What happens after physical death?

Will someone please help me to find an answer to this question.

We human have ‘a physical body’ and ‘a spiritual soul’. What happens when a man dies and is buried, where does his soul goes? Does it go either to heaven or hell (according to his deeds) or somewhere else? It is written that Jesus Christ first resurrected and at His second coming all others will be resurrected, and after the Great Judgment our eternal fate will be decided. That means we cannot enter heaven or hell before the second coming. Then my question is ‘Where is our soul during this period between physical death and spiritual resurrection?’ How do some people claim to see people in heaven or burning in hell? What is the need of the Day of Great Judgment when already people are judged as soon as they die and receive their forever destiny?

How will we explain Paul’s word in 1Th 4:16 -17 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

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What do YOU think?



  1. The Lord has given me a revelation. But I need help and prayer in clarification, for what I have is presently just a small light…

    This morning I woke up and did my morning devotionals. I prayed out of my heart, while lying on my back in my bed before the Lord. Then I prayed several Psalms out of my Bible.

    Let me interject that I have heard it said that the way to humble one’s self is to fall on one’s face before God. True. But let me add that I have prayed on my face at times, on my knees at other times, on my knees with my face down, I have prayed laying on my side, and also on my back. Just about every physical posture that one can adapt when praying, I have done. (However, I have not yet prayed standing on my head!!) My experience is that one can be equally humble on one’s back as on their face for it’s the heart’s condition that God is seeing, not so much the physical posture one adapts with their body, which is secondary.

    Anyway, back to my story. I prayed and was about to get up from my bed, but I decided to linger in prayer a little longer. As my heart was crying to the Lord, I flipped open my closed Bible, and when my eyes fixed on the page, I was again back in Psalms, and the Psalm was EXACTLY the one needed to express my heart’s cry! (I was quite amazed and a little stunned!) After all, the flipping open your Bible method and whatever verse your eyes land on has been proven false, right?? (1 “Judas when out and hanged himself”. 2 “Go thou and do likwewise.”)

    As I prayed probably another half hour or more reading that Psalm out loud as a prayer to God.

    That’s a pretty good way to start one’s morning, I’d say! Much better than a bowl of soggy Corn Flakes!

    Well, anyway, later on in the day, I began to feel a revelation forming in my spirit. Now it’s new for me, and that is why I am asking for prayer.

    I heard from the Lord, that Biblical prosperity is REAL, and it’s for ME (and you) Provided we are living right!!

    However, and I can not emphasize this enough, Biblical prosperity is NOT the unbalanced message that the Copeland’s and that bunch are pimping!

    Yes, there IS a definite prosperity for God’s son’s and daughters, and it may or may not involve money and wealth. It goes much, much deeper than that. It is NOT shallow, as the WOF teachers promote. They promulgate a selfish gospel that (in my observation) CENTERS around one’s self, one’s ego, and the almighty dollar, which, by the way, is as good as dead anyway. Face it. We live in a moribund economy.

    Be that as it may, what then is AUTHENTIC Biblical prosperity? What does it look, like taste like, smell like? What does it feel like to live in it on a daily basis? Well, that is what I am now trying to grasp in my own spirit as I am at the beginning of this nascent revelation. I am sure it must be WONDERFUL beyond words! And I believe it is from God, and since our heavenly Father would not want anything bad for us, then I most definitely want it!

    I have been praying EVERY DAY for months “Thy will be done”, and if this is His will, then it’s what I desire.

    “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth NO TROUBLE to it.”

    I ask for your prayers that the revelation from the Lord will grow and become clearer and clearer for me.

    This is a pretty exciting time of my life!

    • Doug:

      God has an infinite ways to bless us in divine prosperity brother.

      Through relationships, health, opportunities, revelation, gifts and talents, finances, favor…the list goes on and on.

      Today I went for a bike ride in 84 degree temps into the mountains of awesome Gold Canyon Arizona on a new 28 speed bike. I saw God’s animal kingdom like never before. Flying huge sky hawks, a king snake crawling across the road, a herd of mule deer, jack rabbits with 8 inch ears, a bobcat, birds of all sorts, wild crazy desert rodent families acting like kids and so on. It was awesome! It was like natures big whoopa party today all for me.

      What was that worth? Can’t put that on your visa. Praise God for His awesome diversity and love for all creatures!

      • That sounds wonderful! Nature speaks of the glory of God!

        You know, what I am thinking is something along the lines of walking in Divine prosperity every day of one’s life. I think daily Divine favor is a key in understanding the revelation He is trying to impart to me. Oh, to walk in his smiling favor and even miracles every day of our life!

        As far as the “prosperity” teachers I mentioned, one stands out. that is T.L. Osborn. He doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the crowd. He’s different. He talks about God’s prosperity in a different manner and tone. He doesn’t seem centered on money.

        Have you ever read any of his materials?

        • michael says:

          T.L. Osborn was a truly great evangelist who dared to believe that things could be done which no one else believed could be done. People like Reinhard Bonnke have followed on from his model of open air mass evangelism.

    • michael says:

      I’ve mentioned this on this website before. If we fear the Lord and believe His promises, are patient, and do all things in His name, He will make things work amazingly.

      God is GOOD.

  2. *

  3. evstevemd says:

    Here is Jesus’ summary of what happens to death. it is from Luke 16:

    19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

    20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

    21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

    22And 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;

    23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

    24And 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.

    25But 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.

    26And 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.

    27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

    28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

    29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

    30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

    31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

    Note: The two weren’t sleeping, they were conscious, and knew each other. So no Soul sleep is supported biblically. Hell for now is holding place for the time being, and about heaven? Yes to be out of the body is to be present with the Lord. So, no soul sleep, but either Hell or Heaven. And don’t forget that it is appointed once for man to die, and after death? Judgement!

    God bless you!

    Tit 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live sober

  4. Does anyone here have any knowledge behind the nature of the Gregorian chants? )(Of the Benedictine monks) I purchased both CDs years ago, however, I have not used them for worship for a looooooong time, because I am not sure what the actual words are saying behind the obviously gorgeous melodies.

    If the melodies and harmonies are sublime..otherworldly, and quite spiritual sounding, which they obviously are, I tend to think God would still not be pleased with me using them for personal worship if the words are not scriptural. I don’t want to be unwittingly invoking demons!!

    Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, we all know.

    Anybody here have any knowledge on the subject? Are these CDs spiritually safe?

  5. I find myself lately being more strangely drawn toward some aspects of Catholicism..such as Mary and the rosary. I don’t understand why this is happening to me. It should not because I know that this stuff is not Biblical, totally contrary to my beliefs and upbringing. to the best of my knowledge. I emphasize to the best of my knowledge and with the light that I currently have from the Lord. But I am also smart enough to know that I don’t know everything, in fact, in the whole grand scheme of things, I would admit I’m pretty dumb. And of course when juxtaposed with God’s knowledge, mine is less than an ant.

    But as far as these strange thoughts, I have not acted on these pulls.

    I instead go to the Lord and pray for light. I suppose that is what we call testing the spirits.

    I staunchly refuse to act on these impulses unless I am 300% sure it is God.

    I have to wonder though, if these strange pulls are seducing spirits. (Or gentle proddings of God’s Holy spirit.) It can’t be both!!!

    Dear Heavenly Father, please help me!

    • JustAGuy says:

      Doug, interesting. I think seducing spirits is an entirely correct title on this. Catholicism does not even receive Mary for who the Bible says she is, ie, a mother of numerous children. It sounds like you are on course and the Lord will direct you. I think if God wanted you to meditate on Mary, He would have you do a word study with her name in a concordance.

      Blessings brother. I appreciate you! Tim

      • Hi Bro Tim / Justaguy,

        You could be wrong on the point that Mary had other children.

        In many Asian and Eastern cultures ,
        relatives especially cousins are referred to as ‘brothers and sisters’

        In the gospels on several occassions , the writers refer to ‘brothers and sisters of Jesus’

        I must tell you that , here in India, a cousin is referred to
        as ‘brother’ or ‘sister’;
        not necessarily biological brothers or sisters.

        Also , when Jesus was on the cross , he told Mary ,”Woman this is your son” and his disciple John,
        “This is your mother”

        In case Mary really did have other children , why would Jesus , have told her that John would be her son ?

        So your contention about
        accepting Mary as having other children , …..could be off the mark.

        It also illustrates how many are
        fed false doctrine under the garb of Evangelicism.

        • JustAGuy says:

          Greetings Vikas, Thank you for enlightening me on the usage of the terms ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ in Asian and Eastern culture. I was not aware of that. Here is a reference, for the reader, as to what we are discussing.

          Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
          Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

          The Bible does not in any other instance that I know of refer to a brother or sister that is not biologically born of father or mother. It seems to go out of its way to clarify who was born of whom in such instance. In the case of Paul, it is specific of his nephew being the son of his sister, for example. Can you give me an example where the Bible refers to a cousin as a ‘brother’ or ‘sister’? John the Baptist could have been referred to as a brother, being the son of Mary’s aunt Elizabeth, but that never was inferred.

          The Bible never said Mary was a virgin beyond the birth of Jesus. The virgin birth was given as a sign of God’s and Jesus’ holiness. Not Mary’s. In fact, why would Jesus disown even her as a family member?:

          Mat 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
          Mat 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
          Mat 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
          Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

          If Mary was the “queen of heaven” as is taught in Catholicism, there is no place for speaking of her as an outcast of the Church. Jesus did not recognize her as having spiritual authority over her in his adult life.

          Jesus would have entrusted Mary to his beloved disciple John because he trusted John’s character to oversee her welfare more than he trusted his blood relatives.

          Blessings and Peace,

          • Greetings Bro Timothy,

            The passage you have quoted is probably from the KJV verion or
            one derived from it.

            To the best of my understanding ‘bretheren’ means ‘brothers’.

            Your point about John the Baptist,
            a cousin , not being called a brother (of Jesus) is something to
            think about.

            You second point , of Jesus entrusting his mother Mary to the care of John ,…..is……..if I may say …the extra use of one’s imagination ,…..(given the kind of
            respect that parents commanded in Jewish culture two thousand years ago , and what one could reasonably from one’s children).

            Cheers , anyway


          • Mathew Kottarathil says:

            Brothrens (Not Brothers) of Jesus Christ:

            Mathew: 12:47 Mark:3:32
            47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
            Mathew: 13:55-56 Mark: 6:1-3
            55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
            56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
            Mathew: 27: 56 Mark:15:40
            56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. 40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
            John: 19:25-27
            25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
            26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
            27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

            As mentioned in Bible the bretherens of Jesus Christ were James, Joses, Juda and Simon one Sister Salome. We have to analyze this along with the mentioning of women witnessing the Crucifixion.

            They were
            1. Mary the Mother of Jesus (Ref: John 19:25)
            2. Mary the Mother of James, Joses and Salome (Ref: Mark 15:40)
            3. Mary of Magdalene (Ref:John 19:25, )
            4. Mary the Wife of Cleophas ((Ref: John 19:25, Mark 15:40, John 19:25-27)
            5. Jesus’s Mother’s Sister (Ref: John 19:25) (Name not given)

            • Mark reveals Mary (No2) as the mother of James, Joses and Salome without any reference to Jesus Christ as her son (Ref: Mark 15:40).
            Suppose this Mary is the mother of Jesus too, it is completely illogical not to mention his name among children as the focal point of the Gospel is Jesus Christ himself.
            • More over John talks about Jesus’ mother Mary (No1) without mentioning any of other children that might have born to her (Ref: John 19:25) complementing to Mark’s statement above.
            • From both these points we could assume that they were talking about different persons. First Mary the mother of Jesus and the second Mary mother of James, Joses and Salome.
            • What happened to Juda and Simon then? They were not mentioned anywhere in the crucifixion scene. Could they be siblings of James, Joses and Salome? Possible, but isn’t it strange to be left out without mentioning the names?
            • That question reveals the possibility that they might have been Jesus’ mother’s sister’s children since they were also called brethrens (not brothers).
            • Is this Mary the mother of James, Joses and Salome is the wife of Cleophas? Could be possible.
            • Or is it Jesus’ mother’s sister is the mother of James, Joses, Juda, Simon and Salome. (But isn’t it strange Juda and Simon are left out without mentioning their name?) Then Her name had to be Mary and Mary the wife of Cleopha is a different person as mentioned in John (19:25).

            This gives us a logical conclusion that the so called bretherens (not brothers) of Jesus Christ named as James, Joses, Juda, Simon and Salome are either of the following:
             Children of Jesus’s mother’s sister also named as Mary. (But not wife of Cleopha). (Less probable)
             Children of Mary the wife of Cleopha. (But not Jesus’ mother’s sister). (Less probable)
             James, Joses and Salome are children of Mary the wife of Cleopha and Juda , Simon are Children of Jesus’ mothers sister. (Highly probable)
             James, Joses and Salome are children of Mary (But not the wife of Cleopha) and Juda, Simon are children of Jesus’ mother Mary’s sister (Highly probable)

            But nowhere has it given evidence that they are children of Mary the mother of Jesus; for John talks about Jesus’ mother Mary without mentioning other children of hers, and Mark mentioning the children of Mary as James, Joses and Salome without mentioning Jesus thus complementing each other. It is easy to understand.

            All the Apostolic Churches’ traditional belief also winess that Jesus had no siblings from his mother Mary.

            It is worth mentioning here that traditionally Thomas (Juda) was often mentioned as brother of Jesus having called Twin (Didimos) which suggests that close resemblance (look alike) to Jesus being the child of Jesus’ mother Mary’s Sister. When we go to Acts: 1:13 there it is mentioned the Simon Zealots among the disciples, who could be the next Zealot after Peter and Simon? It was Thomas who had urged the disciples to accompany Jesus to Jerusalem to face even death with Him. He was the only one who ventured out of the hiding room to bring food during the frightening time soon after the crucifixion. He had showed close characteristics of his possible Zealot brother -. He was the apostle who travelled most widely with Gospel mission to cover largest land area starting from Turkey to China.

            It is highly possible Thomas (Juda) and Simon Zelotes are the children of
            Mother Mary’s Sister.

            Conclusion : Jesus was the only child to His Mother Mary

          • Anurekha says:

            Mathew 12:47 Mark 3:32
            47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

            I agree that in Mathew 12:47 and Mark 3:32 it is written as “his mother and his brethren” in some of the major translations that I have checked. Along with this I would like to include the following three verses in Mathew 12:48-50 and Mark 3:33-35 which is spoken by Jesus himself. In the first two verses Jesus says as “my mother and my brethren” but in the third verse he says “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” It is interesting to see why the major translations writes the word brethren in first two verses and brother is the third verse. I think because brother is considered as one’s own and not a cousin which may be called as brethren (also see that Jesus calls ‘brother’ only when we do the will of God, because by doing the will of God we become the sons of God, hence becoming His brother). I think Jesus mother came with his cousins.

            Mathew: 13:55-56 Mark: 6:1-3
            55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

            In some translation it is written as brethren while another as brother. Which one should we agree with? In the above verses, why Mary is called the mother of Jesus and relation with James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon as brother. If they are not Mary’s children than what is the significance of putting their name here? Even if they are Jesus relatives why the parents name of these relatives are not written. Surely they are children of Mary that’s why their name is written to show the other children of Mary and hence the brothers of Jesus.

            Matthew: 27: 56 Mark:15:40
            56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. 40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

            In these verses or following verses, do you see anywhere, where is the mother of Jesus? It is very logical that the same Mary who in the Matthew 13 and Mark 6 is written as Mary who is called the mother of Jesus, and James, Joses, Juda and Simon (brothers) and sisters whose names are not written. In Matthew: 27: 56 the same Mary is called mother of James and Joses and in Mark 15:40 this Mary is called the mother James the less and of Joses, and Salome (Salome can be one of the sister, thus the daughter of Mary). In this situation when Jesus is being crucified is it not very important that the mother of Jesus be present there? Unfortunately, I don’t find anywhere in that verse or any other verse a word called ‘Mother of Jesus’. In Mathew, the latter verses after Matthew 27:56 it is written as ‘Mary Magdalene and the other Mary’ hence the same Mary who is called the mother of James, Joses and Salome. In Mark too, in and after chapter 15 there is no mention of Jesus mother, here the other Mary of Matthew is once called mother of Joses and once the mother of James and Salome. Please note both in chapter 27 of Matthew and chapter 15 of Mark depicts the same point of time.

            So where is the mother of Jesus at this crucial point of time? On the other hand the same Mary is sometime referred to as mother of Jesus, James, Joses, Juda, and Simon; mother of James, Joses and Salome; mother of James and Salome; also as mother of Joses. Is not then the same Mary the mother of all the children? Aren’t they all brothers and sister then?

            John: 19:25-27
            25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
            26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
            27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

            We see that Chapter 27 of Matthew, chapter 15 of Mark and Chapter 19 of John are written around the time when Jesus was crucified. In Matthew and Mark there is no mention of Jesus mother, where as in John we see His mother. What made Matthew and Mark from abstaining to write Jesus mother name and what made John to write ‘His mother’? Well, you will see the whole book of John does not mention the names of his brothers; the whole focus is on Jesus. Do Matthew, Mark and Luke contradict with John because there is no mentioning of the name of Jesus mother Mary in their book at the time of crucification? Or, did they think that Mary the mother of Jesus is not an important figure that should be mentioned?

            In my conclusion, I find that Mary the mother of Jesus had other children too.

            Now let’s forget everything, let’s assume according to Roman Catholic that Mary the mother of Jesus was born through Immaculate Conception, lead a very holy life, remained a virgin, suffered when she saw Jesus suffering and finally was taken to heaven. Well, does all these approve her to be our mediator with God? When it is already written that
            (1Ti 2:5) For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
            (Heb 9:15) Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
            (Heb 12:24) and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

            Why do Roman catholic pray to dead saints and mother of Jesus? Why do they hold different rituals and why do they meditate with Rosary Beads? I don’t find anything like this mentioned in the Bible. Also these things like praying to death souls who in return can pray for us, many rituals and meditating with beads are performed in cult Hinduism. Roman Pope and Hindu Guru. You can find many similarities between Roman Catholic and Hinduism.

          • JustAGuy says:

            Well done Anurekha!

            It is so hard to research every challenge that comes. The issue of Mary’s virginity being intact forever is based upon the Catholic church countering pagan female goddesses with a Christian one so as to appeal to the pagan society they were in. Pagan statues have been renamed as Madonna and Child that were of Diana and Jupiter (if I have the right goddess in mind).

            There is no need to be challenging the words ‘brother’, or ‘brethren’. The funny thing about that psuedo scholarship is that the greek word for both is the same. “adelfos”.

            The whole Bible is against the exalted station given to Mary. If she held the high station of “Queen of Heaven” – a title given to goddesses way way back BC – Then why doesn’t the Bible spend more than a blink of prophecy on her? Why do not the apostles so much as mention her name to the NT church?
            Her absence is conspicuous.

            There is NOTHING WRONG with Mary having other children! The marriage bed is undefiled,says Hebrews. On the other hand, would she have been defrauding Joseph, as is also warned against in scripture?

            Blessings and Peace,

          • Mathew Kottarathil says:

            Dear All

            Those who are interested can refer to this link below


            God bless you

          • Mathew Kottarathil says:

            All the apostolic churches believe that Mary the mother of Jesus did not give birth to any other child. They have reasons to believe so because that is how they were taught by apostolic fathers. If you check through the writing of them you cannot find any one fighting over this dogma until recent history, millenniums apart with the advent of reformation and Protestants. I am not totally rejecting the goodness of such reformation and protests as long as they are done healthy.

            You can find many of the Church Fathers debating the various schools of thoughts and fighting to reject the heretics. Such kind of fights was never raised in the case of question about brethrens of Christ.

            If it was known to them that they are brothers from Mary in the beginning, teaching a false doctrine would have been against the Holy Spirit. Anyone could have questioned it and would have had serious implications on the life of such teachers.

            On the other hand they are able to give sufficient explanations to the question on brothers of Jesus based on tradition of Jews.

            Their explanation is that they can be the cousins, or the children of Joseph with other wives. In many instances the close blood relatives such as cousins, nephews, half brothers were addressed as brethrens as it is used in case of 12 sons of Jacob. (they were children of 4 wives of Jacob).

            Gen: 37: 5
            And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
            (If this is to be taken literally then they should have been the children of Leah).

            Interestingly those Children who were born to the Zilpah, Leah’s hand maid were also considered as children of Leah. After Rachel’s death all the children are considered as children of Leah and all of the Children as brethrens.

            Gen: 37:10
            And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

            (Does that mean all 12children of Jacob are biologically born from Leah? Of course not.)

            Hence when Bible refers to Jesus’ mother and brethrens why the case can’t be so as explained in the above example in line with tradition of ancient church?

            Given below is a quoted article:

            An explanation of how the word “brother” is used in the Bible.
            In the Bible, the term “brother” is used in a more general sense than is common today; it would be better translated as “kinsman” or “relative”. There are several Biblical examples of this. The reason for this is that Hebrew didn’t have a word for “cousin”, so the word “brother” was used to include cousins. The people who wrote the Bible were of Jewish culture and were accustomed to this usage, and so they applied it when writing in other languages as well, such as Greek. The Greek Old Testament used by the Evangelists, called the “Septuagint”, was translated into Greek by Jewish scholars about a century before Jesus’ time, and it refers to cousins and other close relatives as “brothers” in exactly the way I’ve described. In the following examples, I’ll provide the verses in English, and also a transliteration of the Greek Old Testament used in Jesus’ time.

            The first example concerns Abram and Lot.
            Genesis 11:26
            Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
            This verse tells us that Abram is the uncle of Lot: Abram is the brother of Lot’s father. But in another verse, Abram is called Lot’s “brother”:

            Genesis 14:12,14
            And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. And when Abram heard that his brother [Lot] was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

            [Here’s the Greek version from the Septuagint:]
            Genesis 14:14
            akousas de abram hoti Echmalwteutai lwt ho adelphos autou ErithmEsen tous idious oikogeneis autou triakosious deka kai oktw kai katediwxen opisw autwn hews dan
            Similarly, the Bible tells us here that Laban is Jacob’s uncle:

            Genesis 29:13
            And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
            However, two verses later, Laban calls Jacob his brother:

            Genesis 29:15
            And Laban said unto Jacob, “Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?”

            Genesis 29:15
            eipen de laban tw iakwb oti gar adelphos mou ei ou douleuseis moi dwrean apaggeilon moi tis o misthos sou estin
            In the following, the cousins of the daughters of Eleazar are called their “brethren”:

            1 Chronicles 23:21-22
            The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli; Eleazar, and Kish. And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters: and their brethren the sons of Kish took them.

            1 Chronicles 23:21-22
            uioi merari mooli kai mousi. uioi mooli eleazar kai kis. kai apethanen eleazar kai ouk Esan autw uioi all’ E thugateres kai elabon autas uioi kis adelphoi autwn.
            In the following, the “brethren” of Ahaziah include at least 42 men, who were not his brothers – his brothers were all killed before he became the king (2 Chronicles 22:1) – but rather his cousins or other similar relatives:

            2 Kings 10:13-14
            Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.
            And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.

            2 Kings 10:13-14
            kai iou euren tous adelphous ochoziou basilews iouda kai eipen tines umeis kai eipon oi adelphoi ochoziou hmeis kai katebEmen eis eirEnEn twn uiwn tou basilews kai twn uiwn tEs dunasteuousEs.
            kai eipen sullabete autous zwntas kai sunelabon autous zwntas kai esfaxan autous eis baithakad tessarakonta kai duo andras ou katelipen andra ex autwn.

            So we see that the term “brother” in the Bible can refer to family relationships other than the one to which we usually apply it.

            Some independent thoughts:

            Joseph when he came to know that Mary is pregnant has decided to divorce her secretly. It needed an intervention from God to take her back as his wife.

            He knew her not till she had brought forth her first born son.

            Why? Because He knew that this lady is chosen by God for special purpose to be the mother of the Son of God the Messiah. So if he abstained from her during that time, it is due to reverence to the Son of God who formed in her womb. It is an honorable thought that he might have extended that status tothe life time.

            (Remember he has disowned her mentally in the first instance but for the God’s purpose he took her in).

            More over if they had children later there could not have been significance to the claim of Mary that Jesus is of the virgin birth. Instead Joseph might have witnessed the virginity of Mary throughout his life preserving her as virgin for God’s glory.

            It is to that context that the usage “he knew her not till …” emphasizing the state of Messiah’s birth. But not the other way round that he knew her after that.

            For example
            1 Timothy 6:14
            “I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

            This until in no way state that he can turn the other way after Jesus Christ’s appearance.

            If it is true that they had other children knowing her it should have mentioned as “She bare children after that or so and so person” in the same fashion as below.

            Gen: 4:25
            And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew

            Mary has totally submitted herself to the service of God. Joseph also did the same to obey God’s commandment.

            It is more respectful about them that if they continued the same way till their life time, rather than giving way for the desire of flesh. We can assume that marriage was a special arrangement by God involving two of God’s chosen ones with no flesh relations involving and raising Jesus in normal family background.

            Not all marriages need to be based on sexual relation as explained in the case of David and Abishag

            1. Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
            2. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
            3. So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
            4. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

            More careful study reveal that James, Joses, Salome were children of Alphaeus (Cleophas?) and Mary. Their relation to Jesus is not revealed. Case of Simon & Judas are still obscure except Judas says that he is brother of James.

            My contention is that if there is not enough proof to prove that the so called brothers and sisters are born to the Jesus’ mother, why modern thinkers try to promote it as a doctrine? I would say it is inappropriate to do so, but rather respect the traditional information too. That doesn’t mean that everyone had to approve all dogmas of the Catholic Church like Immaculate Conception etc.

            But as being the children of God lead by the Holy Spirit we cannot maintain a blind eye on anyone’s Justice. Benefit of lack of concrete evidence to prove the modern thinking definitely goes to the ancient churches tradition.

            If anyone want to promote it otherwise they do so by risk of promoting a possible lie. On the other hand respecting the tradition is giving reverence to the apostolic fathers. If they taught us wrong then it is their fault not ours. Hope this would clear the matter.
            Dogma of Intercessory prayers is also an interesting subject.

            I hope to deal with it later.

            God bless you all

    • warrior daughter says:

      Catholics put Mary into godlike-status….She was the woman God chose to bear His Son and that was it….

      Here are some facts about Roman Catholic religion:

      1…Traditons and practices are more important than what the Word of God says….Sacred traditions and Scripture are equal authority in the Catholic church…The Word of God is perfect, Psalm 19:7, is truth Psalm 119:142,151,160 among much more is the Word of God…

      2…Salvation is secured by faith but also by doing good works and grace by doing the sacraments of the church…The Word tells us: For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works lest anyone boast..(Ephesians 2:8-9)

      3…Catholic church tells you to read the Bible but you cannot interpret it …..That is only for the leadership of the church……God gives His children the ability to rightly interpret the Word and is not to be preached in man’s wisdom…
      I Corinthians 2:4,13

      4…Baptizing of infants for salvation….A baby does not know sin and baptism if for the redeemed believer….Acts 18:8

      5….There is no place as purgatory…If there was it would be stated in the Bible…

      6…Mary is not co-mediator with Jesus…Mary knew that she needed a Savior too, and she was a mother of others and she also suffered death…..Ephesian 2:13-18

      7…The rosary came about from copying pagan prayer beads…….Find any mention of prayer beads in the Bible, it does not exist

      8…A person who dies is not to be prayed to…The Catholic saints were men and women who also needed a Savior and they cannot answer prayers…It was the pagans in Bible times who prayed to the dead and it it is still the pagans who pray to the dead

      9….Many of the holidays (holy days) came about by inserting a Catholic saint’s name to a pagan holy day…..

      10…The order of priesthood is wrong….Anyone who knows
      Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is a priest in the eyes of God…Revelation 1:6

      To me, Mary was a humble woman and she never would have thought that she would be considered Queen of Heaven, co-mediator, one to pray to, looked to as God…..Mary was flesh and blood and she needed a Savior too, and she knew it…

      These are just a few things wrong with Catholic church…The Catholic church has inserted man’s thinking into their religion and when relying on man’s wisdom, you error….

  6. There are four words in the Bible for ‘hell’.

    hades – Greek – the grave.
    gehena – Greek – Lake of Fire.
    tartaroo – Greek – Place of Restraint for fallen angels.
    Sheol – Hebrew – the grave.

    Blessings and Peace,

    • This is a great question as a friend and I were just discussing this and came to the same conclusion! I forwarded the information from the article to her!

      You’re invited to visit: http://www.estherprojectcorp.org

  7. When a person dies, their body goes to the grave, but their spirit either goes directly into the presence of God, or is dragged down to hell beneath. But the hell that people go to at this time (called Hades) is not the final Lake of Fire. It is kind of like a holding cell where people are tormented by evil spirits and burning fire. At the end of the age, all these people will be hauled up before the Great and Awesome Judge, they will receive resurrection bodies, and not being found in the Lamb’s book of Life, will be cast into the Lake of Fire – Gehenna – the final hell.

    As for believers who die, their spirits are taken by the angels into the presence of God. They will stay there, but without bodies, until the time of the first resurrection, which is also the time of the rapture of the church. I believe this is the Second Coming of Christ.

    After being given new bodies and our lives being evaluated by the Lord, we will dwell on the earth again.

    The exact details of when and how the millenium occurs I am not sure of, but there is some indication that we will reign on the earth with the Lord for 1000 years. Even if this is not the case, we will definitely partake of the New Earth with our resurrected bodies. That is the way I read Scripture anyway.

    • Thank you, it’s pretty clear to me now. Your words reflects some verses from Bible.

    • Micheal..so what is it with the teaching of “soul sleep?” They teach that after you die, your soul sleeps in your dead body under the ground.

      Oh really???? Is that so, Mr Armstrong???? Then I think you have some explaining to do!

      Easily disproved! Just think of the millions of people who die but are not under the ground!!

      For instance, how about the terrorist who blows himself into a million bits? Does his soul sleep in each of those scattered pieces of his flesh?? Or what about the people who were blown up in the space shuttle? They are certainly not under the ground! Most likely their body was instantly disintegrated in outer space!

      What about people who are cremated? Their soul sleeps in their ashes? Then in that case my dad is asleep on a shelf in the other room of my house.

      What about the people who are given to science for their body to be dissected?? or what about the people who are on the “body farm” in Tennessee?? Or what about the people who are now under the deep when the Titanic sunk??

      What about that exhibit that travels around the country (Body world) that displays people posed in different positions having been plasticized???

      What about the bones they dig up of homo-sapiens who have died centuries ago? Nothing but bones. No body left to sleep in. What about the people of ancient Pompeii? They are still asleep in those petrified bodies????

      What about good old Bob the skeleton who graces the corner of Science class? He’s still asleep inside dem dry bones??

      My point? Not all dead bodies rest under the ground…the grave, and soul sleep is a ridiculous lie!

      I’m off my soapbox now.

      Just don’t get me started!

      • Are you familiar with Herbert Armstrong?? Did you go to his church?

        Blessings and Peace,

        • No, I NEVER attended Herbert Armstrong’s church. As far as I know, he was a deceiver and a false prophet. The leader of a cult. I have no respect for his teachings. Sorry.

          • JustAGuy says:

            Doug, I grew up in his church and sacrificed much to faithful to the Lord in it. I believe your assessment of him may be correct. Nothing to be sorry for there. Any preacher, including Michael here whom I respect, is prone to error. When we teach it we then may rightly also be branded as deceivers. HWA’s intent was not to deceive, he simply was deceived and passed it on in good faith.
            As for false prophet,same applies. He will answer to God for himself in judgement – and in God’s grace, even he may be made to stand if his heart was right. This is why I do not like to be critical of person’s but rather doctrines.

            For the record, when the Worldwide Church of God renounced his legalistic doctrines in 1996, I forsook them and later that year received the baptism of the Holy Spirit – which he taught was of the devil.

            Blessings and Peace,

          • Seems that living the Christian life is a daily matter of avoiding landmines and booby traps. They seem to be ubiquitous.

      • Doug,

        I think your discourse here is a little flippant. I do not think anyone who believed in soul sleep would take it seriously because they are simply saying the soul remains dormant during death. They are not linking it to a body, which regardless of where or how it dies will vanish in time anyway.

        How do you deal with scripture that says,

        Psa 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

        Eze 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.

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

        Act 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. This being written AFTER the ascension of the resurrected Christ!

        1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
        1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
        1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
        Note: The Bible says they are ‘asleep’. The Bible says they will will ‘rise’ first. What is a logical response to that, without contradicting it or redefining words to accommodate our theology?

        There are a lot of scriptures that can support what you call soul sleep. Your argument is based soley on human reasoning mixed with an insensitive spirit. All in all, the important thing is that we are to honor and respect each other’s convictions and clearly make the case from scripture for our point of view. I am not taking a position on soul sleep here. I am merely calling us to be circumspect in our responses, as a brother in love.

        When it comes to heaven and hell the best policy is to fear the Lord now and let the rest make itself known. Even if I know all the details of the Lord’s return, can I camp out for him at the Mount of Olives on his descent and be accepted of him? If I am ignorant of the details of His coming, but am faithful in obedience, will He not catch me up? Part of that obedience is to love one another and not mock their beliefs. I love you brother!!

        “Let the righteous be righteous still, and let the wicked be wicked still.”

        Blessings and Peace,

        • gate007 says:

          I think I’ve heard of this “soul sleep” teaching from Seventh Day Adventist Doug Bachelor on his show “Amazing Facts”. I remember how surprised I was to hear someone use scripture to attempt to prove this?

          Am I referring to the same souls sleep as discussed?


          • JustAGuy says:

            David, I do not know what goes around as doctrine under the heading of ‘soul sleep’ among various denominations or the SDAa. What I was taught and hold to be a possibiity is that at death we have no conscious thought until the day of Christ’s return. The spirit of the man goes back to God who gave it, but not with the conscious thought that our minds, or souls, contained. At the resurrection we would be raised again and awaken to life once more. Again for this discussion, we will know such things in due time if we apply ourselves to our calling in this life. Indeed, the hidden things belong to the Lord.

            Blessings and Peace,

        • Timothy:

          Please allow me to attempt to answer your questions, since I died in an automobile accident on August 30, 2002 and was allowed by God the Father to return back to earth, as a result of His sovereign decision, not on the basis of any goodness in me.

          In regard to Psa 146:4, it is true that the brain dies at death, but not the mind

          Eze 18:4 reinterated the command that God gave Adam and Eve, the soul that sins dies (is cut off from spiritual connection to God) We have to become born again, because our spirit is dead.

          Eze 18:20 same comment.

          Do you remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus? Jesus did NOT say that this was a parable, he spoke it as a matter of fact (which it is) I personally was being dragged into hell to the lake of fire, and I could hear the screaming. Hell is very real and you are very alive, more so than alive on earth, when you enter the spiritual realm.

          Jesus himself stated to the Jews in John that God was a God of the living, not the dead, when He solidly rebuked the Sadduccees for not knowing the power of God nor the word of God.

          Acts 2:29 David is indeed dead and buried, but add the rest of the verse, Peter said that God’s holy one would NOT see corruption.

          1 Thess 4:14-16 speaks of sleep. When Jesus went to Bethany, to see Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, now deceased, he just used the term “Lazarus sleeps” but one of the disciples got it wrong, so Jesus had to correct them all “Lazarus is dead”

          Even Acts in the stoning of Stephen says that Stephen fell asleep.

          But you HAVE to reconcile ALL scripture and when we see Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, they were not sleeping people, the only ones fighting sleep were James, John, and Peter. Moses and Elijah were very much alive.

          Hebrews says that we on earth are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. Sleeping people witness nothing.

          Again, we need to be VERY respectful of what Jesus said. When he said that His father is the God of the living, not the dead and that Abraham saw his day and was glad, then any other beliefs that we might have, had better line up with what our Lord says.

          I trust you will agree that we all are bound by this submission to truth?? I pray so.

          • JustAGuy says:

            Randall, thanks for taking the time to share your faith and do so with the support of scripture. I believe you have done an excellent job of presenting your points. This is why I believe we are to love and respect each other in our disagreement on topics such as this – because excellent points can be made for each side.

            1 – the Bible indeed says “death” and nowhere does the interpretation of “being cut off from God” enter from a biblical or even human origin, other than theologians seeking to teach these doctrines of hell as eternal torment.

            2 – the rest of the verse Peter was quoting was to demonstrate the prophetic foresight of that verse as it applied to Jesus Christ, who alone is holy.

            3 – The soul that sins it shall die… The soul is not immortal. God breathed into Adams nostrils the breathe of life and man becamea living soul. The soul came with God’s Word, it has a beginning and it can have an end.

            4 – Out of the thousands that ‘die’ each year, how many do not have an afterlife experience? I do not count these experiences as having theological weight because such things can come from other channels and have no effect on ‘how do I act as a Christian.’

            Of course brother we are all bound by submission to truth. We are bound by our duty to search it out, weigh it, understand it and hold to our understanding as lead by the Lord. We are also bound to not judge those whose consciences before the Lord may differ than our own. I respectfully release you to your faith, even as I share my own. We will all know the truth at our Lord’s coming and he will not judge us on our understanding of such things since we all see through a glass darkly.

            Again, thank you for your excellent and thought provoking points.

            Blessings and Peace,

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