The Number-One Fallacy in the World is the Living Dead

The number one program on TV is “The Walking Dead”.   Dead people walking is not so strange when the number one fallacy in the world is that the living do not die.  The first lie – you shall not really die – is kept alive by pagans and some Christians.  Even stranger though is the fact that Christians have testified for the last two millennia that most people who are walking around are dead (Eph. 2:1, Rev. 3:1).  So who then are the people who get excited about ghouls, vampires,  the undead, and “departed spirits”?  Are people becoming fans of the Talking Dead?  There is nothing of consequence in the drama and speech of the dead.  It is actually true: dead persons tell no tales (Isaiah 8:19).  Cunningly-devised fables have been soundly discredited and no amount of TV drama and quasi-documentaries can undo the exposure of Satanic lies about human realities and destiny.

The dead are alive; one giant whopper

The sages have always spoken in simple terms about life and death (Ecc. 9:4-5, Psalm 82:7, Eze. 18:4).  If the theory of life continuing at death is true then Yeshua is a buffoon.  If anyone should know who is heaven, who has gone to heaven, it is Yeshua, but He said that ​”No-one ever ascended to heaven…”.  The Bible does not say that the soul (the nephesh) returns to God at death, yet this has been the foundation of evangelical speculation and quasi-theology.  If God takes back His breath of life (nishmat hayyim, compare ruah hayyim, spirit of life Gen. 6:17, 7:15, nishmat ruah hayyim 7:22, ) we are done until He does something about it. 

The term soul begins as a definition of what man is.  Man is a soul, a nephesh. God animated dust by breathing into it and named the result living person, nephesh hayyah, hY*j^ vp#n#.  Hodge, the theologian who is credited with shaping much of evangelical theology opposes biblical language about life and death in his Systematic Theology.  Hodge and those who have followed him reject the text by replacing man is dust, with man is spirit.  Protestant doctrine about the state of man after death is explained by Hodge to be opposed to the doctrine of man “sleeping in the dust until the resurrection” (Dan. 12:2, John 5:28-29).  The Christian doctrine about life and death does not arise from the existence of variant views.  The truth precedes the perversions.  Christian doctrine is based on truths clearly stated and demonstrated by our Lord and His apostles.

All Living Shall Die and All Dead Shall Rise

Everyone who has ever lived will die.  There are no exceptions.  Fables and speculation about Elijah (translation), Enoch (taken), and Moses (ascension), are not truth.  All have a day of reward.  The righteous rise to immortality.  The wicked rise to everlasting contempt.  As time flies, departed humans are being impersonated by demons.  The faithful deacon and the unsaved thief are dead, asleep, resting, awaiting reward.  The devil loves nothing more than to see humans consulting with the departed dead, eating and drinking with the living dead, marrying and giving in marriage.  Echoing the devil’s first lie to humans – “You shall not surely die” is plain folly.   Plain language about what happens when the final judgement is passed is in the right places, for example, Isaiah’s last chapter.  “For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain (hallal, to kill) of the LORD shall be many”. Isaiah 66:16

The dead and the living have little in common; they are separated by a great chasm.  The so-called intermediate state is like the absurd condition between saved and lost.  One is either dead or alive, saved or lost. The number one fallacy has one antidote: resurrection.  Faith in the resurrected Christ, and eager expectation of our own resurrection at the end of the age.   The answer to death is not ongoing life.  The answer to death is coming to life via resurrection.  Let us therefore live as though as dying and be ready to die knowing that we shall come to life in the last great day.

Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:54

 Jesus said unto [Martha], I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, shall yet live: John 11:25
  Wonder not at this. For a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and will come forth—John 5:28 (WEY)

DeadLife

The Gifts of the Ascended Christ

Gifts of the Ascended Christ1

  • The four-fold ministry that secures the Church has everything to do with (1) equipping the saints to do ministry (2) edifying the body of Christ and (3) growth in Christ’s direction in all things.  In a three-handed gifting Christ builds on the foundation of the apostles.  The apostles on the one hand, and three other “hands”; thus our Lord gave four classes of workers: (the construction is men = one the one hand …  de =on the other hand, )
  • τους μεν αποστολους. On the one hand some APOSTLES (tous men apostolous)
  • τους δε προφητας, on the other hand some PROPHETS (tous de profetas)
  • τους δε ευαγγελιστας, on the other hand some EVANGELISTS (tous de euaggelistas)
  • τους δε ποιμενας και διδασκαλους , on the other hand some SHEPHERDS and TEACHERS (tous de poimenas kai didaskalous) Ephesians 4:11-12 (Wescott-Hort)

Close examination of the terms shepherd (poimen), elder (presbuteros), and bishop (episkopos), shows that the fourth class is a composite of those who guard and feed the flock (Acts 20:17, 28, Titus. 1:9, 1 Tim 3:2, 2 Tim 2:24, 1 Pet. 5:2).2 A shepherd=pastor=elder=bishop.

The purpose for this gifting is the equipping of the saints, for the work of service.  When this service orientation is kept on the periphery of Christian work the Church’s likeness to Christ and the apostles is hard to see.

The gifting provides for:

  1. unity of [the] faith
  2. unity of knowledge of God’s Son
  3. mature (fully-formed) maleness
  4. the [appointed] measure of Messiah’s fullness

A common and popular line of thinking equates the disciples with the Lord, but it should be obvious that the new creation is still a process of creating His likeness and image in those who believe.  Christ is the new template, which brings the human within reach of a likeness to Him.  Adam was not created a “god”; disciples are not converted into “christs”.

In many ministries the baby is in the sewer with the bathwater, because equipping the saints to do ministry, edifying the body of Christ, and growth in Christ’s direction in all things are quite obviously not the priority.  Christ will however have the final say, and it is highly probable that miracle workers will face an interrogation which will reveal that they did not really know Christ.  They were more motivated with showing power over this world instead of becoming disciples and growing in grace.  It is not enough to name Christ as “Lord”.

One can be a front-line witness to or operator of miracles, mouth impressive prophecy, and perform exorcisms and still receive no commendation from the Lord.  If one is not equipping the saints to do ministry the pastorate is in denial.  Instead of a welcome and commendation, the Lord will give them a strong, appropriate, uncomfortable, and truthful disapproval: ‘I tell you that you are no friends of mine. Begone from me, all of you, wrongdoers that you are.’ Luke 13:27 (Weymouth Translation)

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1From an essay The Equipping and Edifying of the Saints

2It is highly recommended that the fourth entry in the list, pastors and teachers, be treated as in indivisible class, due to (1) the practical hazards of a teacher who is not cooperative with the pastoral ministry, or a pastor who is ill-equipped to teach or who neglects the practice of teaching (2) The grammatical structure points in this direction. Compare the grammatical structure of Eph. 2:20, where the article is not repeated with “prophets”, εποικοδομηθεντες επι τω θεμελιω των αποστολων και προφητων. (Wescott-Hort), epoikodomethentes epi to themelio ton apostolon kai profeton.