The doctrine of the soul in an unconscious state until the resurrection is confusing because it is not consistent with many experiences registered in the Bible. It focuses primarily on passages where the word sleeping instead of death is used. However, when we read in the Bible the term sleep in death, it refers to the physical body- the material part, not the immaterial as the soul/spirit of man. When the psalmists said, In death there is no remembrance of You; in Sheol who will give You thanks? (Ps. 6:5), he is referring to the dead ceasing to exist here on earth. The body will be decayed, but not the soul/spirit. Absent from the body, Paul said, present with the Lord. Present with the Lord conscientiously with the soul’s faculties working while the material is buried and decayed. Paul also said, But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake (Phil. 1:23). Notice what Paul said, “To depart and be with Christ.” He did not say, and be in the state of unconsciousness until the resurrection. Again he said, We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord (II Cor. 5:8). So the reality of the matter stands that when the soul/spirit of a believer leave the body the destination is “The presence of the Lord,” and not left sleeping somewhere.
(Prov. 4:25-27; Heb. 12: 1-2; Luke 9:62)
Let your eyes look right on and let your gaze be straight before you; consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright; turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil (Prov. 4:25-27).
The eyes are light to the body. They open the soul to the wonder of the world and silently they perceive and come to understand many things with the help of the mind. It is an amazing part of the body created for purposes useful to make life wonderful and exciting in the presence of the beauty of creation God designed for us. Its anatomy and functions have many parts contributing to the working together with the purpose to produce vision. In addition to that, the eyes also provide depth perception and aid in the body’s balance. The eyes are the entrance to the soul; it is not only what we see, but how we perceive that will make a difference between godliness and ungodliness. As YAHSHUA said, the eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light, but if your eye is unsound, you whole body will be full of darkness, If then the very light in you is darkened, how dense is that darkness (Matt. 6:22-23)!
The trumpet, an amazing instrument from all the other instruments, is of most significance in fulfilling God’s purposes in the past and in the future of the world. It was and will be used as a signaling instrument. The sound of a trumpet interprets meaning of hope of our salvation to be finalized at the time when God’s trumpet will be sounded. The word of God tells us that He will call us up to heaven through the sound of His trumpet. Through that sound I believe we will hear each our names being called. The dead in Christ will receive life at the moment they hear God calling their names, just as it was in the case of Lazarus. Had not YAHSHUA called Lazarus by name the entire graveyard would be filled with resurrected bodies. In Revelation four John hears a voice like a war trumpet calling him to go up to heaven. God’s judgment will be preceded by trumpets in Revelation 8. The seven trumpets will be used to announce certain God’s judgment upon the earth at the time of tribulation. Exodus nineteen expresses the picture of the rapture in relationship to Moses when God called him up to the top of Mount Sinai after loud blast of the trumpet (vs.19-20).
(Deut. 9:1-6; I Samuel 17: 45-50)
To take possession of the Promised Land, Israel had to destroy the giants of the land. The Lord warned them that they were great and tall, they were the sons of Anakim, of whom they had heard, Who can stand before the sons of Anak (Deut. 9:2). When Moses sent spies from every tribe to spy the land they came with a frightening report: There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight (Num. 13:33). In the days of Joshua, he cut off the Anakim from the hill country; from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah and the hill country of Israel. Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. None of the Anakim were left in the land of the Israelites; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did some remain (Josh. 11:21-22).
In the days of David, the Philistines came to fight with Israel with their giant, Goliath of Gath. This giant stood almost ten feet tall. His heavy armor was even more impressive and intimidating. Israel’s army was dismayed and very afraid of him. Israel came to battle in their strength; all they saw was the giant before them. They forgot what God had done in the past, but there was someone who had the faith and the courage to face this giant. The mountain Israel perceived to be was just a mole hill to David. In fact all he needed was a stone and a sling and bam, the giant was done and gone!
Very little is said in the Bible about this man. But Joseph of Arimathea was a remarkable man. The writers of the Gospels had these to say about him: Matthews 27:57, 58: When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of YAHSHUA. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of YAHSHUA and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Mark 15:43: Joseph of Arimathea, noble and honorable in rank and a respected member of the council (Sanhedrin), who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, daring the consequences, took courage and ventured to go to Pilate and asked for the body of YAHSHUA… And when he (Pilate) learned from the centurion [that He was indeed dead], he gave the body to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen cloth and taking Him (YAHSHUA) down from the cross, he rolled Him up in the linen cloth and placed Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock. Then he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Luke 23:50-52: Now notice, there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council (the Sanhedrin), and a good man, and righteous, who had not agreed with or assented to the purpose and action of the others; and he was expecting and waiting for the kingdom of God. John 19:38: And after this, Joseph or Arimathea- a disciple of YAHSHUA, but secretly for fear of the Jews- asked Pilate to let him take away the body of YAHSHUA. And Pilate granted him permission. So he came and took away His body. Arimathea, where Joseph was born was according to Fausset’s dictionary possibly identical with Ramah, Samuel’s place, otherwise known as Ramah. It was situated NW of Jerusalem in the hill country of Ephraim.
In II Kings chapter four the Bible registers the story of a Shunammite woman. No name was given, just the place where she lived. Shunem was located in the tribe of Issachar, to the north of Jezreel and north of Mount Gilboa. The Bible views the Shunammite as wealthy, influential and respected, a woman with kind heart, and compassionate. We see that in her good deeds toward the Prophet Elisha. As she watched him often passing by, she perceived him to be a man of God. Her perception led her to provide Elisha a furnished chamber to rest while in his journey. She not only had good perception, but she was also an initiator of action. She was willing to receive the Prophet Elisha in her house because he was “a man of God.” Her good deed toward Elisha was for love of God. Although they were wealthy and had everything they wanted, they did not have children. Children in those days were not inconvenience, but considered a blessing from God. They were not aborted, but they were given their place on earth to fulfill God’s plan for them. Elisha was most grateful to her and wanted to reward her. Knowing this detail, he promised her a child. Knowing her husband to be old, she pleaded the prophet with these words: “No, my lord, you man of God, do not lie to your handmaid.” Nevertheless the Shunammite woman conceived and bore a son at that season the following year, as Elisha said to her. A true Abrahamic miracle!
What links these two in their commonality? I would like to bring to you the most amazing story known to the entire world, not like you have heard before, but according to facts hidden from translations. When we hear about the Birth of Christ story we think shepherds, star, manger, sheep, goats, donkeys, the three wise men, and their gifts. It is a story of light and angels singing; a story of hope of salvation. We understand that and we rejoice that our Savior has been born. “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). However, there are specific insights missing in this wonderful story hidden from us in the past, but now revealed. Thanks to those dedicated students of the Bible. These are specifics of great significance that confirms the divinity of our Savior, YAHSHUA, and His role as the Lamb of God. I have written about this before just in passing, but now I want to bring this story to you in its entirety and meaning. Perhaps you will never celebrate the birth of Christ the same way as before.