Will Spirits in Man, Devil & Demons Be Around for Eternity?

My last two posts discussed the spirit in man.
Since it’s spirit, will it still be stored after the person suffers the second death?
The answer seems related to what happens to the devil and demons.

In the Bible anything spirit—God, Holy Spirit and angels—lives forever.   So you’d be inclined to think that would be true of the spirit in man.

It seems that after Satan rebelled against God and took one third of the angels with him, God wanted to avoid that happening again and having to endure more evil beings around for eternity by first working with his children as mortals.   The idea would be to test us if we would remain faithful before granting eternal life.

Leaving out a lot of details, the last step before the New Heavens and New Earth is going to be the third resurrection to physical life of hopefully the few who commit the unpardonable sin.   They will be burned up in the Lake of Fire—also called the second death (Revelation 20:14).   Hopefully we will choose and cooperate to only die once and be resurrected as spirit sons and daughters into the God family!   There are lots of reasons why the first resurrection is the better one!   And the second, second best.  Because anything beats the third!

“Burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up…. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet” (Malachi 4:1, 3).

This is the Bible’s hell fire, a far cry from Dante’s imagination!   It’s ever burning all right—until everything physical is combusted.   Just like Sodom and Gemorrah were “eternal fire” (Jude 7) but not still burning today.   It’s what you’d expect from a loving God who would never vindictively want people to write forever in agony.   Hah, I meant to say “writhe” and He doesn’t want that either! It’s eternal punishment—not punishing.

“Death and Hades” (Revelation 20:13) will be cast into this Lake of Fire in that after this nobody else will die and go to Hades—the grave.

So will the spirit in man for those burned up in the Lake of Fire be kept around in storage for all eternity?  Will the God family want to keep a record around to remind them of those now eternally gone?   A Kingdom Library of unsavory autobiographies for your reading pleasure as a reminder of spiritual lessons?

Ecclesiastes says of the dead, “they are gone and forgotten” (9:5, Contemporary English Version).   Will this apply more so for those in the second death?

The fate of the spirits in man would seem to be linked to the fate of the devil and demons.

Into this Lake of Fire were cast the devil, the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 20:10).   The latter two are physical and become toast.   But you would think the devil being spirit would scarcely be singed, like when the spirit being rescued Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace.

Why would God bother throwing the devil into a Lake of Fire that won’t hurt him?  Sentencing him for agonizing punishment to ever-burning hellfire that isn’t going to burn forever?

Peter says “the gloom of darkness is reserved forever” for the devil and demons (2 Peter 2:18), but some translations omit the word forever.   This isn’t so with a similar statement in Jude.

But Jude also says they are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (verse 6).   A judgment? So is their fate not yet decided?

Paul told the Corinthians that we would judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3)!   Why bother if all you could say is “You made me do it! Go to (controlling your tongue) you know where!” Will there be other options? How would you judge them?

The goat ceremony for the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), which pictures the putting away of Satan and the demons in God’s plan of salvation, says the goat isn’t killed like the one representing Jesus Christ but rather is sent by a “fit man” to an uninhabited wilderness.   But it doesn’t specify how long the goat stays alive out there.

Revelation shows that an angel puts them in chains throughout the Millennium until they are “released from his prison” (Revelations 20:7) and go out for a short time to wreak more havoc.   Speaking of the devil, we last hear about him when he’s thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Some argue that since Jesus was changed from spirit to flesh to become a man for 33-1/2 years, then God could change Satan and the demons into flesh and then they would burn up in the Lake of Fire.   Then voila, truly “no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).   Only God the Father, Jesus Christ and sons and daughters around to enjoy the new heavens and new earth for eternity in peace.   Pleasures forever! (Psalm 16:11).

It looks like the question of what happens to the spirits in man may be answered by what happens to the devil and demons.   Will bad spirit be around forever, no ifs ands or buts? Or changed to physical, removed and forgotten?   We’ll probably have to wait until we’re with Jesus Christ in the Millennium to know the answer.

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What Jesus Said to Mary After His Resurrection Teaches About Our Spirit in Man

In my last post, we saw
that our bodies are physical, making a roundtrip from dust (Genesis 3:19).
But we have a spirit in man (Job 32:8).   That sounds like the duality idea.
When we die, our spirit in man goes upward to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7, 3:21).
It’s spirit and serves as a record of us, so does that make it our immortal soul?

I hope you will live your life based on what the Bible teaches.   If so, you will want to look at the example of Jesus’ death, resurrection and appearance to Mary for what it teaches about our spirit in man.

Jesus said he would give no other sign than that He would be in the grave for three days and three nights, just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish (Matthew 12:40).   Nobody seems to argue that Jonah digested that long, but they think Jesus stayed for only Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning.   But that’s another story—a real story that doesn’t add up!

Jesus was the God of the Old Testament Who created Adam as a living soul (Genesis 2:7).      Adam did not have a soul, much less an immortal one.   The Hebrew word for “soul” is nephesh and is the same word used for animals and even dead animals.   Ezekiel 18:4 says “the soul that sins shall die.”   A most mortal soul!

Jesus was the Word who inspired “the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).   There is no thought in the grave (Ecclesiastes 6:5)—no working or planning (Ecclesiastes 9:10).   David—not just his body—was buried (Acts 2:29).

So for 72 hours Jesus was in the grave dead all over!   Something to think about: Without His eternal companion who would be gone forever if not resurrected, was the Father lonely?

Not if you think Jesus wasn’t really dead. Upon His death after crucifixion, the Bible says His spirit in man went up to God. So maybe you want to believe that Jesus was alive and well—his spirit in man freed from his body, up in heaven with the Father on three-day leave, watching the grieving down below.

Some erroneously believe that during the three days and nights, Jesus went to demons in prison and preached to them.   But Peter says He did this during the days when Noah was preparing the ark (1 Peter 3:19).   Perhaps God was so sad at how wicked the thoughts of man had become (Genesis 6:5-6) that He realized the influence of the bad angels needed more restraint.

No, the Bible says Jesus was lifeless in the tomb. When He was resurrected, it occurred in the tomb, not up in heaven where His Spirit in Man went for three-day storage.    Just like saints will be resurrected on earth and rise to meet Christ in the clouds.   Before departing the tomb, Jesus took the time to fix His bed!

Now let’s see what Jesus Himself said in the Bible—because that nails it.

When He appeared to Mary, He told her He had NOT YET ascended to the Father (John 20:17).   His Spirit in man was a record of Him—but NOT Him!   His Spirit in man had not been Jesus living up there!

This confirms by Bible revelation that our spirit in man is not an immortal soul.

Can you extrapolate from the example of Jesus what this means regarding the reward of the saints?   Who would be expert on who has gone to heaven more than Jesus our Savior!   I hope you will read what He said with your own eyes in John 3:13 and believe it no matter how contrary it is to what most believe.

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What Are You, Heather, That God Is Mindful of You?

My daughter Heather asked me to write this up for her. What Dad could resist!
David asked God in awe: “What is man that You are mindful of him?” (Hebrews 2:6).
If you are ready to ask God this age-old question,
please don’t settle for less than what He reveals in His Bible.

♥    You are physical, flesh and blood (Genesis 2:7)—an amazing creation.  You did not evolve.

Adam & Eve 2God shaped (Hebrew yatsar) Adam from the dust of the ground—probably the first hunk.   He made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs (Genesis 2:21-22). The Hebrew word banah means “build (literally and figuratively).”  Eve was built!  Male and female were “fearfully and wonderfully made” as David exclaimed in Psalm 139:14), and our relationships often involve not only wonder but a little fear.

Our bodies feature at least 10 major systems such as digestive, cardiovascular and reproductive—all absolutely miraculous in stunning detail. How could anybody count this, but it’s claimed that your 100 trillion body cells swap out one trillion each day!   So the real daily miracle is that you can make changes for the better not only physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Pretty amazing since “Dust you are and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).   When a little boy heard his mom say that and then looked under his bed, he said with bewilderment: “Mommy, somebody’s either coming or going!”

♥    You ARE a living soul (Genesis 2:7).   You do NOT have a soul—and certainly not an immortal soul.   This is a defining scripture you must rely on to avoid being deceived by philosophers and even religious teachers.    I repeat: You are NOT an immortal soul trapped in a dual arrangement with a physical body.

The idea of having an immortal soul came from ancient Babylon and Egypt and then later from Plato and Greek philosophers.   NOT from the Bible.  “The soul that sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).

The word “soul” is translated from the Hebrew nephesh.   This same word is used for animals and even dead animals.   “As one dies, so dies the other” (Ecclesiastes 3:19).

Here are three plain scriptures that refute what most people have been misled to believe.   “In that very day your thoughts perish” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).   “The dead know nothing … their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished … for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10).   David was dead and buried—not just his body (Acts 2:29).

When you die, you are dead all over!   Jesus said “Our friend Lazarus sleeps” though he had been dead four days (John 11:11).   Like when you are sleeping so out of it that you are dead to the world!   Martha knew that her brother was not away somewhere as an immortal soul.   “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (verse 24).   Yes, but Jesus came to Lazarus now instead of at His second coming at the seventh trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:23, 52) and brought him back to physical life.

An intriguing article on “The New Science of the Brain,” National Geographic Feb. 2014, p. 38, said “Scientists are learning so much about the brain now that it’s easy to forget that for much of history we had no idea at all how it worked or even what it was.”   Until the 17th Century anatomists declared with great authority that our perceptions, emotions, reasoning, and actions were all the result of ‘animal spirits.’”

Surprisingly, there is virtually no difference in shape and construction between animal brain and human brain.   Whales, elephants and dolphins have larger brains, but chimpanzees slightly smaller.

Qualitatively the human brain may be slightly superior.   Your brain weighs only three pounds but houses 100,000 miles of fiber called white matter enough to circle the earth four times.     Even so, no amazing facts about our physical brains remotely account for the difference in output regarding reasoning, creating, appreciating art and pondering eternity.

All this leads people to wrongly believe humans are above any other animal.   Nix the “other” because here is surely the most astounding fact about what you are—revealed only in the Bible:

♥    You are NOT an animal.   You are a daughter of God created after the God kind (Gen. 1:26).   Male and female are created after His image.   Your purpose is to become resurrected 100% spirit into His family for eternity.

The catch is that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

♥    To bridge the gap from a material, mortal daughter of God to a spirit, immortal one: “There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding” (Job 32:8).

brain frontal lobeThis spirit is “in man.”   It’s in you.   It’s not you.   It does not live apart from you.   This human spirit does not think, make decisions or build character, but it imparts the power of physical intellect to the physical brain, forming human mind .   It gives a spiritual and moral capability.   The frontal cortex seems to be the place where we make decisions so the spirit in you is likely in there.

♥    This spirit in man enables you to understand human things (1 Corinthians 2:11) and is what elevates you above animals.

Yet human mind is limited to knowledge of the physical.   Knowledge enters the human mind only through the five physical senses.   But our problems are spiritual.   Not even our leaders have any solutions for the mounting world problems.   Most people are not all there!

♥    To understand the things of God, we need the Holy Spirit (verses 12-14) to combine with our spirit in man (Romans 8:16-17).

As a daughter of believers, you are holy (1 Corinthians 7:14).  You have access to God’s Holy Spirit now.   The Holy Spirit can “dwell with you” now and draw you to baptism (John 14:17) where you will have hands laid on you and then receive the Holy Spirit into your mind connecting with your spirit in man (Acts 2:38-39).   Each day you can be “renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23).   Swap out some of those trillion cells!

♥    The National Geographic article says a new memory makes a physical change in the brain. The spirit in man also records every memory, every thought, attitude, character, experience, DNA, shape and facial appearance, even fingerprints.

Think of it as a mold for the Master Potter (Isaiah 64:8).   Or in modern terms, think of it as like a USB stick, storing a complete recording of you that God can use when He resurrects you to a new spiritual immortal body, hopefully at the return of Jesus Christ to start the Millennium.

When you die, your body of dust will return to the earth but your spirit in man goes upward to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7, 3:21) to await your resurrection.

“Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.

“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John :2-3).   Walking in the Spirit, not the flesh (Romans 8:1).

Talk about an awesome purpose in life with an incomparable future, O daughter of God! That’s what you are and why God (and Dad) is so mindful of you!

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The Jennifer Aniston Neuron

An intriguing article in National Geographic (February 2014) titled “The New Science of the Brain” has a breakthrough discovery I find mind boggling.

“Caltech and UCLA scientists use pictures of celebrities to study how the brain processes what the eyes see. In 2005 they found an individual nerve cell that fired only when subjects were shown pictures of Jennifer Aniston.

“Another neuron responded only to pictures of Halle Berry—even when she was masked as Catwoman.”

thT1034LWGThis sounds too astounding to be true.   They are not saying that we all have a neuron in our brain that responds to somebody we recognize as being famous. They say “subjects”—apparently all subjects tested—had the same neuron which responded only to a picture of this one particular woman. The Jennifer Aniston Neuron!   Did you feel yours just firing?

And then they all had another neuron that reacted only to a different particular celebrity.

This isn’t about whether Jennifer Aniston is worthy of a neuron.   She became popular for starring as Rachel Green on the Emmy-winning television sitcom “Friends” and is considered one of the 100 greatest female characters in U.S. television.

Yet, though I did not watch Friends and have never seen this actress in any of her movies, she’s been in the news enough that I recognize her with the same neuron we humans have all had in our brains apparently since Adam and Eve!

What did Adam need neurons reserved for two women he would never meet? Eve was probably better off not to know about those neurons.

So God knew Jennifer and Halle were coming down the pike from the get-go? The Bible shows He forecasted Cyrus, John the Baptist and Jesus for roles long before they walked the earth, and Jeremiah and David talked about how God knew them before birth.   It’s easy to see the significance of preknowing those spiritual giants, but still seems preposterous that our brains were wired at creation for two celebrities.

And just these two? Or did God fill our brains with neurons like the stars in the sky and the sand on the shores, enough to account for all the celebrities to come? The article noted that the amazing brain weighs only about three pounds yet contains 100,000 miles of grey matter enough to circle the earth four times!

Or is there a second more likely possibility?

The article states “When you form a memory, ‘there’s a physical change in the brain,’ says Don Arnold, of the University of Southern Colorado” (page 39).

So when a person eventually happens to run into an image of Jennifer Aniston, does he or she create the Jennifer Aniston Neuron?  That becomes the same neuron in everybody else who has seen her!   The same neuron that researchers know exactly where to look and probe in whoever’s brain?  Still too heady stuff for me to begin to fathom!

Is there a neuron for you?

What is the significance of all this?

As the article puts it so well, “Scientists are learning so much about the brain now that it’s easy to forget that for much of history we had no idea at all how it worked or even what it was” (p. 38).

Yet from the beginning, God has revealed in His Bible that what really counts is not our physical brains but the Holy Spirit of God uniting with our Spirit in Man. What???? A Spirit in Man? Most people mistakenly believe we have an immortal spirit.

We are to walk after the spirit, not the flesh (Romans 8:1). We need to understand our Spirit in Man and yielding to the Holy Spirit.

Don’t miss my soon post “What Are You That God Is Mindful of You?”

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Good News & Bad News

We know a joke is coming when somebody says “I’ve got good news and bad news.”

“Your tests show you have only 24 hours to live.”
Ouch! What’s the good news?
“That was the good news. The bad news is that I forgot to call you yesterday!”

And we laugh because sometimes life feels like it operates by Murphy’s Law.   Whatever could go wrong, does, but the affable Irishman goes right on searching for the pot of gold.

Some people just get tired of hearing all the bad news, so they stop reading a newspaper or cancel the cable news.

God commissions His people:

Good News: “And this gospel [“good news”] of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations …” (Matthew 24:14).

Bad News: “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1-2).

And people say to their religious leaders: “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things” (Isaiah 30:10). God said too many of His children “will not hear the law of the LORD” (verse 9).

Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul said “I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you … repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:20-21).  Ezekiel said we must watch and warn (chapter 33).

Peter said wise people will carefully consider prophecy and ask of themselves: “what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11)?

Why all the suffering in this world? God would say:

Good News: One of my best gifts to you is free moral agency.

Bad News: You make too many bad choices.

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before  you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

How will it all end?

Good News: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).   No more crying.   No more tears.   No more pain.   Truth wins.   Good wins.   Love wins.   We win.   God family and kingdom forevermore.

Bad News: There will be none.

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What’s It Mean: “Ride On the High Hills of the Earth”

Last post we saw how God said if we keep His special day,
“Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will
cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth” (Isaiah 58:14).
Because God promises it, this has to be an awesome reward.  
So what’s it mean?

The commentaries are pretty fuzzy about its meaning.   Ideas offered, says Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, generally seem lacking.   Such as when Professor J. Skinner says it means “I will carry thee triumphantly over all obstacles.”  Barnes concludes that “The general idea of prosperity and security is undoubtedly the main thing intended.”

In Deuteronomy 32:13-14 God said when He brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt, He made “him ride in the heights of the earth.”  This meant eating the produce of the land, drawing honey and oil from the flinty rock, feasting on curds, milk and fat from cattle and sheep, plus the choicest wheat and wine.

Talk about a picture of prosperity!

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible sees the meaning as “a great security … great dignity and advancement.”

Habakkuk 3:19 says God “will make me walk on my high hills.”  Not high heels. I don’t know how some of you ladies ride high on stilettos.   Thankfully Habakkuk says He makes our feet like deer hooves so we can walk sure footed on the heights.

The Hebrew word for “high hills” is bamah, pronounced baw-maw’, and meaning “to be high, elevation.”   Can’t help thinking of our President elevating himself above the Constitution and Congress, but we want what the Bible has in mind.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says this special reward for Sabbath keeping means “to live above the world … to be in the utmost safety and enjoy the greatest plenty, especially of spiritual things.”

Gill’s sees the reward also applying after Christ’s return: “to have power and authority in the earth, as the saints will have in the latter day, particularly … when the mountain of the Lord’s house is established upon the top of the mountains, Isa. 2:2.”

As noted last post, “Blessed are those who do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). The fourth commandment is special because the Bible calls it the “test” commandment “whether they will walk in my law or not” (Exodus 16:4).

God describes Himself as one “Who treads the high places of the earth” (Amos 4:13). Shouldn’t we aspire to the same lofty way of life which, like His thoughts, is higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9)!

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown’s Commentary pictures a conquerer riding in his chariot and occupying the hills.

Skyline DriveWhere I live in Canon City, Colorado, we have the pleasure of looking up at the hogbacks which are a foretaste of the Rockies a little further west. The adventurous can’t resist driving Skyline Drive, a scenic road definitely not for the faint-hearted. Built by inmate labor in 1908, when this one-lane road crests on the top of the ridge, it winds and climbs like a roller coaster.   The daring views are so good that Skyline Drive was an effective marketing tool back east to lure tourists.

Rest assured, keeping the Sabbath is not for the fainthearted.   Though most weeks are delightfully routine, obstacles to skin you are guaranteed to come that you will need triumphantly carried over.

But the view—seeing Who the Creator is and delighting that He considers you His people (Exodus 31:13-17)—can’t be compared and makes it worth it no matter what comes.

Let’s ride!

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See! Oh Special Day

eternal lifeJust another day?
And then another five of them?

But the next one’s different.   Special!

Makes a curious person want to know which day. And what’s so special about it—especially what God thinks is so special about it that He blessed it and sanctified it—set it apart.

Amazing that a day could be so life-changing since it rotates on in each week. There’s just the right amount of intervening days to make it come alive again!

Trainers, physicians and psychologists know that humans need a break to recharge. Imagine having divine direction to have a whole day off work each week and be sure to rest in body, mind and spirit. “Look, forget about it! I don’t care what you think is so important to get done. How does it even begin to compare with what I did in six days!”

With divine promise that if you call this day a delight and honorable—not trampling on it by “doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father” (Isaiah 58:13-14).   What will that be like? You’ll see as you keep it.

This special day is “a perpetual covenant … a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever” (Exodus 31:13-17). In the Bible “perpetual” and “forever” continue as long as the conditions exist, and seven days keep coming weekly.

This special day identifies in two special ways: the Creator God Who sanctifies us and also who are His people.   That should open the eyes of those of us who want to be considered His people!

“See! For the LORD has given you” this special day (Exodus 16:29). People talk about the LORD’s day, and this is it. The Son of Man of the New Testament was the LORD of the Old Testament Who gave it, and He made it a special gift for man (Mark 2:27-28). Each week wouldn’t we want to tear off the ribbons and brightly colored paper and open God’s gift!

“Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all my commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29). God could just say “Because I said so.”

Instead, He gives 24 hours each week of blessings and sanctification.   Anyone who treats it special as God intends will likewise be blessed and sanctified.

Which day is so special? God says which in Genesis 2:3 and Deuteronomy 5:14. People have so many clever arguments and you should see for yourself.  Please stop right now and read these two scriptures in your own Bible.

Do we gratefully accept God’s special day and delight in it?   Do we see?

If you do, we rejoice at sunset tonight!

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