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urn02I received the following question:

I have a question for you………….

A woman asked me if cremation is proper?

I could find no reference in the bible about the disposal of a dead body.  There are several references regarding burial, but nothing of other means of disposal.  A couple references of the dead being placed in a cave with the entrances covered with rocks.  The only references about death and fire are in Revelations, but it concerns the second death, the lake of fire.

Gen 3:19 tells us,” In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.

Common sense tells us that men have been lost at sea, eaten by predators, burned alive, etc.  But none of this will hinder our future resurrection. Read the rest of this entry »

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ghostman02I received the following questions:

Many of my friends are arguing with me about the reason we are resurrected is for our heavenly bodies but not because we are not in heaven when we die (sheol).  I don’t really know what to say to this?

I’ve been reading in Hebrews that Hezekiah was pleading not to die, but if he thought he was going to heaven when he died why would he plead to not die, right?  Does this make sense for an argument against not going to heaven when you die?

Any help please?

Your friends are arguing, not based on Bible truth, but on the doctrines and traditions of men. Satan told Eve, “You will not surely die.” Genesis 3:4. Literally in Hebrew, this reads, “Dying you will not die.” Eve believed him…that dying, she would not be dead, but be in some other state, “like God.” (verse 5.) And the vast majority of people on earth, including most Christians, still believe what Satan said rather than what God said. They refuse to believe that death results in being dead, instead insisting that the dead are still very much alive. Read the rest of this entry »

pets02I received the following question:

Do animals have a spirit? And if they do is it the same spirit? Would them make them be in heaven?

Most definitely yes, as can be seen clearly my study on “Spirits and Souls,” here: https://precepts.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/spirits-and-souls/ . We never even got out of the first book of the Bible to learn this! If you have the time and want to, though, you can really solidify it in your mind by continuing the study I began and looking at ALL the occurrences of these two words. In Greek, spirit = pneuma and soul = psuche.

Asking if it is the same spirit is another good question! Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 says, Read the rest of this entry »

tunnel02I would like to remind my readers that I am a regular column contributor to the Word of Truth Ministry’s Bulletin. This last Bulletin, my article was on “Near Death Experiences,” discussing the common phenomenon of people claiming to have died and then come back with stories of visiting heaven, seeing their loved ones, and so forth. These stories sell books in Christian bookstores, but do they actually match up with Scripture or the truth? Read this article at:

http://www.seedandbread.org/images/stories/bulletins/June_14_2014Bulletin.pdf

In this issue, I also discuss a question regarding the meaning and definition of “sin,” and if it changes between the Old Testament, the gospel period, the Acts period, and the dispensation of grace.

soulmaybe02I received the following question:

Well I know I haven’t written to you in a while with questions but lately I’ve been having discussions with others that are getting me thinking but stuck.  What’s the difference between spirit and soul?

A complete study of the word “spirit” should be undertaken to get the exact use of the word that the Spirit of God makes of it in the Scriptures. I will not take the time to do that here, but I think a quick concordance of the first 10 occurrences of the word for “spirit” in the Old Testament Scriptures, which is the Hebrew word “ruach,” should demonstrate for us its basic uses.

The first occurrence of the word “spirit” is in the very second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2. Read the rest of this entry »

mask02We have but one book left of the Pentateuch or Torah to examine in order to have studied all the occurrences of the word “soul” in these first five books of the Old Testament. In our previous articles in this series, examining the word nephesh or “soul” in Genesis through Numbers, we discovered eight possible meanings for this word, which are as follows:

1. Any living creature of the land, sea, or air.

2. Any of the above creatures after they are dead.

3. What man is as a product of his body and his breath of life being mixed together.

4. The blood of men, or something connected to the blood of men.

5. People.

6. A person’s self or being.

7. A dead person.

8. The emotions, strong feelings, and desires of men.

So now we continue our study into the book of Deuteronomy. Let us see if these eight definitions continue to cover all the occurrences of this word, and what else we can learn about souls from this last book of Moses.

Deuteronomy 4:9. Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,

They are to take heed to themselves and diligently keep their souls. The danger is that they will forget the things they have seen the LORD do for them, and they will depart from their hearts all the days of their lives. To diligently keep their souls is to diligently keep themselves, and to ensure that the things the LORD has done for them remain in their memory. The nephesh is the person, and is here connected with the memory and the heart. The emotions and desires of a person, if they are not focused on the LORD and diligently maintained, can cause him to forget what he should remember and can remove from his heart the things that should remain there.

Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Have you studied life before the fall and flood? What was the purpose of the tree of life before the fall? I am questioning some of the interpretations I have grown up with on the topic of physical death versus spiritual death at the fall.

I would say that it is inherent in physical bodies that they can be damaged. That is, just because a body does not have sin and death working in it so that it would never wear out or grow old, does not mean that a sharp enough blow could not break bones, and so forth. The tree of life, then, would have promoted rapid, proper, and complete healing to any damage a human body might have taken.

As for spiritual death versus physical death, I think the LORD’s words in Genesis 2:17 provide a clue as to what the tree of life would have done.

17. but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (New King James Version)

The words “you shall surely die” are literally in Hebrew “dying you shall die.” (see Young’s Literal Translation, “dying thou dost die.”) The scholars will say that this is a Hebrew figure of speech expressing the idea of “surely die.” Yet I would argue otherwise. The phrase as it stands in the Hebrew seems to be completely accurate. What happened the day Adam ate the fruit is that it poisoned his body and started death working within him. Whereas until he ate from the tree, he had had only life working in him, from the moment he ate the fruit, death was working in him as well. In other words, from the time he ate the fruit, he was dying. Eventually, the activity of death would overpower the activity of life within him, and then he would die, death having come to its culmination within him. Read the rest of this entry »

sealion02In our previous articles in this series, we examined all the occurrences of the Hebrew word for “soul,” nephesh, in the books of Genesis through Leviticus. We discovered eight possible meanings for this word from our examination of these books, which are as follows:

1. Any living creature of the land, sea, or air.

2. Any of the above creatures after they are dead.

3. What man is as a product of his body and his breath of life being mixed together.

4. The blood of men, or something connected to the blood of men.

5. People.

6. A person’s self or being.

7. A dead person.

8. The emotions, strong feelings, and desires of men.

Read the rest of this entry »

In our previous articles in this series, “Souls in Genesis” and “Souls in Exodus,” we examined all the occurrences of the Hebrew word for “soul,” nephesh, in the first two books of the Bible. We discovered six possible meanings for this word from our examinations of Genesis and Exodus, which are as follows:

1. Any creature of the land, sea, or air.

2. What man is as a product of his body and his breath of life being mixed together.

3. The blood of men, or something connected to the blood of men.

4. People.

5. A person’s self or being.

6. The emotions, strong feelings, and desires of men.

Read the rest of this entry »

anatomy02In our previous article in this series, “Souls in Genesis,” we examined all the occurrences of the Hebrew word for “soul,” nephesh, in the first book of the Bible. We discovered six possible meanings for this word from our examination of Genesis, which are as follows:

1. Any creature of the land, sea, or air.

2. What man is as a product of his body and his breath of life being mixed together.

3. The blood of men, or something connected to the blood of men.

4. People.

5. A person’s self or being.

6. The emotions, strong feelings, and desires of men.

Read the rest of this entry »