Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Heaven: A Believer's Final Resting Place?

One of the greatest myths ever foisted upon the church... not quite as much as the Church being separate from Israel, is that believers go to heaven when they die.  Did you realize that nowhere in the Bible does it teach that believers go to heaven when they die?  Now there are some believers who were beheaded, seen under the altar in Revelation, waiting for God's justice to be poured out on His enemies.  But that's a weird place to spend eternity.  That passage is primarily teaching about Yhwh's dealings with fallen man and their fallen leader.

In doing a word study on heaven, I went through, and looking at the uses of the word heaven in scripture, and in most cases, it is referring to the atmosphere over our heads.  There are cases where it states that Yhwh lives in the heavens... and there are cases where believers, when they die, are with the Lord, but nowhere in scripture does it say that that is in heaven, above the earth.

Deuteronomy 4:19  (19) "And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

Exodus 31:17   (17) "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed."

Deuteronomy 9:1   "Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven,

Deuteronomy 11:11  (11) "But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven,

Judges 5:20   (20) "The stars fought from heaven, From their courses they fought against Sisera.

And there are many more such verses, but for sake of brevity, I will not include them here.  It would make a excellent bible/word study though to go to your favorite online bible, and simply study on the word "heaven," and I think you will be greatly encouraged and amazed at what you find.

The Bible does teach however that believers in fact go to Abraham's bosom, located in Hebraic thought, under the earth. 

Luke 16:22  22 "Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.

Another passage we see a glimpse is where king Saul went to inquire of the prophet Samuel by a witch, at En-dor.  1 Samuel 28:15  15 Then Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?"

When the Messiah Y'shua, after his crucifixion, where did he go?  This is probably the most agreed upon by students of the Bible, his spirit descended down into hades, the place of prison of disobedient spirits. 

1 Peter 3:18-20  18 For Messiah also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to Elohim, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;  19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,  20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of Elohim kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

In extra-biblical Hebraic literature, there is a picture of many things that dwell under the earth.  It is taught that under the earth there are indeed two places, both Abraham's bosom, the place of paradise and comfort for all followers of the Messiah, and of Hades or Sheol, a gloomy place of punishment for those spirits who rejected Yhwh's Covenant of forgiveness and life in Messiah Yeshua.  We see a glimpse of this in the already quoted parable of Lazarus and the rich man:

Luke 16:25-26   25 "But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.  26 'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.'

So we can see here the Y'shua believed and taught about believer's being carried to Abraham's bosom.  And this was believed by the disciples, and by the entire early church.  Through the ages there has been a slow departure from these beliefs and teachings of our older, wiser fathers, as man entered into eras of "enlightenment," realizing he could know things apart from the word of Elohim.  But we didn't consider the words of Proverbs: "The fear of Yhwh is the beginning of knowledge." (Pr. 1:7).

There is also a passage I love speaking of the redeemed Israelites in the last days, as they are bought into the kingdom of Elohim, the land of Israel (cf. Ezek. 36), and they report to the Yhwh:
Jeremiah 16:19  19 O YHWH, my strength and my stronghold, And my refuge in the day of distress, To You the nations will come From the ends of the earth and say, "Our fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood, Futility and things of no profit."

In these last days, the Father is exposing corruption everywhere, and has shown us that most of what we have been taught, is wrong, and/or a lie.  I know that this post is far from conclusive concerning the matter of believers, and their final resting place, but I hope that this will spur you on to read, and search, and you too will conclude that a believers final resting place is in the land of Israel, with Messiah, keeping Torah.

Luke 16:16-17  16 "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.  17 "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

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