Immediate Life After Death?

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Explain the spirit that appeared to Saul, doesn’t this prove life after death immediate…?
  2. Doesn’t “being absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” mean immediate life after death?
  3. King David is Biblically headed for Heaven because the Scriptures declare him as such. Is he in Heaven now?
  4. Doesn’t Ecclesiastes 12:7 confirm life after death immediate?
  5. You mean to tell me our loved ones are not looking down on us? They don’t see us succeed or fail?
  6. Doesn’t John:5:24 state we “pass from death unto life” ?
  7. Doesn’t the Bible say the Soul lives on forever? Doesn’t that prove that even the wicked will be alive in Hell for eternity?
  8. What about the rich man and Lazarus?
  9. Don’t people go to Hell or Heaven at the moment of death?
  10. Is He the “God of the living?
  11. Doesn’t the “voice of Abel’s blood” crying out in Genesis 4 prove he’s in Heaven?

Explain the spirit that appeared to Saul, doesn’t this prove life after death immediate …?

1 Samuel 28:7,11 “Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.”

Many use this passage to prove life after death is immediate because the woman appeared to conjure the prophet Samuel from the grave. Basic reality here is, Saul sought counsel of a witch. It wasn’t Samuel he saw in the spirit. It was a demon. There are many reasons this is so. First of all, we are told in God’s Word not to seek counsel of witches. Therefore, Satan was already in control here.

Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,”

Plus, the demon impersonating Samuel claimed the witch had the power to raise him, yet we know by God’s Word in numerous areas that only the Lord Himself can do this. For only Jesus Christ has the power of “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25) NOT witches or demons.

John 11:25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

Another distinguishing fact here is that the demon gave a bogus prophecy. If it had been of the Lord, or even Samuel himself, who was a holy man, the prophecy would not have failed. The demon said, “Tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me”.

1 Samuel 28:19 “Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

Besides the fact that Samuel is not “in Heaven” yet according to the order by which all men gain Heaven, Scripture tells us that Saul appears to have grieved away the Holy Spirit of the Lord in his latter years. If that demon was truly Samuel, then he would have known Saul was not worthy of Heaven. Saul died lost. Yet the “real” Samuel died a prophet of God and a saved man. So, the Truth here is the devil can manifest in a bevy of ways to confuse the one looking on. In fact, Satan can do just about anything he can get permission to do.

2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

This “spirit” that Saul looked upon was merely one of those manifestations of Satan.

Doesn’t “being absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” mean immediate life after death?

Another favored verse that is used to try and prove there is life after death immediate is …

2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

MANY use this passage as a basis of “proof” that because it says, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” it must mean Paul is advocating life after death immediate. One point many miss in regard to this passage is the fact that Paul is commenting on the carnal nature of the people that should be “absent” so as to walk “in the Lord” as true and obedient Christians. With that said, do these next two passages declare Paul dead and speaking from the grave?

1 Corinthians 5:3 “For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,” 
Colossians 2:5 “For thoughI be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”

The meaning is obvious when taken in context to that which is written. To be absent from the body is to deny the flesh and therefore present with the Lord as we walk in the Spirit. Romans 6:6-8 put it ever so plainly when it said,

Romans 6:6-8 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:” And John 3:6 says,

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Let’s not forget Romans 8:1 wherein it says,

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

But to further illustrate this fact. We need to ask another question which we find answered next in this series …

Doesn’t Ecclesiastes 12:7 confirm life after death immediate?


Verse in Question:
Ecclesiastes 12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

The fact here is that the word spirit is used to speak ofthe “Breath” in Human terms. The Biblical evidence used to support that fact is found in James 2:26, where it states,

James 2:6 “For as the body without the spiritis dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

It gives BOTH realities here. It first shares the makeup of the BODY, and then it shares the makeup of FAITH within the body or heart as is better understood. The body without the spirit or breath is dead, like the faith without works or fruits is dead as well.

Job defines it rather nicely for us in Job 27:3, he says,

Job 27:3 “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;”

Here he is giving breath and spirit the same definition. The breath IN me, and the spirit in my nostrils is too blunt to miss. Can the Holy Spirit be in a nostril? No, of course not. In this verse we have the word “spirit” being used in the nostrils which is actually the Greek word, “Pneuma” which means Air or Breath.

For example, Pneumonia = sickness of the breath, Pneumatic tires = “filled with air”, and so on. To further confirm this, it says in,

Genesis 7:22 “All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.”

That is of course in regard to Noah and the flood. The connection between the breath of life and nostrils is undeniable.

One more point I want to make regarding James 2:26 here. If someone has NOT the Holy Spirit of God, are they dead? Are people that are not saved BURIED in the ground? Of course not. James is not talking about the Holy Spirit in this verse. He is making a clear comparison. He is merely saying; just as a body without the ability to breathe air is dead in reality, so is the faith of the person who has no works dead in spirituality. Both the carnal and spiritual are being used here to illustrate a point. There is no mistaking that, it’s that plain.

Notice this …

Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Psalms 146:3-4 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

Now notice the similarity here with the verse the World uses to preach “Life after death immediate …” This is actually the verse that was mentioned in the original “QUESTION”

Ecclesiastes 12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Sounds like Genesis 2:7 and Psalm 146:3-4 doesn’t it? All three speak of the “spirit” or the “breath” in the same manner. If you really think about it, Death is creation in reverse! The body goes back to the earth, the breath goes back to the Lord.

Basic reality here is, there is a reason Jesus used the term “sleep” in John 11 when speaking of Lazarus. He was showing how He (Jesus) looks at death, and how mankind looks at death. Even the Apostles didn’t catch that. 

By the way … Jesus said “Lazarus come forth” didn’t He? Ever wonder why Jesus said his name? Had Jesus just said, “come forth” ALL the graves would have opened! For it is written in,

John 11:25 “Jesus said unto herI am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

If Jesus would have just said COME FORTH at that graveyard, ALL of them would have done so!

PICTURE THIS … A little girl standing next to her mommy at the grave of her Aunt Polly. Her mommy is putting flowers on the grave. She finally asks her mommy. Is Aunt Polly in there? Her mommy says no, Aunt Polly’s up in Heaven. The little girl responds, “Then why are we putting flowers here?” Then her mom says, “No, her body is here, and Aunt Polly is up in Heaven” The little girl responds, “You mean to tell me Aunt Polly is running around in Heaven without a body?”

Simple Biblical fact is, we don’t go until Jesus returns. In fact, it says this in,

John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

If the Christians are already in Heaven when they die, why is Jesus saying He will receive them unto Himself when He comes again? I go into a lot more detail on this twisted theology in my “The Rapture” writeup wherein I show all the Bible verses exposing that false doctrine.

When we do eventually go to Heaven, we will be in our own bodies. Jesus had a flesh and bone body when He appeared to the Apostles, and He did say that we will have a body like unto His did he not? it says in

Luke 24:39 “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” It also says in,

Philippians 3:21 “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Also notice that Elijah went to Heaven with a flesh and bone body …

2 Kings 2:11 “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”

And Moses was resurrected with HIS BODY as well. 

Jude 1:9 “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”

One more strange “tale” that runs rampant across the land, according to the world. If I get hit by a car and knocked unconscious, I know nothing. They take me to the hospital and find I have internal damage and need an operation, so they put me to sleep, I still, know nothing. During the operation my heart stops, and according to the preachers I now know EVERYTHING? 

If a person goes to hell immediately if he’s bad, and Heaven immediately if he’s good at death, then riddle me this … What’s the reason for a resurrection? In fact, what is the reason for Judgment day for that matter? According to this theology, man is judged at the moment of death. Then that means no need is apparent for a resurrection is there? They are already judged, and already in Heaven. Problem with that is, it is NOT what saith the Lord. For he IS returning, and His reward IS with Him because judgment would have been done beforehand.

Isaiah 62:11 “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”

If His reward is WITH Him, then how can they be judged and IN Heaven or Hell already when the reward never comes until Jesus comes? So … the question remains,  are there people in Heaven?

Yes. Elijah, Enoch, and Moses are in Heaven. It also says there was a GREAT resurrection at the day Jesus rose as well in Matthew 27:52-53. Plus, the 24 Elders in Revelation are those that were “redeemed of the earth” as well.

Matthew 27:52-53 “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

Revelation 4:4 “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.”

Fact remains, the vast majority are still in the graves. Does the Bible explain why some went in advance? No. However we do know that Moses, and Elijah were “examples” used at the mount of transfiguration so as to depict the second coming with Jesus. But the Bible is silent regarding the others. It’s simply not necessary for us to know, nor is it something needed to know regarding our resurrection. Kinda like the lack of info on Dinosaurs, eh? We do know they existed, we do know Job spoke of them, yet, not much else is revealed.

BLUNTLY … 1 Timothy 6:15-16 “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

Satan has been lying a long time! He told Adam and Eve “… ye shalt not surely die” in Genesis 3:4, and all he’s been doing since then is repeating the same worn out lie. AND IT WORKS! Why? Well first of all, we are not long living beings anymore. He can use what appears as “new info” to us short living humans simply because he knows those that understood the Word better than us eons ago are dead and buried and unable to preach on. So, when will we become immortal? At death? Or at His coming?

1 Corinthians 15:51-54 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Did you notice it said ALL will be changed on that day the LAST TRUMP is sounded? Did you also notice it said the dead will be RAISED? If everyone is already in Heaven or Hell at death, then what does Jesus have to come back for? Why do they raise out of the grave when He gets here to be with the Lord if they are already with him anyway? Fact is, the world preaches lies. The Word of God preaches TRUTH.

What will Jesus actually say on the day he returns to awaken the dead in Christ?

Isaiah 26:19 “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dustfor thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.”

What will they sing?

1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

You mean to tell me our loved ones are not looking down on us? They don’t see us succeed or fail?

Job 14:21 “His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.”

Need I say more?

Doesn’t John 5:24 state we “pass from death unto life”?

Verse in question:

John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

To “pass from death unto life” is defined two ways …

To pass from “death” unto life is for those that arise on the last day when Jesus returns. They “were” in fact dead, and they WILL arise when Jesus returns. Therefore, they pass form “death unto life” eternal when He takes them home on that day.

Plus “many” will also be changed in the “twinkling of an eye” on that day as well.

1 Corinthians 15:52-53 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

They will be changed from “mortal” to “immortal” and in so doing pass from “death unto life” as well because a mortal body is in fact subject to DEATH, but an immortal body is not.

The other toss of the coin is in fact the wicked and their final state. The wicked will not pass from “death unto life” at all. They will not arise when Jesus returns, they will remain in the graves until the 1000 years end. Then they will pass from “death” unto DEATH, when the “second death” consumes them for all eternity.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Doesn’t the Bible say the Soul lives on forever? Doesn’t that prove that even the wicked will be alive in Hell for eternity?

Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

What about the rich man and Lazarus? 

Parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus

The Scriptures declare in the book of Mark 4:34 “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

In all the Bible, there is only one passage which suggests conscious suffering in death – Luke 16:19-31. The inspired testimony of the rest of Scripture teaches that death is as sleep, and that punishment is at a future time. The reason why Christ used this ALLEGORY was not to describe the state of the dead, but to teach several important points of truth.

Luke 16:19-31 “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Such as: The parable definitely teaches that every person will reap what he sows’ God will not bend the rules in order to spare those who have consistently spurned His grace.

The parable teaches that in this life men decide their eternal destiny. While they are alive, God’s grace is freely offered to all people. But if they selfishly waste their lives, and fail to take eternity into consideration now, they have lost their opportunity for eternal life. There will be no chance to repent after they die.

The parable also is a warning to those who trust in their riches rather than in God. And it tells that the time is coming when those who are poor in this world’s goods but have trusted in God, will be exalted.

When the parable is closely examined, it is doubtful that anyone would claim its details as the basis for a doctrinal position on the subject of life after death. The details certainly do not present the beliefs of those who teach the immediate torment of a bodiless “soul” at death.

For example:

1 – In the parable, there is no mention of a bodiless soul at all. The rich man was in hell with a body. He had eyes, a tongue, etc. No one believes that the bodies of the wicked go into the flames as soon as they die.

2 – Nobody believes that Abrahams’s literal bosom is the abode of the righteous dead. In keeping with the nature of the allegory, this is obviously a figure of speech. Incidentally, the angels will gather the saints (see verse 22), but according to Matthew 24:31, that takes place at the coming of Jesus, not at death.

Matthew 24:31 “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

3 – Another point is that paradise and hades are here pictured to be so situated that their inhabitants may hold normal conversation with each other across the gulf. But the Bible says that for the redeemed, the former earth will “not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17).

Isaiah 65:17 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

4 – The rich man’s request in verse 24 is hardly characteristic of someone in his condition. His whole body is on fire, and all he asks for is that Lazarus dip the tip of his finger in water and then come and touch his tongue!? How much relief could he expect to get from that? Especially after Lazarus has to traverse the gulf and make his way through the flames to get to him. How much moisture did he think would be left on his finger after such a journey? No one believes that this type of thing takes place between the righteous and the wicked after death.

5 – In speaking of the request for Lazarus to go and warn the rich man’s living brothers, the Bible says that Lazarus would have had to have “rose from the dead.” (Verse 31). Far from supporting the idea of conscious communication or mobility in death, this gives support to the fact that in order for Lazarus to do anything at all he would have to be resurrected!

6 – In the parable, Jesus points us to the source of divine instruction: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (verse 29). So, this, in other words – the Bible – is where we must look to learn the fate of the wicked.

Jesus made the details of His story so obviously unreal that no one should take them literally. He wanted His hearers instead to focus on the lessons brought out in the parable.

Apart from the intended point or moral of the story, we cannot base doctrinal beliefs on the incidentals of an allegory. For instance, a thistle cannot ask for the daughter of a cedar for the wife of its son (see 2 Kings 14:9). Neither can trees go forth to anoint a king over themselves (see Judges 9:8-15). So, when dealing with parables, ask yourself, “What is the speaker trying to illustrate by this parable?” Then if you want to know about the nature of trees or the nature of dead people, find all the Scriptural passages where that specific topic is being discussed, put all the meanings together, and then you will know the complete truth on that subject.

2 Kings 14:9 “And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.”

Judges 9:8-15 “The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”

Don’t people go to Hell or Heaven at the moment of death?

Matthew 25:31-33 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”

No, the Bible says that Jesus will SEPARATE the sheep & goats when he COMES.

Isn’t He the God of the living?

This term is always taken out of context because of what Jesus says here …

Matthew 22:31-32 “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

If we place it back IN CONTEXT, we understand why Jesus used such words. He was responding to the Sadducee’s belief that EVERYONE dies and never resurrects from the grave. Reading verse 23 which started the conversation confirms this … 

Matthew 22:23 “The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,”

Doesn’t the “voice of Abel’s blood” crying out in Genesis 4 prove he’s in Heaven?

If this is true, then the stone and timber in Habakkuk chapter two are alive merely because they have a voice.

Habakkuk 2:11 “For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.”

Is the money that cries out for the labourers in James chapter five also a conscious being?

James 5:4 “Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: …”

The word “HIRE” as Strong’s defines…  3408 misthos {mis-thos’} apparently a primary word; TDNT – 4:695,599; n m  AV – reward 24, hire 3, wages 2; 29
 1) dues paid for work
    1a) wages, hire
 2) reward: used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavours
    2a) in both senses, rewards and punishments
    2b) of the rewards which God bestows, or will bestow, upon good deeds and endeavours
    2c) of punishments

If it is true that a “voice” denotes a conscious state of being. Then I must declare that Abel’s blood, the stone of the wall, the beam in the timber, and the money in the pocket ARE ALL ALIVE with viable voices and a conscious state of being. Common sense prevails when the light of day shines brightly, doesn’t it?

By the way … ever notice this? Life on earth with all its hardships, pain, and suffering can in no way compare to Heaven; a place of perfect peace and contentment to say the least. Why would anyone seek to have anything to do with anything on this sinful orb after standing within the walls of Heaven?

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