Jason wrote:I believe you.
Outstanding, now we can move forward!
Actually the early Jewish tradition around the time of Christ was that dead people went to Hades, which had different "compartments" for the righteous and unrighteous. I believe Jesus used this theme in his parable in Luke 16 to make a point about Jews and Gentiles (Lazarus and the Rich Man). That would've been a good time for Jesus to tell them their view of Hades was incorrect but those who heard him would have gotten the impression that Jesus agreed with the tradition.
The "the early Jewish tradition" that you speak of was actually imported from the Greeks, who imported their view from the Egyptians and Babylonians. And right before Jesus lays into the parable about Lazarus and the rich man there is this odd exchange that does indeed speak to what exactly Jesus was saying to the Pharisees He was speaking to:
Luk 16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 16 The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. 18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.
Verse 18 is the key in understanding the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Jesus was telling the Pharisees that they were doing the same thing as their fathers which led to their captivity in Babylon. Israel, both Judah and the ten northern tribes were always compared to adulterous women in the OT for their nuzzling up with paganism and adopting their pagan traditions and views. This is one of the most easy to recognize facts in the Bible.
Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
The scriptures are consistent in this view. The whole book of Hosea is about God's love towards the adulterous. Thus Jesus was actually telling the Pharisees that their views about heaven and hell were indeed incorrect and apart from the teachings in the Torah and Tanakh.
I'm not sure what is meant by Paul's first waking thought since he doesn't mention that concept. He says he'd prefer to be away from his body and with the Lord. If Paul is talking about going into a literal sleep when he dies, in what way is that being absent from his body?
When did Paul discuss this change as coming?
When I went to sleep last night I was still very much in my body. Paul never describes death as going into a prolonged dreamland but he does describe it as being absent from his body and present somewhere else. Of course, many times in Scripture we see sleep being used as a metaphor for death and Steve actually addressed this (how timely) on Friday's program.
Didn't hear Friday's program so I can't comment on that but actually Paul's writings are extremely consistent with the entire portrait painted by scripture regarding what happens at death. The metaphor for death in scripture is indeed sleep yet that explains and not confuses the idea of what happens at death.
I would say that 1 Corinthians 15 is clarifying his position because of the way he begins his argument in verse 35. In 2 Corinthians 5 it seems like Paul is trying to encourage them with hope, not clarify an earlier position. He says in 2 Corinthians 5:9 that "We make it out goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." If you you take "away from it" to refer to a sleep that awaits the resurrection, how can we make it our goal to please him during this unconscious phase?
It can't and Paul isn't talking about pleasing the Lord when we sleep, but when we are awake.
2Cr 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle (literally: tent)
were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Taking the description of when this happens into account is vital in understanding this and the subsequent verses of 2 Corinthians 5. 1 Corinthians 15 tells us exactly when this change takes place. Like "peas and carrots."
Look, I'm not trying to convince you or anyone for that matter. I feel scripture is clear regarding the state of the dead. You have to let the scriptures convince you, not me.
There's nothing wrong with trying to convince me of your position so there's no need to qualify what you've written. I know you feel that Scripture is clear on the subject and you even have some verses in your favor, just not as many as the traditional view.
I didn't realize this was a competition! Anyway, in my mind at least, I'm actually espousing the "traditional view" and modern day Christianity espouses the "pagan view". The "traditional view" is that when man dies he returns to the dust of which He was made and the breath he had returns to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob which gave the breath in the first place. The "pagan view" is the view that whether you are Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, or "Christian" when man dies he goes "somewhere." A Taoist believes the soul flies into Uncle Charlie, a Christian, into heaven.
But you shouldn't feel it's some sort of sin to try to convince another. I've changed my views on many, many things when others have shown me a good case from Scripture and I'm glad they did try to convince me, with sound exegesis.
I can only lay out a case, it's the Holy Spirit's job to convince.
I'm not sure you know what is meant by proof-texts. This term refers to isolated bible verses that are used to make a given theological point, yet removed from either their immediate context or the overall context of the book. For example, using a verse in poetic writing to make a theological point is not as sound as a didactic verse from an epistle. I could quote many things from Ecclesiastes, to give just one example, which would not hold true at all. Think of Solomon's exhortation that the goal of life is to eat, drink and be merry. You wouldn't take that as a doctrinal truth, yet it's a scripture from the Hebrew Bible (God's word).
I understood what you meant, and you're saying, essentially, that I was speaking out of the Seventh-day Adventist "playbook." But again, keep in mind that, as I stated, there are many from all sorts of denominational beliefs that have understood the scripture to be stating the obvious; once dead we await our change. Job knew the difference, so did Paul.
Job 14:10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where [is] he? 11 [As] the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: 12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens [be] no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man die, shall he live [again]? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee
: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
What a glorious description of the truth!