before Jesus came to earth.
He exposed this traditional Jewish belief with this parable. Hebrews 11:13 reveals that Abraham had not yet as of the writing of the
book of Hebrews received the promises God made to him. But he will! The parable of the rich man and Lazarus, if it really did
support the idea that the mind separates from the body, which it doesn't, would also teach us that dead believers have working eyes,
tongues, chests, and fingers: in other words, they are physically present in two places at once! This would force the Partial
Resurrection view to contradict itself, because on one hand they are saying that Christians are present in paradise non-bodily; but
here we have them in a paradise bodily. Parables are illustrations or stories, not actual events. One can use any illustration he
wishes to teach a point to those who are actually listening and comprehending. A parable must be read into to be understood.
However, this does not diminish the validity of any parable. In this one, Christ simply borrowed an illustration based on a traditional
false belief of the Pharisees: that when they die, they go to a paradise. Yes, there will be a paradise, but it is a future event. It will
follow the upcoming great tribulation period. With this parable, those today who believe the Partial Resurrection view unknowingly
use the items in the parable to attempt to prove they will actually occur, completely missing the point of the parable, and drawing
conclusions which prove Christ's very point! If a man used Mohammed as a character while talking with a Muslim in an illustration
about proper scoring of a volleyball game, a Partial Resurrectionist who overheard him would then conclude that Mohammed played
volleyball. Believers should reject scriptural manipulation such as the misapplication of the components of a parable, if he is truly
seeking to be led by the Spirit. In addition, this parable is written in past tense. But we know people had not yet ascended, based
partly on Christ's statement in John 3:13: "No one has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven." What value do
we give the Words of Jesus? He was spiting the Pharisees by using their own old beliefs against them. Christians need to study the
meaning of this spite, instead of actually taking on the beliefs of the Pharisees. The true Bible student knows that the belief in
entering a paradise upon death is not Biblical, as there is no biblical mention of it up to this point. The Pharisees believed in it, and
Jesus made a fool out of them with it. And He is making a fool out of the majority of believers to this day. To get around this, some
Partial Resurrectionists conclude that the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is not even a parable. So, let's determine whether it is
a parable or not. "Then all the publicans and sinners came to him to hear him speak" (Luke 15:1). Was there a multitude present?
Yes. "Jesus spoke all these things to the multitude in parables; and without a parable he did not speak unto them" (Matthew 13:34).
So, Jesus spoke only in parables to the multitudes. Parable it is.
Also in this parable, the clothing and faring of the rich man identified him symbolically with the pharisees. Lazarus was depicted as a
beggar, a description of the Gentiles who laid at the gate of Judah.
At His second coming, the Jews will be saved. At His first, the Gentiles were given the opportunity. The name Lazarus refers to
those Christ has helped, namely the Gentiles.
Also in this parable, Lazarus is shown to have immediately received the promise of eternal life. Yet the author of Hebrews clearly tells
us that Abraham, as well as all the other Old Testament saints, have not yet received the promises given to them by God. All saints
will be resurrected at once, just as Christ told His disciples, when He comes to get us, on the third day. By saying that the dead in
Christ are now in heaven in any form, you are forced to claim that Christ has already returned millions of times, and you make Him
out to be a liar.
The rich man in the parable identifies Abraham as his father, as did the Pharisees. The Jews represented by the rich man in this
parable are in their present state because of their unbelief, which ultimately manifested itself in the rejection of the Messiah. This
parable shows that the punishment and testing they would undergo would not immediately lead them to Christ. Instead of calling on
Him, the rich man calls on his ancestor Abraham to help ease his suffering!
The fact that the rich man has five brothers is a vital clue to his true symbolic identity. Judah, the progenitor of the Jews, was the son
of Jacob through Leah (Gen. 29:35). He had five full-blooded brothers: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, and Zebulun (Gen. 35:23).
This detail did not escape the notice of the Pharisees and scribes to which Jesus was speaking. They thoroughly knew their history
and were extremely proud of their heritage. Jesus wanted those self-righteous Pharisees to know exactly who he was referring to with
"And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 But he said to him, 'If they do not hear
Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' " Jesus uses the last two verses of this
parable as an amazing prophecy of the Jews' coming ignorance of His pending resurrection from the dead. The rich man says that
although his brothers may not accept the scriptural evidence for the identity of the Messiah, they will accept the evidence of one who
is raised from the dead. But, did they? Abraham in the parable answers and plainly tells him that anyone who rejects the Bible's
teaching about the Messiah will also refuse to acknowledge the evidence of a miraculous resurrection. This last verse is a sad
prophecy about the Jews who, despite God's resurrection of His son from the power of the grave, have failed to recognize Jesus as
the prophesied Messiah.
The parable of Lazarus and the rich man, long used by mainstream "Christian" ministers to teach the "reality of hell," really has
nothing to say about punishment or reward in an afterlife. Jesus used this story, which fit the common misconception about life after
death in his day, to show the fate that awaited the Jewish nation because of the unbelief and faithlessness which caused them to
reject Him as the Messiah. They still suffer from this fate to this very day. Yet the time is soon coming when God will pour out on the
Jews the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Him whom they pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns
for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn (Zec. 12:10).
One of the Partial Resurrectionist's heaviest arguments is the misunderstanding of these verses from Paul in 2nd Cor 5:8: "We are
confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body (resurrected or raptured) and at home with the Lord (the Lord will be in
the kingdom on earth)", and Philippians 1:23: "I am torn between the two: I desire to depart (be resurrected or raptured) and be with
Christ (in the coming kingdom on earth)." These verses have absolutely nothing to do with the end-times schedule. Paul was
weighing the two: the need to be here preaching, versus the want to be resurrected and ultimately with Jesus. His intent here was not
to teach us that our minds float into heaven upon death. These verses have to do with our current temporary physical dwelling in
contrast to our future dwelling, and what we should be doing while in the temporary one. Paul is discussing a place, not a time.
When anyone tells you that they would rather be somewhere else, they are rarely implying that they can be there immediately. Before
these statements by Paul, the Bible gives no consideration of the mind separating from the body, so this was not even in question.
He knew that once he died, the very next event he would witness would be the resurrection! Then he would forever be with the Lord.
He was excited about that, as all saints are and as we all should be. He also described this 'body' as a temporary 'earthly tent', which
will be rebuilt at the resurrection. This statement from Paul is one of the strongest arguments Partial Resurrectionists can come up
with for forcing the mind from the body. They even go so far as to misquote Paul, saying, "to be apart from the body is to be present
with the Lord." Paul never said that. Even though one is present with the Lord after being resurrected, nonetheless misquoting
scripture is a grave mistake. All scriptural manipulators are promised to be excluded from the tree of life. Be very careful!
Paul knew that when he becomes absent from his mortal body at the resurrection/rapture event, he will be at home with the Lord in
his new immortal state. Of course, he didn't know exactly when that would occur, nor does he imply it in these verses.
Believers in a partial resurrection still take Satan's bait from 6,000 years ago, when the serpent told Adam and Eve that if they eat of
the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that they would NOT die. Many believers today still hold a traditional and
unfounded belief that man is immortal. This is clearly not what the Bible teaches, but it IS what man teaches.
Christians should know that their judgment seat will not take place until after the resurrection/rapture event, on earth, just before the
start of the 1,000-year Messianic kingdom. Paul was alive and conscious on earth almost 2,000 years ago, he is in the grave (sheol
or hades) now, unconscious and asleep, awaiting the resurrection; and he will meet the rest of us in the air at the resurrection/rapture
event as we are brought to Armageddon together for the final battle; and THIS is when all believers finally put on immortality.
The saints in the graves will hear His voice and come out at once (John 5:28). Partial Resurrectionists believe they would hear his
voice well before that, because they believe they will be in heaven! Heaven is where the Father dwells, not man. Speaking of the
Father, "He alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see" (1 Tim 6:16). Men
are not nor never have been immortal! A Partial Resurrectionist would have to believe that a Christian dies and "goes" to heaven, but
does not see or hear the Lord. They would have to be conscious, but not be able to see nor hear! However, the truth is we will not
be transformed unto His likeness until the resurrection/rapture event occurs.
Many Partial Resurrectionists believe Christ preached to the imprisoned spirits between his death and resurrection (1Pe 3:18-20).
But the Bible does not state that this occurred between His death and resurrection. It is more likely this occurred in the day of Noah,
as stated. There is no Biblical reference to anything Christ did between His death and resurrection. This is simply because everyone
involved in the first resurrection will not become conscious again until the third day. The first death is complete lack of consciousness.
Partial Resurrectionists believe the mind of the dead believer is in heaven and the body is in the grave, and at the resurrection, Christ
brings the minds down and reunites them with the bodies (1 Thess 4:14). But this passage does not say that at all. This is
dangerous scriptural manipulation. In fact, it pretty much states the exact opposite. Read it carefully. It simply shows that the
believer will be dead and raised just as Christ was. "For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will
bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." So, just as Jesus was resurrected, so shall be the dead saints in Christ.
Some have said that near-death experiences prove that believer's minds go to heaven at death. There cannot be found a single case
of a person who was never exposed to Christ or the gospel while alive, and who later came back to life describing heaven. And while
it is true that the mind is still active while it is low on oxygen, I'd be ashamed to use hallucinations as evidence of anything. The Word
of God is the Truth we need.
While Jesus was on this earth physically, he said many interesting things and performed many miracles. Have you ever thought
about why He performed these miracles? All these things were certainly real events, but even more important, symbolic of things to
come. For example, healing the blind represented forgiveness and salvation through faith. We were once blind, but He gave us our
sight - our understanding. Only those who believed in His ability to heal were granted their requests. And raising someone from the
dead represented our upcoming resurrection. Saints who die before the resurrection/rapture event will be asleep, awaiting this great
real event. Their minds will never leave their bodies. Never. Remove that tradition from your thoughts for good. If you die today,
your mind will not ascend into heaven; you will go fully to the grave. When Jesus ascended, the disciples watched all of Him ascend
with their own eyes. Since He is the firstfruits to the future of the true believer, the same shall occur with us - we shall ascend to meet
Him in the air. He died intact, He was raised intact, and He ascended intact. There is no Biblical reference for the mind ever leaving
the body. Our spirit (life) will be given up at death, and reunited with our mind & body at the resurrection. A person's spirit gives them
life, not thought. It has no consciousness. The mind provides thought to a soul. When a soul dies, the mind and body together (as a
unit) remain asleep until the resurrection.
Sleep and final death are certainly not the same. Jesus shows us this in several places, one being Luke 8:52-55. "Jesus said, 'Stop
wailing. The girl is not dead, but asleep.' But believing she was dead, they scoffed at Jesus. Taking the girl's hand, He called, 'Little
Girl, arise.' Her spirit returned and at once she arose." As you can see, she was asleep awaiting her resurrection. Jesus brought her
to life to show how this concept will work. This situation represents the Christian resurrection, when a relatively small percentage of
humans—those who were specifically chosen—will come to life and follow Christ and be gathered together, all at the same time. To
say death and sleep are the same is to make Jesus out to be a liar!
"Man lies down and doesn't rise." "They shall not awake, nor be roused out of their sleep" (Job 14:12). This doesn't sound to me like
man is going anywhere, or doing anything, while he is asleep. Some Partial Resurrectionists believe they can keep their tradition by
claiming that once Christ was raised, all OT saints were raised. They must expand the lie to support the original lie. Of course, this
false claim flies in the face of many Scriptures, including Christ's claim that He was going to prepare a place (a position) for believers,
and that they would NOT follow Him at that time until after He comes back.
"The living know that they will die, but the dead don't know anything" (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Dead believers are unconscious, similar to
the dictionary's definition of sleep. They have no thoughts between death and resurrection. "There is no mention of the Lord in
death. In Sheol who will give the Lord thanks?" (Psalm 6:5). "The dead don't praise the Lord, neither do any that go down into
silence" (Psalm 115:17). "Man returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psalm 146:4).
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol,
where you are going" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). “Sheol” is the Hebrew word for “the place of the dead.” It is directly related to the English
word “hole,” as in “hole in the ground,” or "the grave." It translates to "Hades" in the Greek New Testament. THIS is where man
awaits his resurrection. Hot in heaven or anywhere else.
Many dismiss the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes because it doesn't fit their traditional agenda. If this picking and choosing is
acceptable, anyone can rewrite the Bible. On the other hand, perhaps these words are true. They certainly do fit with the remainder of
the Scriptures. Rejecting some of the Scriptures is an error people will regret in the worst way.
Traditions are more important to most believers than the Scriptures are. How important should traditions be to believers? Did Christ
say anything about traditions while He was on earth? He mentioned it once. In Matthew 15:6, Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees
when He said, "You invalidate the word of God for the sake of your traditions." Therefore, we must be hostile to traditional views,
which are of men; and we must accept only Biblical views.
On the day of His murder, Jesus told the 2nd crucified thief in Luke 23:43 that he would be with Him in paradise. The earth will be
reset to the paradise it once was before the fall. The paradise is the 1000-year millennial earthly kingdom, which will occur after the
3.5-year great tribulation period. We pray for this kingdom to come in our Lord's prayer, and Christ will bring this kingdom when He
comes on His day. The thief asked Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom, which is when He returns from
heaven to earth for the millennium and gathers the saints. This seventh-day era will take on the pre-Adamic format of a beautiful
garden, restoring the earth to its originally intended paradise for one day (1,000 years). The Greek biblical text did not indicate that
Christ and the thief would be entering Heaven on the day of their crucifixion. The Bible does not declare that He was resurrected on
the first day! He was resurrected on the third day. And the saints shall be as well. We are certainly not more special than He is. We
know that Jesus did not ascend to Heaven, where the Father dwells, on that day. In fact, between his resurrection and ascension,
Jesus himself said to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17: "I have not yet ascended to the Father." Also, certainly the earthly paradise
mentioned in both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures was not yet in place at that time (Isaiah 66:22-24; 2Peter 3:13; Rev 21:1-5).
Regardless of what the Partial Resurrectionist wants the paradise to, it is easy to see that the thief did not enter on the day of his
death. Below are seven translations of the second half of this very passage - some from well before the error-ridden King James,
American Standard, or NIV versions even existed:
"Verily, to you am I saying now, with Me shall you be in paradise." --Concordant Literal
"Verily do-I-say unto-thee today, With me, thou-shalt-be, in Paradise." --The Gospel of History
"Verily I say to thee to-day that with me thou shalt be in the Eden’s garden." --Syriac Gospels
"I say to thee to-day that with me thou shalt be in the Garden of Eden" --Curetonian Bible
"Verily, I say unto thee this day: With me, shalt thou be in Paradise." --Rotherham Translation
"Verely I saye unto the to daye shalt thou be with me in Paradyse." --William Tyndale's Translation
"Indeed I say to thee to-day, with me thou shalt be in the Paradise." --Emphatic Diaglott New Testament
Many Partial Resurrectionists claim that since Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you" without the additional "today" in all other examples, He
must not have meant "today" in this one. But He most certainly did. This passage is the only instance where one day would have
produced a different response, all because the thief received Him at that very moment! Christ's response on any other day would
have included words showing that the thief would be with Jesus in paradise only if he first received Him. So, to paraphrase their
simple dialog, the repentant thief said, "Jesus, remember me when You return for Your millennial kingdom." And Jesus replied,
"Today I can tell you that you will be with Me when I begin My kingdom."
1Corinthians 15:20-24 says, "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since
death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be
made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him." This passage explains
that the saints will be a part of His first resurrection on the third day. It also clearly shows that the dead in Christ will not be made alive
UNTIL He comes to gather them at His return. This certainly does not occur when they die. Unless they are not alive in heaven,
which, of course, is ridiculous.
"I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Tim
6:14). Notice he does not say 'until your death'. The Partial Resurrectionist would have to assume that one's destiny could change
between the time "he" "enters" heaven at death, and the time that Christ returns to the earth. What is the first event that will take
place at His coming? It's all about the hope of the resurrection! And the revealing will occur at once. At the proper time. No minds
trickling in over a 2,000 year period.
Paul encouraged the Corinthians to help a particularly sexually sinful man so that his sin nature (flesh) may be destroyed and his spirit
would be saved on the day of the Lord (1 Cor 5:5). In this verse, apostate christianity replaces "the day of the Lord" with "the day of
the man's death." Do not be a part of "adjusting" the Scriptures to man's liking or understanding. Do not be a part of substantiating
lies with even more lies. There are many petitions for the believer by Paul to "hang in there" so that we are found favorable when
Christ comes to this earth to gather the saints. These Passages never express that we are to "hang in there" so we are found
favorable when we die. Again, to make these changes is to assume that our acceptance to everlasting life can change between
death and the resurrection. This is, of course, unbiblical.
Jesus told His disciples in John 14:3 that He will come back later and take them to the place He is going. So again, apostate believers
are then forced to believe that Christ returns every time a believer dies. The real Jesus told His disciples that they will NOT be with
Him until He comes to get them.
Regarding the believers' part of the first resurrection, Jesus said: "those who are in the graves will hear my voice". Partial
Resurrectionists believe they hear his voice from Heaven, but Christ said they hear it from the graves. Again, by forcing an unbiblical
dual existence, they make Him out to be a liar.
"Jesus said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep." This awakening
represents what Christ went through and the what dead in Christ will go through: the first resurrection on the third day. "The disciples
said, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover." This shows they didn't understand the resurrection, same as believers today.
"Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep" (John 11:11-14). All who have died,
believer or not, have experienced the first death. But they have not yet perished. All these will be resurrected - some to life, and
most to destruction. Jesus raised Lazarus as a beautiful picture of our own death, burial, and resurrection. It’s interesting that
Lazarus, dead for days, then raised back to life, didn't leave us with any stories or information about where he'd gone and what he'd
done and seen while he was dead, although he had ample opportunity. This would have been the time for this important single speck
of Partial Resurrection information to have been revealed to us. But it was not. Because it didn't exist. There is simply no evidence
of a partial resurrection in the Bible. However, it is certainly alive and well in the minds of wide-door apostate believers, who fight
tooth-and-nail to satisfy Satan's desire of inserting mythology into the scriptures.
"The rest of the dead didn't live until the thousand years were finished" (Revelation 20:5). This does NOT say, “All the dead
continued to live, in another place, during the millennial period” - as is taught in most churches these days (if they dare to teach much
at all). I won't elaborate on this here, because the fate of the unbeliever is another study (please see my writing on "hell"). But it does
touch on how the lie must be expanded to make it "work."
Our ancestors, who developed the English language, seem to have understood the concept of the first death, and the Complete
Resurrection view. To describe the place where people go when they die, they coined the word “cemetery,” from the Latin word
“coemeterium,” itself based on the Greek word “koimeterion,” which meant “sleeping room”. Not heaven, but the place of rest. When
you sleep, your mind and your body always stay together. Cemetery means bedroom: a place of rest for your mind and body. This is
where the phrase "rest in peace" comes from.
John Wycliffe (1324-1384), known as “the Morning Star of the Reformation,” taught that there was “unconscious sleep between death
Martin Luther (1483-1546), the founder of Protestantism, referred to the resurrection, which will take place when Jesus returns, as
being “awakened out of a deep sleep.” Sleep involves a temporary resting of both the mind and the body.
Hippolytus (170-236), certainly did not think that souls were in heaven. "But now we must speak of Hades, in which the souls both of
the righteous and the unrighteous are detained." Remember, Hades is the grave, and a soul is a person. "The righteous will obtain
the incorruptible and unfading Kingdom, who indeed are at present detained in Hades. Thus far, then, in which the souls of all are
detained until the time God has determined; and then He will accomplish a resurrection of all, not by transferring souls into bodies,
but by raising the souls themselves" (Against Plato, on the Cause of the Universe, 1, 2).
John Wesley (1703-1791), founder of the Methodist Church, in his sermon on the parable of Lazarus: "It is, indeed, very generally
supposed that the souls of good men, as soon as they are discharged from the body, go directly to heaven; but this opinion has not
the least foundation in the oracles of God. On the contrary our Lord says to Mary, after the resurrection, ‘Touch me not; for I have not
yet ascended to my Father.’"
William Tyndale (1490-1536), who was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English (which was a crime in his day),
argued that the Partial Resurrection view, “in saying that any part of the dead are in heaven, hell, or purgatory, destroys the argument
with which Jesus and Paul prove the resurrection. The true faith speaks of the resurrection. The heathen philosophers said that the
dead souls continued to live. If these souls are in heaven…why do we need to look for a resurrection?”
Are you following the heathen philosophers, or are you interested in the Word of God? The Partial Resurrection view insists that
there is no logical reason for the resurrection. The true Christian must know better. His hope is in the resurrection, not in death.
Death for the saint is simply rest until the resurrection.
Dr. Paul Althaus, in his book, The Theology of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 1966, pp. 413, 414), stated: "The hope of the early
church centered on the resurrection of the Last Day. It is this which first calls the dead into eternal life (I Cor. 15; Phil 3:21). This
resurrection happens to the man and not only to the body. Paul speaks of the resurrection not ‘of the body’ but ‘of the dead.’ This
understanding of the resurrection implicitly defines death as also affecting the whole man. Thus, in traditional orthodoxy, the original
Biblical concepts have been replaced by ideas from Hellenistic, Gnostic dualism. The New Testament idea of the resurrection which
affects the whole man has had to give way to the immortality of the soul. The Last Day also loses its significance, for souls have
received all that is decisively important long before this. Eschatological tension is no longer strongly directed to the day of Jesus’
Coming. The difference between this and the Hope of the New Testament is very great."
What is the "immortality of the soul?" It is a mythological concept which cannot be found in God's Word. There is only one who has
been, is, and always will be immortal. Not Christ, not man, but the Father: our almighty God (I Tim 6:15-16, 1:17).
Hosea 6:2 tells us, "After two days he will revive us, and on the third day he will raise us up to live in his presence." Again, we will not
live in His presence until the third day. The third day will begin with the resurrection/rapture event, and will end approximately 1,000
years later with the great white throne judgement. Then the seven days of history will be complete, and the chosen will be ushered
into the new Jerusalem for eternity. Nowhere does the Word state that He will revive only our bodies. This is a Fallacy. Our
immortality occurs at the resurrection, and not a minute before.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19 says, "Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that
there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our
preaching is vain and your faith is also vain. And we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He
raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if
Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in
this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." The dead, not just their bodies, will be resurrected. They will
be brought back to life!
If Christ is our predecessor, then who are we to assume a different path? No component of Christ ascended until AFTER He was
resurrected. He was fully dead, then fully alive. It is no different with humans. Just as with Christ, our resurrection will be of the
whole person. Nowhere in the Bible is any resurrected person split in any way. Again, and this is important: to say part of a person
goes to heaven when he dies and that part joins the other part later, is a fairytale which began with the pagan beliefs of the early
Greek philosophers. These false teachings come from the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) who palms himself off as an angel of light (2
Cor. 11:14-15). The apostle Paul speaks of religious counterfeits: another Jesus, another spirit, and a different gospel. Be very
careful! The real Jesus told His disciples that they will NOT be where He is until He comes to get them.
The Full Resurrection is the heart of Christian doctrine. The resurrection is not an issue to take lightly. Only a small portion of
believers will be resurrected or raptured. Many are called, but few are chosen. The apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 11:23-27:
"For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes (not 'till you die'). Therefore
whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." Since
Jesus promised we would be gathered only when He comes to get us, most believers are unknowingly eating the bread and drinking
the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner. They also will not receive everlasting life because they have removed much of the
truth—and to those He will say later that He does not know them. Do not take this lightly or dismiss it! These points are supported by
statements such as that by the apostle John in Revelation 22:18-19: "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophesy of this
book: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book; and if anyone takes words away from
this book of prophesy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."
Most people have been sold a bill of goods by humans with good intentions over the years. This bill of goods is based on the
traditions of men and not on the Word of God as taught by the Holy Spirit. Men tend to justify their traditions instead of seeking the
truth. Stop relying on man for new information, and start relying on the Holy Spirit's ability to interpret the Word for you. There are as
many religions, denominations, and beliefs as there are men. Man is corrupt. The Spirit is not. Can belief in pagan ideas, promoted
in the name of Jesus, result in a knowledge of Truth which leads to salvation?
The bottom line is that most will not be a part of the resurrection/rapture event, and will ultimately not share in the Kingdom. This is
serious business. You will be hated by many, if you are on fire for the Truth and are truly seeking the coming kingdom first. We must
never tie our eternal fate to the traditions of men. One can always find others that believe what their itching ears want to hear.
Remember, what most believers believe is most likely not the truth, based partly on the teachings of Christ in Matthew 7:21-23,
revealing the sizes of the narrow door that leads to life and the wide door that leads to destruction. Don't be a part of the apostasy.
This group will be crushed, and this will please God (Rev. 17, 18, 15, 16). Now that you have been enlightened, if you continue to
believe the Partial Resurrection view, you will not be a part of the first resurrection or the rapture. I urge you to sit down several times
with the Holy Spirit and study this topic. Whenever we prepare to study, it is effective to remove all earthly thoughts and biases from
our minds, confess our sins, and ask God through His Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth of His Word to us. He wants to do this for us!
This is mandatory, powerful, and reliable, assuming you wish to enter the coming kingdom here on earth. If you do this, and are
willing to spend much time in the Word and make understanding the Truth your goal, I guarantee you will begin to see the answers
and Truths that you desire, and you can then gradually let go of traditional thinking. If you are not willing to do this, you are obviously
not a member of the Bride of Christ. You must learn to separate what tradition teaches from what God teaches. Decide right now to
build a passion for the Word and a disdain for mythology and tradition, and the confusion which comes from men.
Truth isn't determined by who believes what, but by what the Bible teaches as interpreted by the Holy Spirit. You may want to keep
the traditional view because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy. But I urge you to seriously consider the Biblical view instead. Study
this information again and again, using your Bible, while asking God through His first and only Son, Jesus Christ, to reveal the truth to
you. He will NOT disappoint you.
Answer the following questions:
1) Do saints gather in Heaven when they die, or will they not gather until Christ comes?
2) At what point in time does a Christian live in Christ's presence?
3) At what point are dead saints made alive?
4) Did Jesus and the second thief ascend to the Father the day they died?
5) Are sleep and death the same thing?
6) When Christ was here, had He already prepared Heaven for dead saints?
7) Up to the point of when Jesus walked the earth, had masses of people already ascended to heaven?
8) Did the Pharisees learn their belief in their rendition of the paradise from the Scriptures?
Check your answers:
1) Do believers gather in Heaven when they die, or will they not gather until Christ comes? Not until Christ comes to get them. John
14:3: "And if I go and prepare a position for you, I will come back and take you to be with me" and John 13:36: "Where I am going,
you cannot follow now; but you will follow later." When they die, they simply sleep until the resurrection.
2) At what point in time will a Christian live in Christ's presence? Not when he dies, but on the third day, which begins very, very soon.
Hosea 6:2: "After two days he will revive us, and on the third day he will raise us up to live in his presence."
3) At what point are dead saints made alive? Not at death, but when He comes to get them, at the start of the day of the Lord, the
Messianic kingdom, the 7th and final day of history. 1Cor 15:20-24: "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of
those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as
in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who
belong to Him."
4) Did Jesus and the second thief ascend to the Father the day they died? No. Several days later, Jesus told Mary Magdalene in John
20:17: "I have not yet ascended to the Father." Unfortunately, many versions of the Bible have mistranslated Jesus' statements to the
thief. Many older versions do not include this mistranslation.
5) Are sleep and permanent death the same thing? Not at all. Referring to the little girl, Jesus said in Luke 8:52-55: "Stop wailing. The
girl is not dead, but asleep. But believing she was dead, they scoffed at Jesus. Taking the girl's hand, He called, 'Little girl, arise.'" Her
spirit (life) returned, and at once she arose. This situation represents the saints' part in the first resurrection, when they will come to
life, become immortal, and finally be with each other and Jesus Christ forever, beginning with the 1,000-year reign.
6) When Christ was here, had He already prepared Heaven for dead saints? No. He is currently preparing positions in the messianic
kingdom and the subsequent new Jerusalem for the eternal state of the saints. John 14:2-3: "Now I go to prepare a position for you.
And if I go and prepare a position for you, I will come back and take you to be with me; that where I am, there you may be also."
7) Up to the point of when Jesus walked the earth, had many people already ascended to heaven? No. John 3:13: "No one has
ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven."
8) Did the Pharisees learn their belief in their incorrect rendition of paradise from the Scriptures? No. Their belief came from Greek
mythology, not the Bible. Their paradise and the Biblical paradise are different. The first Biblical mention of their paradise was when
Jesus ridiculed them with it in Luke 16, proving their beliefs were of men. Most people who claim to be believers today still believe in
Greek mythology and tradition over the Bible.
Please feel free to email me with any discussion you might have on this or any other topic.
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Please feel free to email me with any discussion you might have on this or any other topic.