Is there life after death, do the dead know what the living are doing today, have departed one's passed away unto Heaven or hell or someplace like that? Let's blow the dust off our Bibles and began to see what God reveals and what is true and not just the traditions of men who don't know a thing they're talking about and have no proof whatsoever.
The World Tomorrow, the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W Armstrong... Ladies and gentlemen Herbert W Armstrong. Those who have died in your family, or among your friends, where are they now? Are they dead, or have they just passed away to some other place, or some other life? You know, the subject of life and death is the most important of all questions, and yet it is the least thought about and the least studied — and perhaps the one that people know the least about.
Now the most certain thing in life is death. All who have ever lived, except those still alive and living today, have died. Millions, hundreds of millions, even billions, have lived and died. What about them? Are they dead, or have they just passed on? And if so, where did they pass on to? Where are they now?
Now there are two general schools of thought on this question that are prevalent in the world. One is that of atheists. They believe that when you die, you are dead. Death ends all. You are just as if you had never been. You have come, you have lived a life of perhaps a lot of pain and sorrow, and suffering, discontent, unhappiness. You've witnessed all of the evils in this world. Maybe it's been a very unhappy life.
And then there are the various religious ideas from the various religions, who accept the pagan doctrine of the immortality of the soul. That is that every human is an immortal soul, or has an immortal soul. And various ideas of how and where one continues at what we call death. In other words, they believe that he doesn't really die — only the body dies. You are, or have an immortal soul housed in a body of flesh. Now of course, this body will die, but you don't and you just pass on somewhere.
But there is no possible source of knowledge, unless it is in the Bible. Did you ever think of that? Now science has discovered absolutely nothing that happens at the time, or beyond death. Science can give you no scientific knowledge whatsoever on the question. You accept the revealed word of the Almighty, Living Creator God, or you just plead ignorance and say, "I am ignorant. I don't know."
Neither atheists, nor pagan religious ideas have any basis for real knowledge. You accept what God reveals, or you are ignorant. And you must admit you are ignorant. You just don't know, you lack the knowledge.
Now in the Bible, there is a very great man. He was considered the most righteous man, perhaps, who ever lived. And he wondered about that and he asked the question. That's the man Job. Actually he is the man who built the greatest building on this earth, until just our lifetime now. And that was the great pyramid of Giza in Egypt — Job — and he asked the question:
"If a man die, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14)
Now that is the question, he asked it — and he answered it. He seemed to know. He said:
"...all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou [speaking of God, speaking to God] Thou [God] shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands." (Job 14:14-15)
In other words, he was the work of God's hands. God would call and he would answer. Now that indicated he was going to live again. He would die — God would call — but he was the workmanship of God. A piece of God's workmanship, as if God is the potter and we are the clay — and we are His workmanship. In fact, other places in the Bible indicate and speak of God as being a potter. And we humans as being the clay that He is fashioning and forming His way for His purpose. (Isaiah 64:8)
So, Job said he would live again. God would call and he would answer. Now, let's see what Jesus Christ Himself revealed and that is in John in the New Testament. The fifth chapter of John, verses twenty-eight and twenty-nine. Jesus said:
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice," (John 5:28)
Now Job said God would call and he would answer. Jesus said they will hear His voice — He will call:
"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment." (John 5:29)
In the King James Translation, it is 'damnation', and that is incorrect. And many places in the Bible show a certain judgment. And a judgment that gives a great deal of hope. And the only hope for a great many people who have lived.
What Is Life? Now to understand, we need to know the truth about the present life. What is life? What kind of a life do we have? Why are we here and what about this thing of death and if there is going to be another life afterward, why? What is the purpose of it and why is this life and what is the connection between this life and another life — when God calls and we shall answer and come forth out of the graves, or from whatever state?
Well we go back to Genesis now the second chapter. God had said:
"...let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)
God's own form and shape and likeness. And so in the second chapter and verse seven:
"And the [Eternal] God formed man of the dust of the ground..." (Genesis 2:7)
That is what the Bible says we are. And the Bible is the word of God. Now you can prove that, I have proved it, you can prove it, or you can ignore it and say "I'm ignorant." Just as you like.
"And the [Eternal] God formed man of the dust of the ground [that's what we are formed out of. That's what we are composed of] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [the breath of life is breathed in and out of the nostrils of the animals just the same as us. We have the same kind of life as animals. We die the same kind of death as animals (Ecclesiastes 3:19)... breathed into his nostrils the breath of life:] and man [the dust of the ground now] became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7) The dust of the ground became a soul.
I'd like to have you notice that three places in the first chapter of Genesis, animals are called souls. Now, actually this was written by Moses, a few thousand years ago, actually. And Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language. Now, it has been preserved in the Hebrew language and also now it has been translated and we have it in the English language.
And the word 'soul' is translated from the word that Moses used, which was 'nephesh.' Now that is a Hebrew word. And the Hebrew word,'nephesh,(Strong's #5315) was also used for animals. I want you to notice in Genesis one, verse twenty:
"...God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature..." (Genesis 1:20)
And then He was speaking of fish in the water. And they are called there creatures, but Moses wrote it 'the living nephesh', the same as he did man. The living nephesh — man was called a living soul, made from the dust of the ground. The next verse:
"And God created great whales, and every living creature..." (Genesis 1:21)
Every living nephesh. There again was the word 'nephesh.' Same as used for a man. A man was a nephesh created from the ground.
Now in verse twenty-four:
"And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature..." (Genesis 1:24)
Then He's talking about land animals, cattle and cattle after their kind. Dogs, horses, cows, elephants, all kinds of animals: living nephesh. In other words, living souls. But the translators who translated it into English, had the old pagan idea about the immortality of the soul and so when they spoke of animals, they called them creatures. When it came that a man was the same living nephesh, they put in the English word, 'soul.' Now a soul is simply a breathing animal life. That's what a soul really is and it is nowhere used to mean anything else in the Bible.
Now, I'd like to go over into Ezekiel the eighteenth chapter and verse four:
"...the soul that sinneth, it shall die ... " (Ezekiel 18:4)
Well now if it is an immortal soul, how is it going to die? The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Now it's repeated again. I turn over across the page and in the same chapter, but verse twenty:
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die..." (Ezekiel 18:20)
There it is the same words repeated again in verse twenty. Now, we go back to Genesis again. "And the [Eternal] created the living nephesh, or creatures, animals. Cattle after the cattle kind.
"...God said, let us make man in our image, after our kind, ..." (Genesis 1:26)
Man was made of the same form and shape as God, but he was made of the same substance, composed of the same material as animals: with the same kind of life as animals. And that is only a temporary physical, or physiochemical life. Supported by the breath of air, the circulation of blood, and fed by food and water from the ground, and it all comes from the ground. Man was made from the dust of the ground. Man's life continues to be supported from the ground: food and water from the ground.
Man was made after the God kind. Animals after a certain animal kind, but man after the God kind. Now, if man was made after the God kind, what is the God kind — what was He made of in John four, twenty-four — God was made of spirit.
"God is a spirit:" (John 4:24)
Man is not spirit — man is flesh. But God who is spirit and has immortal life of spirit — which does not need to breathe air, does not need to drink water or eat food, but can do both — but does not need to continue living, because He is immortal with self-containing inherent life.
I want you to notice chapter one, verse one: the book of John:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
Now, the Word was the Spokesman. The Word was a Personage. The Word was with God. And God is another person, so we have two persons. And the Word was God. Well, how could that be? Well, you could say well, here is John and John was with Smith. Now John is a person and Smith is a person. And John also was Smith; well John could be Smith's father, or John could be Smith's son. Smith is the family name.
Now it says:
"All things were made by him;" (John 1:3)
That is by the Word. And Jesus is God, and God is God. Known in the Bible, especially in the New Testament as God the Father.
Now in the third chapter and verse nine of Ephesians, you'll read how God created all things by Jesus Christ. But, who is this Word? We drop down to verse fourteen and it says:
"...the Word was made flesh... [that is He became flesh later. There was a time when He was born as a human being, and He] ...was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, [as] the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
The Word then, became Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ talked about the Father in heaven, or God with whom He had been. And that He had been with God, before He was born. He spoke of that a number of times, when He was on earth. But, now I want you to notice verse four:
"In him was life;" (John 1:4)
L-I-F-E — God has life inherent within Himself. God is immortal. God is altogether different than man. Man does not have life. Man has the breath of air, or the breath of life. And therefore, his breath supplies his life. Other places in the Bible say the life thereof is the blood thereof, it's stated. (Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:14)
Now God offered life to man. Man was not made with immortal life, or the same life that God has, but he was made in the image of God, but he was made out of matter.
I want you to notice in Genesis two and verse nine, how God offered life. Immortal inherent life to the man that He made.
"And out of the ground made the [Eternal] God to grow every tree that was [is] pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life [L-I-F-E — there a symbol of life] also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of (the) good and evil." (Genesis 2:9)
Now then, we carry on to verse sixteen and seventeen.
"And the [Eternal] God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:" (Genesis 2:16)
Including the tree of life — that would give him immortal life. And he was made in the form and shape of God. He was made to have a relationship with God. In fact, he was made to become God, because God was reproducing Himself. And that is a fact that is not known in this world by scientists, by religionists. It is not known, it is revealed in the Word of God and God reveals it if you will open your eyes to see and your mind to understand and to comprehend.
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat [now that includes the tree of life]: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely DIE." (Genesis 2:16-17)
You are not an immortal soul: GOD SAID YOU WILL DIE! In other words, you have the breath of air and when that air stops — and when your heart stops pumping blood through your body, you will be dead.
The Two Trees are Symbols How does God give us eternal life? Eternal life is offered today, through Jesus Christ. But, you see, Jesus said, "Repent and believe." (Mark 1:15) And Peter, on the day of Pentecost said, "Repent and believe and you shall receive the Spirit of God." The Holy Spirit of God. Now the Holy Spirit imparts the divine life of God, and man does not have it from birth. And God did not create man with it, but He offered eternal life to Adam.
On the the day of Pentecost, Peter said:
"Repent, and be baptized [which means believe and accept God's way and live God's way] and you (ye) shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)
Eternal life is a gift. God offered to give it to Adam through the tree of life, if Adam — but Adam had to make a choice. If that was the tree of life, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was death. I've explained a great deal about that a number of times. I won't have time to go into all of that right now.
Now the Spirit of God is the spirit of love. And that was promised on the day of Pentecost, by Peter, to those who wondered what to do and were willing to repent. He said:
"Repent and believe — be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 paraphrased)
Now then, what about the gift of the Holy Spirit? It is the spirit of love. In Romans five and verse five where it says:
"...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5)
The love of God is God's love shed abroad in our hearts. It is the love that fulfills God's law. God's law is God's way of life. It is the way of life, which if humans lived it, we would have peace instead of all of the troubles that we are having in this world. A lot of people today don't like the law of God. The law of God is simply — Love. It's the way of love toward neighbor. Of love toward God. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, if we have the Spirit of God. That comes when we repent of having disobeyed God's law. Sin is the transgression of that law. (I John 3:4)
Now love is the fulfills the law. But, you don't have the love to do that. Adam didn't have the love that would do that. God will supply that love, if we repent, if we will turn to Him. Adam didn't have to repent. He didn't need to — he had never sinned, yet. Until he took the tree that God forbade and he took of the forbidden fruit. But he could freely have taken of the tree of life. And that was the Spirit of God. The spirit of love, which he could have taken.
Now, "...sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4).
Many people don't know that. I challenged a minister one time — what is sin? Give me a Bible definition. Do you know what sin is? What do we need to repent of? He walked away. He knew, but he wouldn't admit it, because it is the transgression of the law. And he was trying to say there isn't any law — the law is done away. Oh no, the law isn't done away. The world has tried to do away with it and the world has gotten into a lot of trouble trying to do that.
But, Adam rejected God's way of life. He took to himself the kind of knowledge of what is right and wrong. And that is spiritual — a spiritual way of life. Now God's law is a spiritual way of life. His law does not tell you how to make an airplane, how to make an automobile. It doesn't tell you how to deal with matter, in any manner shape or form. But it does tell you how to deal with your neighbor. It does tell you how to get along with your neighbors — how to have peace — how to have happiness. And it does tell you how to have a close relationship with God. And that is the love of God in our hearts.
God's Way Of Life Now the law is God's way of life. It's the way God and the Word lived for billions upon billions of years, before they ever created man at all. And it is a spiritual law and it takes the spirit of God to fulfill it. And that is an attitude, it is a direction of mind, an attitude toward God, an attitude toward neighbor. Now it's either an attitude of love, of cooperation, of wanting to help, and loving your neighbor like yourself. And being concerned for his good and his wellfare, as well as for your own.
Or, it is an attitude of jealousy, of envy, of revenge, of destruction, of competition, of violence, and war and all of the things that we have in this world come from that attitude that Adam chose when he took to himself, from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Now when Adam made that decision, that was the beginning, the foundation of this world. And at that time, God closed up the tree of life and it was CLOSED from humanity until the second Adam — Jesus Christ — should come. And when Christ came, the tree of life was again to be opened. But only after He had died and paid the penalty of death, for your sin and mine. Because, the wages of sin is death — Romans six and verse twenty-three "...the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
And that comes through the indwelling and the gift of God's Holy Spirit.
Now that incident back in the Garden of Eden, the incident of the forbidden fruit. When Adam made that choice, God sealed up the Holy Spirit from man, until Christ should come! So it was appointed to all men once to die and after this the judgment. You'll read that in Hebrews nine and verse twenty-seven. It was appointed to man once to die and after this the judgment. Now that judgment, can result in your condemnation, but it also can result in your gaining immortal life. When you are finally going to be judged.
But in Revelation 13:8 you will read that the Lamb of God — Christ — was slain, or it was decreed that He would be slain from the foundation of the world. From the time that Adam made that decision. But Christ did not come until later.
Now in first Corinthians fifteen, verse twenty-two you'll read that as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive and as Jesus Christ said, by a resurrection (Matthew 22:30,31) By a resurrection and it is going to be a resurrection to judgment (John 5:29).
Now eternal life is offered to many in this life, through Jesus Christ. And those who have been called and have accepted Christ as their Saviour, are being judged now. And they will gain eternal life at the second coming of Christ. And all who ever lived are going to come with that wonderful chance. THERE IS HOPE, when you understand the real truth. There is hope for even Cain who slew his brother Abel — the first man ever born from a human woman. Cain, who slew his brother Abel, there is hope for him in the judgment. There is hope for everybody. The atheist's idea gives no hope. The idea of Christianity of going to heaven or hell gives no hope. The Bible does.
My friends, I haven't time to go on and give you but just an inkling of this in this program. I going to talk on it more in the future. I have a new booklet — just off the press: "Is There Life After Death?". I would like to have you get that booklet — I'd like to give it to you. And there is no charge, no request for money. We believe in giving, that is God's way and the law of God is giving.
Now for this booklet, I haven't time to announce anything else at this time, — "Is There Life After Death?".'
So until next time, Herbert W Armstrong — Good bye friends.
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