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.
I planted a garden
So I thought to be
A garden of flowers
Day after day I watched
It grow into a garden
So I thought
A garden of flowers
Weeks of rain and sunshine
My garden I thought to be
A garden of flowers
Became a garden of weeds
Everywhere a weed
Taking away the breath
From my flowers!
“The word despise implies a strong emotional response toward that which one overlooks down with contempt, scorn, disdain. Scorn is to feel indignation toward or deep contempt for; disdain implies a haughty or arrogant attitude for what one considers beneath his dignity; condemn implies a vehement disapproval of a person or thing as vile, despicable” (Webster’s dictionary).
The word despise is a word within a word translating sentiment of hate toward others. When Israel looked at her Messiah disfigured by the wounds he suffered, and covered with His blood, they despised Him. Their emotion toward Him was one of contempt, scorn and disdain. That’s what the word despise ultimately translates to. In their scorn, they expressed indignation and disapproval, considering Him as a despicable person; in their disdain toward YAHSHUA, they showed their arrogance for Him as they considered Him beneath their dignity. Despising Him, they rejected Him. They considered Him worthless, and useless, and ultimately, sentenced Him the cruel death with a curse – death on the cross. That happened when they gave Him up to the Romans to execute the death penalty on Him- death by crucifixion according to their demand. Men’s reaction to His sufferings was one of accusation against Him. We read in Luke 23: 18-23, But they all together raised a deep cry saying, away with this man … upon Pilate concluding that He had not found offense in Him worth of death, they insistently demanded He should be crucified with loud cries… and their voices prevailed.
Then YAHSHUA, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led in [by] the [Holy] Spirit for during forty days in the wilderness, where He was tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, He was hungry (Like 4:1,2). The devil came to YAHSHUA at the point of His need – hunger. Forty days and nights without eating can starve the body and lead it to death, that is, for some people, depending on their health factors. Forty days is long enough time for the body to have used all the resources it had to be sustained. YAHSHUA, as a man, was subject to the weakness of a human body, but not to man’s sinful nature. He was led to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted in preparation for the ministry He was going to fulfill. Like us, He was also subjected to temptations, and to the extent of sufferings that we experience. So after fasting forty days and forty nights, His obvious need of that moment was hunger. Hunger and thirst in the desert are something hard to overcome without having knowledge of how to survive in such environment which lacks everything that benefits the body. The Bible does not say if He went without water however, I assume so. Whatever the situation, He went hungry after forty days.
The Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light for their works were evil (John 3:19b).
We all have experienced some time in our life, one way or another, the effect of physical darkness. Voided of light, darkness grabs and handicaps us with fear, panic, and anxiety. We feel lost, not knowing where we are and how to get somewhere. People associate darkness with the presence of evil, as in Satan and his demons, rightly so. The feelings of fear, panic, anxiety attacks are feelings that express the presence of evil spirits in the environment. For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind (I John 4:18). Darkness is blindness. When we are used to the darkness, we find difficulty adjusting to the light. The eyes water and hurt to some extent until we become accustomed to the light. In other ways, light exposes evil deeds. It hides nothing that seems invisible.
Amidst the rumor that YAHSHUA was baptizing more disciples than John was, He decided to go back to Galilee from Judea. The Bible says that it was necessary for Him to go through Samaria, a distance approximately of forty- two miles from Jerusalem. There was an important task for our Lord to do in going to Galilee through Samaria embedded in the word “necessary.” The fact that Jews and Samaritans did not get along did not reflect the Lord’s way of thinking. He was a Jew, yes, but independent from all that was against His nature. To start with, He came from backgrounds that included Jews and Gentiles. The difference existent between Jews and Samaritans did not represent the purpose for which YAHSHUA had come to accomplish. The time had come when He had to visit the neighbor province of Samaria. The Samaritans were Jews who intermingled with foreigners and had embraced their cultures and their gods. So they were considered half-breeds and dogs.
(Luke 24:13- 34)
It was evening on that third day after YAHSHUA had been crucified and buried. Sadness echoed in the voices of His disciples the emptiness of His presence. They remained in hiding, afraid of the Jewish authorities, afraid of persecution after the death of their Messiah, as prophesized, Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered (Zach. 13: 7b). In His priestly prayer, YAHSHUA prayed for the protection of His disciples from the evil one. He protected and guarded those given to Him while with them. The disciples well knew but lacked understanding why had the Son of YAHWEH come to earth. They so expected Him to deliver Israel physically from the Romans and were terribly disappointed with the outcome, although, time, after time, YAHSHUA warned them of His death followed by His resurrection after three days. They heard, but they did not listen. Their emotional disappointment would have been mild, had they understood the true meaning of YAHSHUA’S warnings.