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Deadly Delusions

Scripture: Genesis 2:7, Ecclesiastes 12:7, Job 27:3
What does the Bible teach about what happens when we die? Do we go straight to heaven, hell, or somewhere in between? Knowing how God first created us will help us know what happens when we die. The dust returns to the earth and the breath to God. The Lord alone has immortality. We sleep in the grave until the resurrection day.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Question and Answer: Karen Batchelor

KB—Question and Answer #1: Is tithing one of the old ceremonial laws?

DB: Good question! (Uh) Some preachers teach, “Well, you know you don’t need to keep the Sabbath that’s part of the Old Testament law.” But it’s very interesting when it comes to the subject of tithing they don’t have a problem with Old Testament. (Audience laughs) (Uh) I found, have you noticed that? Because most of the Scriptures that you find in support of tithing are in the Old Testament but there are some in the New.

First of all, keep in mind there’s a difference between some of the ceremonial laws and tithing. The ceremonial laws largely originated with the sanctuary and its services, at least all the Jewish Feast Days did. Tithing dates all the way back to Abraham. Jacob talked about promising to give God a tenth; Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of the spoil of the war. And so the principle of supporting the ministry of God with this tenth; well, let me ask you do we still need that today? (Audience answers “yes”) And in Matthew 23:23, I believe it is, Jesus said, “You pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin and yet you’ve omitted the weightier matters of the law, justice, love, mercy,” said, “these you want to have done and not leave the other undone,” speaking of tithe.

And so there’s nothing in the New Testament that leads us to believe that the principle of tithing has been abolished. A matter of fact, in the New Testament, it’s more. You read what it says in the book of Acts; tithing was the basement, it was the starting point. No man said that ought that he had was his own, all men had everything in common, they sold their possessions and laid them at the disciples’ feet. The sacrif--the sacrifice that you see in the New Testament, far surpasses even tithe. And so tithe is a very (uh) minimum basic for God’s people, Jesus is coming back again, amen?

KB: Amen.

DB: He owns a hundred percent. (Uh) The fact that we would return a tenth is seems very meager. So I hope that (uh) we all have (uh) a relationship with the Lord where we’re comfortable with that.

KB: There’s also a blessing when you tithe.

DB: Amen. He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing you’ll not have room enough to receive it. And (uh) the Batchelor family probably needs to get a public storage building cause we don’t have a room enough for all our blessings.

KB: So we’re gonna get a dumpster, sell it all, and tithe. (Laughs) Now not only do we tithe but we give our offerings as well and that also gives as an opportunity to be blessed and to bless others, because what are we gonna do with this money when Jesus comes? Are we gonna be happy to have it for ourselves or we’re gonna use it for the Lord’s work? We want everybody to know that the Lord is coming soon and this is one way in which we can help.

DB: How much did Noah invest in the ark?

KB: All that he had.

DB: Did he have any regrets as the ark rose up on the water to see the dollars floating around out there? (Audience laughs)

KB—Question and Answer #2: Since scripture teaches a thousand years is as one day and one day as a thousand years could the millennial reign in Revelation be one day long?

Well, first of all, we’re not telling you that every time you see a day in the Bible it represents a year or a thousand years, those are just (uh) some metaphors that are used. In prophetic interpretation we’ve learned that you apply a day for a year. And someone might be wondering, “So does that mean that the thousand years is really 300 and 60 thousand years”? No, because the principles of prophetic interpretation reach up until we enter eternity. We enter eternity with Jesus, that’s when the millennium begins. And so then a thousand years is a thousand years, does that makes sense? You don’t have any need for prophetic applications there.

KB—Question and Answer #3: Is it right to do gambling or lotto when you are a Christian?

DB: Not that we make decisions based on popular opinion but how many of you would agree that there’s a moral dilemma for Christians to be involved in gambling? I think that the idea of getting something for nothing and let’s face it most of the gambling is structured so that the house wins. And anything that is an addiction Christians should avoid.

We live in Sacramento, not too far from Reno, and we know many, many stories of families where they went on a vacation in Nevada and mom or dad dropped into the casino just for a few minutes, they lost everything a--and they just became obsessed with it. Anything that is a bad witness—what would you do if you saw me at (uh) One Armed Bandit pulling at a slot machine, would that affect your impression of me? Can you picture Jesus there?

And while I’m on it I mean the lotto, I know it’s very popular in some states, but (uh) I’ve never bought a ticket. You’ll make a lot more money if you take all those dollars that you’re throwing away and put them in the bank and let the interest compound. Someone said your chances of winning the lottery you’ve got a better chance of being bitten by a shark on dry land. (Audience laughs) So…

KB—Question and Answer #4: I was told that the Hebrew calendar has 300 and 60 days, we use 300 and 65 days, if this is true then how can we correctly cor--correlate time and prophecy?

DB: Good question! We are living, as I said, under the Roman calendar which was a solar calendar. The Jews operated under a lunar calendar. Their months were divided by the moon and the new moon. (Uh) One way we know that you should interpret using these prophetic symbols of a 300 and 60 day a year is in Daniel and Revelation, it uses a time, a times, and the dividing of a time, three and a half years, and it tells us how much that equals, one thousand two hundred and sixty days and 42 months. The only way three and a half years can equal those numbers is if it’s a three hundred and sixty day a year. And by the way, 300 and 60 mathematically is a better number to calculate with. How many degrees in a circle? Three sixty (360), it’s because it’s a very (uh) easy number to calculate with and that’s why the Jews used it that way.

KB: Well, because it was a Jewish prophecy they used their own calendar.

DB: Yeah, you don’t use y--your--your local words and calendars to interpret the Bible you let the Bible interpret itself, you must use their dating system, their calendar.

KB—Question and Answer #5: Common law marriages are recognized by some states but does God approve of this? And what if we are in a committed relationship?

DB: Well, first of all, whenever you have any doubts about the validity of your marriage and you’re a Christian that should tell you something. That means there’s something suspect. A Christian should never have to explain that they’re really married. (Uh) We should obey the laws of the land. Now granted it is true in the early beginning when God (uh) put Adam and Eve together there was not a formal service with a lot of guests, unless there were angels, right? Nobody else to come; and the Bible says that Isaac took Rebekah and she became his wife, of course, but things were a lot more primitive back then, but marriages were to be recognized by the society that you’re in.

And so (uhm) we should obey the laws of the land, the Bible says, that marriage should be recognized by the society that you’re in and the laws of the land, and it shouldn’t be in doubt, if it’s in doubt, you may wanna go to the next step. And that would be a question, if you’re involved in a common law marriage and you’ve got questions, why not go all the way?

KB: Amen.

DB: Right?

KB: Well, what if you’re in a committed relationship is it okay to live together?

DB: She’s asking rhetorical questions. Obviously, (uh) if you’re that committed, why not get married? (Audience says “amen”) I’ve actually met a number of people that ther--they’re living together and they say, “Well, you know if we get married we lose certain government benefits.” And so I said but we consider ourselves married so I asked them I say, “Well, when the government asks you if you’re married what do you tell them”? You say no to the government and yes to people? That’s dishonest. You’re either married or you’re not married, right?

KB: Well, if you’re gonna commit your life in one way you need to commit your life all the way, in every aspect of your relationship. And it’s part of the Ten Commandments as well, isn’t it?

KB—Question and Answer #6: What is the accountability to God for our Buddhist, Hindu, and Moslem friends? I have some friends who debate that these other religious--religion come from the same God of the Bible and that God is merely approaching them according to their lifestyles, can you clarify that?

DB: There is (uh) an idea and you know I wanna be as respectful as I can because before I was a Christian I was involved in (uh) Buddhism and (uh) some of these other Eastern religions searching for God. And there are good people in many different persuasions, do we agree? Lovely people; I’ve been to India, the Hindu People, lovely people—but and every religion has elements of truth, that’s what makes is attractive. But is all truth (uh) relative or is there an absolute truth? There is an absolute truth and the truth will set you free.

And so in any area where any religion departs form the truth of God there is something about that that hurts them. It is not true that all rivers lead to the ocean and thus all religions lead to God. That is not true. The devil has counterfeit religions and while there are many dear people that may embrace these things sincerely, you can get on Interstate 40 and think you’re going to Texas but if you’re heading east you’re going the other way, it doesn’t matter how sincere you are. And so God’s word is our map and we need to follow that (Sound effects starts) if we wanna we get to heaven, amen?

Sermon Questions: Doug Batchelor

Our lesson today is dealing with the subject of “Deadly Delusions.” And I know that may seem a little macabre but it’s really good news and it’s something we need to understand from the book of prophecy, you’ll see why a little better in a few minutes. We have a special study guide that goes along with this (uh) it’s self-explanatory, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” and there’s a lot of confusion regarding this subject even among Christians. And so we’ll talk some more about that as we proceed this morning. I should mention our next meeting, sort of second part of this one, is dealing with the “Lake of Fire” in Revelation chapter 20. We’ll tell you what the good news is about hell, that may sound like a paradox but it is true.

“Deadly Delusions,” (uh) for an amazing fact we’re gonna go to Paris. And in Paris they’ve got a tourist attraction, it’s the Catacombs of Paris, hundred and ninety miles of underground tunnels and passageways and chambers. But they’re very different from some of the other catacombs you might find in Europe. Because in the 18th century the cemeteries in Paris became so overcrowded, probably from the guillotine, that (uh) they became unsanitary and (uh) there were nowhere to bury people. They began to disinter a lot of the residents there until they had replaced six million deceased Parisians in the catacombs. And they lined up their bones by the millions and their skulls against the wall to try and save space. And it is filled with a hundred and ninety miles of these passage ways with just bones after bones after bones, and hundred and sixty thousand tourists go to look at the bones in the Paris catacombs every year.

One tourist (uh) got off track one time, started exploring of his own, they found him 11 years later, what a way to go. There’s a worker there, Nestor Valence, and someone asked him, “Doesn’t it bother you being surrounded with all these macabre, grisly evidence”? And said, “No, you get used to it, at first it bothered me but now you know bones fall off the wall I just pick them and put them back.” (Audience laughs) Some of the people who go to visit they think about you know all those disinterred spirits that are gonna haunt them now.

But what is the Bible teach about death? You know there’s more confusion on this subject than almost any other subject in the Christian church. How many of you have visited (uh) a church cemetery? Have you ever walked through a cemetery not because you’re there for funeral and just read some of the tombstones? It’s quite an education. (Uh) Solomon said, “Better to go to the house of mourning than a house of feasting for that is the end of all men,” it’s a prudent thing to do to walk around in a cemetery and sometimes sobering when you realize people’s lives are all summed up with a little dash, gives you perspective.

I’ve (uh) noticed something, I remember sometimes we take the kids out in Texas and we’d visit these cemeteries behind the Old Baptist churches in Church of Christ churches and they had their own local cemetery. Even on the tombstones in the same church yard it was clear they did not know what happened when people died. For instance, one tombstone would say, “Our dearly beloved mother now resting in peace in Jesus’ arm waiting for the resurrection trump,” which is accurate. But the next tombstone would say, “Our mother is now walking on the golden streets singing with Peter, James, and John,” or something like that. And you’re wondering well is she sleeping waiting for the resurrection or is she walking on the golden street, where’s mom? And it became very obvious there is confusion on this subject.

I heard about (uh) a tombstone—some people believe that the dead have a sense of humor. I think Dr. James Dobson, I saw him a few weeks ago at a--at a convention, he said that (uh) his father told his mom to put on his tombstone, “I told her I was sick,” (Audience laughs) but (uh) they didn’t do that. But (uh) one man had on his tombstone a poem that went something like this: “Stop, my friend, as you go by; as you are now so once was I. As I am now you soon will be, (Audience laughs) so prepare yourself to follow me.” (Audience laughs) And there was a school boy who read that in a tombstone, he pulled out a crayon and he scribbled a little PS and it said: “To follow you I’m not content until I know just where you went,” (Audience laughs) (Laughs) which is you know makes sense, you wanna know where’d they go, everybody’s confused about that.

In Revelation there’s some good news on this subject of death. Jesus is identified as the One who lives, He was dead, and now He’s alive forevermore. And He has the keys of hell and death, and the word hell there more specifically means the grave and death. Christians do not need to be afraid of death because you know what? Biblically, Christians don’t die, they just go to sleep. And their next conscious thought is being with the Lord and a glorified body. And so (uh) that’s why Paul struggled and said you know I’m (uh) “I--I’m struggling between two things whether to be here with you or to depart and be with the Lord.” But does somebody go to be with the Lord at the moment of death as far as we’re concerned how does that happen? Where are the dead? Well, to understand this subject we’ve gotta go back to the beginning.

DB—Sermon Question #1: Question number one. How did we get here in the first place?

Let’s look at how God created man we’ll understand something better about what happens after you die. The Bible says in Genesis 2 verse 7, “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and He breathed unto his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” So here in the beginning God formed man from the clay and (uh) after He, you know they say that everything in your body is probably worth about three dollars when you just add up all the chemicals. I mean the materials that were comprised of the calcium and magnesium and the different elements is not that expensive, and we turn just back into dirt, the body is, we know what happens.

The Lord assembled man and He reorganized all the molecules exactly the way He wanted them. And there was Adam’s body perfectly formed, but the lungs were not breathing, the heart was not beating, and the Bible says God breathed, He aspirated this life into Adam’s nose and he became a living soul. He became a soul when God combined the breath of life with the elements of earth.

DB—Sermon Question #2: What happens when a person dies?

Question number two. Well, it’s the reverse of that. It says, “Then when you die the dust shall return to the earth as it was and the spirit,” and that word spirit there means the breath of life, “returns to God who gave it.” And when you read that in Ecclesiastes 12, He says not only is it the spirit of man but the spirit of animals. When any living creature dies we know what happens to the body, it decomposes and the breath of life returns to God who gave it. Some people think that breath of life is the conscious soul in you that pops out and flies off to be with the Lord, that’s not biblically accurate, the word there is breath.

DB—Sermon Question #3: Question number three. We’re gonna talk about that. What is the spirit that returns to God at death?

Job gives us the answer, Job 27 verse 3, “And all the while my breath is in me and the spirit of God is in my nostrils.” Now for those who think that spirit of God is some little bitty ghost that flutters out of a person when they die why would he be hanging out in your nose? (Audience laughs) I mean hopefully, we don’t all have a spirit in our nose, right? So when he says the spirit of God is in my nostrils, is it clear to you it’s the breath, the word there in Hebrew is “ruach” and in Greek it’s “pneuma.” How many of you men know what pneumatic tools are? They’re tools that are run by wind, air. And when someone gets pneumonia it’s believed that comes from an ill wind. And so it’s, that word is breath, it’s the breath of life that returns to God who gave it.

And again, James is very clear, the body without the spirit, breath, is dead. (Uh) When a person stops breathing they die. Do you know all creatures breathe, even fish breathe, worms breathe through their skin; and so do insects. This breath of life, all creatures need it. Everything from mushrooms to shrimp breathes, and when they stop breathing they die. The Bible is very scientific in that respect.

DB—Sermon Question #4: Number four. What is a soul?

You can read about this in Genesis 2, “And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man,” notice it doesn’t say God gave him a soul, doesn’t say that he was bequeathed a soul, “man became a soul.” The combination of the breath of life and these elements of earth equal a soul. And when you disassemble them, when someone dies you basically have creation in reverse. They go to sleep, a dreamless sleep until the resurrection. And you might be saying, “But aren’t they with the Lord now”? We’ll talk about that in just a minute.

DB—Sermon Question #5: Big question I want you to consider is can a soul die? I mean doesn’t the Bible say we’ve got immortal souls? Do souls die? Question number five.

Ezekiel 18 verse 4, you say this one with me here in Silver Spring, “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” That’s clear, amen? (Audience says “amen”) And again it tells us, “Shall,” in the book of Job 4:17, “shall mortal man,” is man called immortal in the Bible? No, immortality is a gift that is given at the coming of the Lord. The Bible says, “Shall mortal man be more just than God”?

Now I’m gonna take a risk again, in the studio, spin a camera around, kay, we set up for this? You please show me, if you raise your hand call it out, they won’t hear you so I’ll repeat the scripture, kay? Name one scripture in the Bible that says that man is immortal. It’s pretty risky for me to do that unless I knew my Bible fairly well; it’s not there, is it?

There’re only about five scriptures in the Bible that talk about immortality. For one thing you can read here in I Timothy chapter 6:15, what does the Bible say about immortality? “The King of kings, the Lord of lords, who only hath immortality,” who has immortality? Let me give you another one here. From (uh) I Corinthians 15 verse 53 and 54, “For this corruptible body,” speaking of when Jesus comes, “must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.”

Do we have immortality now or is immortality a gift that God gives us? And again, “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass as saying written, death is swallowed up in victory.” When Jesus comes then these mortals become immortal but are we immortal now? When someone dies do they suddenly fly off to experience glory before the resurrection? See this is what’s really confusing.

Most Christians agree that the resurrection is when Jesus comes back, that the judgment is when Jesus comes back, so if people die and go right to heaven before they’re judged and before the resurrection, then what is the purpose of the judgment and the resurrection? Is the Lord going to take people out of heaven at His return and say, “We hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves now it’s time to judge you,” (Audience laughs) or “By the way, we’ve got to go back and get your body now.”

You know some preachers teach it that way; the purpose of the second coming is to come back and to retrieve the body. Are we getting the old body when Jesus comes back or we’re getting new ones? He doesn’t need to come back at all for that, does He? The Lord could speak you a new body, or picture somebody who’s in hell and you know they’re suffering (uh) the punishment of hell and to pull them out and say (uh) “You’ll be happy to hear we’re gonna interrupt the process now so we can judge you and put you back into hell,” would that makes sense?

Well, there’s a lot of convoluted teaching out there about what happens when you die, I think we should go by the Bible, don’t you? (Audience says “amen”) And you know the evidence in the Bible is so powerful on this subject, friends. Do souls die? Revelation chapter 16 verse 3, “Every living soul died in the sea,” that’s not only talking about people that might have been out floating around but the creatures in the sea. The word soul in the Bible is not talking necessarily about a ghost or a spirit, it’s talking about people.

For instance, if I were to tell you, “If you show up on Monday night there won’t be a soul here,” am I talking about spirits? Or people? Yeah, we use those expressions, don’t we? Well, this is how the Bible used it, it just saying the--the people and the souls that sin will die.

DB—Sermon Question #6: Question number six. Do good people go to heaven when they die? Right when they die?

Answer? Job 17 verse 13, “If I wait the grave is my house.” Where does, where do the dead abide until the resurrection? They wait in the grave. And again, Acts chapter 2 verse 29; Peter, this is after the death of Jesus, after the resurrection of Christ, he’s talking about King David. Now before I read this I wanna ask you, King David who killed Goliath; was he good or bad? You don’t sound sure. He was good! Goliath was bad, David was good, remember? Okay (Laughs) it’s not a trick question. (Audience laughs) Will he be saved? (Audience says “yes”) The Bible says he was a man after God’s own heart. He died about a thousand years before Christ.

So read what David says about, I’m sorry, what Peter says about David, Acts chapter 2 verse 29 “Men and brethren let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried and his tomb is with us unto this day,” and then he says in verse 34, same chapter, “For David is not ascended into the heavens.”

Now you think of anybody was gonna get a ticket for an early ride it would be David, and yet Peter, here we are after Pentecost, and he’s saying David is dead, buried, not in heaven. If that’s clear say amen. (Audience says “amen”) The Bible is so clear on where they are, he’s sleeping in the grave. But some might say, “Wait a second, Doug, you gonna tell me that all these people that have died in the faith that they’re not in heaven yet? Doesn’t the Bible say to be absent from the body, to be present with the Lord”?

Let me tell you where the confusion comes in. We live in a dimension of time. God is not restricted to time. When a person dies they are sleeping a dreamless, unconscious sleep. There is no consciousness of time for them. David died, by our standards, 3,000 years ago. And the Bible says, a matter of fact, Nathan, the prophet, says David slept with his fathers. So David’s sleeping, how long has it seem for David? He was probably laying there hugging Abishag, you know the story, Abishag, when he got old he got cold and they got him a wife that was to do nothing more than cuddle him and keep him warm, have you read this part? You only know about the giant part. (Audience laughs) You know what the word Abishag means in Hebrew? Pretty little hot water bottle, no it doesn’t mean that really, (Laughs) (Audience laughs) but so here he is and he finally he got old and he died.

Now, how long has it seemed for David? If Jesus comes back in a year will David think, “Boy, that was a long 3,000 years I slept a long time, I didn’t mean to oversleep,” is that what David is gonna think? Or for him will it seem--his next conscious thought is presence with the Lord. So as far as David is concerned his family could rejoice for him cause his next conscious thought is the resurrection. This is what confuses people, but is David there yet because we live in time? No! When is it gonna happen? When the Lord comes back!

I’ve conducted funerals before for saints that I knew were gonna make it. And a lot of pastors do a lot of funerals and sometimes you got your doubts. And you got to be real careful when you preach those funerals because you know, I’ve never been to a funeral yet where anyone’s preached into hell, they all preached into heaven, (Audience laughs) have you noticed that? But (uh) sometimes you have those special funerals where the person just glowed with the Holy Spirit.

And I remembered doing the funeral for the pastor’s wife who baptized me, the pastor baptized me, his wife, Mrs. Philips, and she was a godly woman. I mean just knew the scripture by heart, lived into her 90’s, died working in her garden, I mean just (uh) loved the Lord. And when I was looking at her coffin and there she was and that’s the other thing, and sometimes you see these funerals and the--the person’s laying there and some of these preachers are saying, “Our dearly beloved, they’re up in heaven, they’re singing, eating from the tree of life,” and you’re looking at ‘em right there in the coffin, (Audience laughs) you know that they’re not there.

But I remember at Mrs. Philip’s funeral—being jealous, because I looked at her and I thought her next conscious thought is gonna have a glorified body, she won’t be ninety years old, her hearing, her vision, all her senses will be perfect, greatly enhanced above ours, to be able to have perfect strength and vigor, eternal life, no more struggles and temptation, I wanted to trade places with her, because she was sleeping a dreamless, timeless sleep.

Have you ever gone to sleep at night and you’re so exhausted you woke up in the morning you thought, “Did I sleep that long”? No consciousness of it, well, that’s what it’s like for the dead. But people worry they say, “Well, where are they?” you know, “are--you’re saying that they’re sleeping and how does that work”? I don’t know how God does it, I just know what the Bible teaches and I believe it. I don’t know if the Lord’s got who you are stored on a hard drive somewhere, I don’t know how He does it. (Audience laughs) But He’s got you and He doesn’t live in time like we do. God is always existing: in the past, present, and future. He says I Am that I Am. All that are in the graves when is it gonna happen? When does the resurrection happen? John 5:28, “All that are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth.” When Jesus comes back they’ll hear His voice.

Is there anybody in heaven now? Yes, there are some and the Bible identifies who they are. Some of you remember the vision, Mark chapter 9 on the Mount of Transfiguration, who appeared with Jesus? Moses and Elijah; so we know they’re there. How’d they get there? The Bible always gives us the answer. Elijah went to heaven in a heavenly limousine; band of angels came down and caught him up, chariots of fire, right? He got his special escort.

How did Moses get there? You can read in the book of Jude that Michael came and resurrected Moses. So Moses was especially resurrected and taken off to heaven; anyone else in heaven now? Enoch; the Bible says Enoch walked with God and was not for God took him. He and God walked together so often that one day God said, “You’re closer to my house and yours let’s just go home,” and He just took him off to heaven with Him, right?

But then you read in Revelation chapter 4 and chapter 5 it talks about these 24 elders around the throne of God and it appears that they’re humans, how did they get there? Well, many scholars believe that it maybe connected with Matthew 27, have you read this before? When Jesus died on the cross there was a great earthquake and the graves were opened and many, does it say all or many? (Audience answers “many”) Many bodies of saints which slept, speaking of around Jerusalem, came out of their graves after His resurrection and went into the Holy City, this is a local special resurrection, and appeared unto many.

And when Christ ascended, they ascended with Him, a sort of a wave shift, a first fruits, of what is coming later. And probably some of the patriarchs and prophets and kings who had looked for the coming of the Messiah were especially resurrected, I’m hoping that John the Baptist was one of them, what about you? (Audience says “amen”) And they were specially resurrected and taken up to heaven with the Lord but the universal resurrection hasn’t happened yet, that was a small sample of what’s gonna happen when Jesus comes.

DB—Sermon Question #7: Number seven. How much does someone know or comprehend at death?

The Bible says, very clear, Ecclesiastes chapter 9 verse 5, 6, verse 10, “The living know they’ll die but the dead,” say it with me, “the dead know not anything, neither have they (remore) a reward anymore for the memory of them is forgotten, also their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished, neither have they anymore a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun,” meaning in this life, the living know they’ll die but the dead don’t know anything.

Now this really troubles people and there’s not a person here or any who are watching who have not been stung by death. (Uhm) I probably had a little more than my share. Everybody in my immediate family has died: my mother, my father, all my grandparents, my brother, I’m the only survivor in my immediate family. And I was there when many of them died.

I remember going to see my grandfather he was the last in our family to go, 93 years old and (uh) Jewish grandfather, he said, “Douggie, I’m gonna die tomorrow on my birthday.” And he went to sleep. He just knew it was gonna happen. I got to pray with him and the last thing he said to me he said, “Douggie, I love you, I’ll see you in heaven,” (Audience says “amen”) and I hope to see him there. I was there when my brother died, hold his hand; my mother died, and--and you know it hurts to think about.

And for those who believe that their departed loved ones are somehow watching over them or contacting them, this can be a difficult subject because they say, “You’re trying to tell me that they’re not enjoying heaven right now”? Well, you know the converse causes problems for people. Those who believe you go to your reward as soon as you die, some parents have been driven absolutely insane with the idea that their lost sons or daughters are burning in a lake of fire while they’re still living on the earth. The parents are still alive and they’re thinking, “Are they going to hell right away”? It’s good news that our loved ones are asleep until the

resurrection. For one thing it kind’a gives me the heebie-jeebies to think that all of my relatives are up there spying on me, (Audience laughs) you know.

And would they enjoy heaven if they’re up there looking down at all the misery going on here on earth? No! The Bible tells us we’re going back together. But you’re saying, “Oh, Doug, I know I sense the presence of my departed husband.” And you know more times than not, women outlive their husbands. And I’ve got a lot of saints that I’ve worked with and they lived, married with men, my grandparents were married over seventy years and when you spend 70 years with somebody, I’m not even old enough to understand that. If you spend 70 years with somebody then they’re gone, it’s not unusual to understand that they sense their presence.

And I know I had one saint that said, “Oh, Doug, you know every now and then I turn around I say, ‘Jack,’ and then I forget he’s gone.” And it breaks her heart. Sometimes you sense they’re there because you spent 70 years filling your brain with their image, their memories, their voice, and it’s not uncommon to sense they’re there.

You know up until the time my brother died I could always pick up the phone and call him, had it on auto dial, has number--number memorized, has the same phone number for years and one day, long after he’d died over a year later, I still had auto dial on my phone, I felt bad deleting it, it’s like deleting them from your life. And I picked it up and went to press autodial, I--I forgot he wasn’t there, but I had felt like (uh) giving my brother a call, I--you forget.

That doesn’t mean that they’re up there walking around, they’re asleep a dreamless, peaceful sleep, you have memories of them and that may give you the sense of their presence sometime. “Oh, but they appeared to me in a dream, Doug,” that’s right, (uh) maybe the Lord gave you some comfort, maybe it was your brain playing tricks on you, but they’re sleeping, amen? (Audience says “amen”) You’ve got to understand this because the devil is going to abuse this misunderstanding to deceive in the last days.

DB—Sermon Question #8: Number eight. But can’t the dead communicate with the living?

You know most people in North America think they can. What does the Bible say? “He shall return no more to his house.” So when people say, “Oh that house is haunted with (uh) the people that died there.” I remember (uhm) some friends of ours, any of you remember a big band leader named Arty Shaw? He was married to Evelyn Keys who was (uh) Scarlet O’Hara’s sister in “Gone with the Wind,” they were friends of our family. They used to invite us to their house, they were living in the Bordon house, they had bought the Bordon house where the man committed suicide and they said the house was haunted and the spirits walked around. I don’t think it was Mr. Bordon that was in the house.

Can devils impersonate the dead? (Audience answers “yes”) So these people that think houses are haunted, are they the departed dead people, they are coming back to haunt these houses as in so many movies and songs and stories or is it fallen angels that are impersonating the dead for the purpose of deceiving? You know why? Because humans go by their senses more than the word of God, and the devil knows that people will believe in apparition more than they’ll believe the word of God. You know how King Saul died? God told him what to do but he didn’t believe the word of God so he went to a witch to get information, he died the next day cause he believed the witch.

Very dangerous not to understand this subject that the living know they’ll die but the dead, how much do they know? Zero, they’re asleep; good, bad, they’re asleep until the resurrection. “So man,” Job 14:12, “so man lies down and rises not till the heavens be no more,” that’s speaking about the coming of the Lord when the heavens will part as a scroll, “they shall not awake or be raised out of their sleep.” What are they doing now? “Sleeping until the heavens be no more.”

Again, Job 14:21, speaking of someone who died, “His sons come to honor and he knows it not, they are brought low and he does not perceiveth of them.” They’re not watching what’s happening to their posterity here on earth, they don’t know, they’re asleep. And that ought to bring comfort, really, when you think about it, it’s a peaceful, dreamless, sleep.

And again, Job 21 verse 32, “Yet he’ll be brought to the grave and he’ll remain in the tomb.” And again, Ecclesiastes 9:5 (9:10), “For there is no work, or device, or knowledge, or wisdom in the grave,” is that clear? Say amen. (Audience says “amen”) They don’t know anything, they’re dead!

What would be the first thing you would do if you were dead and you were resurrected? I’d praise the Lord, wouldn’t you? If you’re saved and you’re resurrected, and you’re with the Lord, but what does the Bible say about (uh) those who praise the Lord? “The dead praise not the Lord,” King David said. And again, Psalms 6 verse 5, “In death there is no remembrance of thee.” Are those who are dead remembering God? They don’t know anything, they’re not praising God.

And again, Isaiah 38:18, there are hundreds of scriptures on this, “Death cannot celebrate thee,” Psalm 146 verse 4, “When a man dies his breath goes forth,” and it says, “his thoughts perish,” how much is he thinking? He knows not anything, “his thoughts perish, he’s not praising, he has no knowledge, he has no work, he has no device,” are you seeing how this adds up, friends? I know some of you are thinking about, “Doug, what about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, a--a--and, and didn’t Jesus say to the thief on the cross, ‘I’m telling you today you’re gonna be with me in paradise.’”?

Oh, there are some problems with that verse. For one thing you keep reading your Bible you’ll find that Jesus did not go to paradise that day. In John chapter 20 M--Mary went to hug Jesus’ feet and He said, “Do not detain me I’ve not yet ascended to my Father.” Jesus had not even yet gone to paradise by Sunday morning so how could the thief be with Jesus in Paradise that day? Ask me that question I’ll give you more of an answer for that. Ask me about the rich man and Lazarus. We’ve got to be careful not to build our theology about death on one or two parables and forget the bulk of the teaching in the Bible, amen?

DB—Sermon Question #9: Number nine. Jesus called the unconscious state of the dead, “sleep” in John chapter 11, how long will they sleep?

“So man lies down and he rises not till the heavens be no more,” we’ve talked about this, II Peter chapter 3 verse 10, when is that gonna happen? “The day of the Lord will come in which the heavens pass away and the elements melt with fervent heat when the Lord comes.” That’s when they rise. And again it says in (uh) I Corinthians chapter 15, “For as in Adam,” oh friends, this is a slam dunk, this to me, this is--I think this drives the final nail in the argument, I almost said the coffin but that would have been a pun. (Audience laughs)

“For as in Adam all die,” how many? We all are subject to death; we’re all mortal, “…even so in Christ shall all be made alive,” two resurrections: resurrection of life, resurrection of damnation, but all will be made alive, “every man in his own order.” Now He’s gonna give us the order, how was it gonna happen? When is it gonna happen? What order? “Christ the first fruits;” has Jesus risen already? Alright, “afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” If that’s clear say, amen. (Audience says “amen”)

When are they gonna rise? At His coming; they’re not risen yet. Now if they’ve died in faith, their next conscious thought is to be present with the Lord but they’re not there yet. And many people often misapply that verse where Paul says absent from the body, present with the Lord they misquoted from one thing. Paul also talks all about living in the flesh or living in the spirit. Those that do not live for the body walk with the Lord, ther--there’s a spiritual application to that that sometimes is missed.

I Corinthians chapter 15 verse 51, we’re gonna read several verses here, “We shall all be changed,” when is it gonna happen? “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible.” At that time when Jesus comes, the trumpet will (Sound effects starts) blow, the graves will open up, the redeemed will come out of their graves with glorified bodies can you say, amen? “And those who have been separated by death will be (Sound effects stops) reunited and the promises will be caught off to heaven and so shall we ever be with the Lord,” we’re going to be with the Lord and go to heaven together.

This idea that you often see perpetrated in the comics that as people die one by one they come to Saint Peter at the gate, you’ve all heard these stories, you know and he’s got a computer there and he checks them in one at a time. Does the Bible tell us we’re going to heaven one at a time or are we going as a glorious, victorious, climatic parade? Says we’ll be caught up to meet in the air and then together we’re gonna go in this procession back to glory, a great victory. We’re not creeping in one at a time, that’s not how the Lord does this.

“For this corruptible must put on incorruption,” still in I Corinthians 15, “this mortal must put on immortality.” When Jesus talked about death, He referred to Lazarus. He said, “Our friend, Lazarus, is asleep,” and then He went--He went on a little later to say, “Lazarus is dead.” So when Pastor Doug compares death to sleep, am I making that up or am I following the teachings of Jesus? Who referred to death as a sleep? Jesus! First He says he’s asleep and then He says, no, he’s dead, we’ve got to know what this means. And then He goes, after death Lazarus has been dead four days, He goes to resurrect Lazarus, okay? He comes to the tomb and He says, “Roll away the stone,” and Martha protests and she goes, “Oh Lord, you know he’s been dead now for four days and it’s gonna smell bad and that’s unbecoming.” But He said, “Trust me,” and He said, “Roll away the stone,” they rolled away the stone, and now when He had said these things, He said with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”

And one Bible commentator said, “If Jesus had not specified Lazarus, come forth, the power of Christ and the word of God is so potent that every grave in the world would have opened up if He had just said come forth, so He had to specify, Lazarus, come forth, or His word would have just raised everybody. Lazarus, come forth, and he came out hobbling from the grave wrapped up in grave clothes and Jesus said, “Loose him.” That’s also an allegory of salvation there. The word of God gives us new life. (Audience says “amen”)

Now think about this there are around a dozen resurrections in the Bible, you’ve got the resurrection of Moses we talked about, Elijah raised a boy, Elisha raised a boy, (uhm) you’ve got (uhm) some number of resurrections in the New Testament. Paul may have been stoned to death, we’re not sure, and he just got up himself and he may have resurrected Eutychus. It appears Eutychus fell down, he died, Peter resurrected Dorcas, the resurrections of Jesus; want you to think about this, and now the resurrection of Lazarus. One of the big—yeah, Jairus’ daughter, thank you, Dear, it is, about a dozen of them.

One of the big questions would be: what if someone today was dead for four days and you’ve got a medical report, autopsy, he’s dead, buried, they exhumed the grave and all the sudden they hop out in perfect health. Now I’m not talking about you know one of these National Enquirer, Midnight Globe stories, I’m talking about CNN shows up. Am I--am I right when I suggest that every news agency in the world would have reporters there? And they would thrust their cameras by the thousands in the face of Lazarus if that happened today and they would ask that big penetrating question we all want to know? What happened? What was it like? Where did you go? What did you see? What did you experience? What happened when you died? Am I right?

But in spite of that natural obvious question with every single resurrection in the Bible there is not a single comment on what it was like to be dead, you know why? They didn’t know anything. And just think about this for a minute, suppose Lazarus when he had died, been dead four days, he’s up in heaven and he’s singing with the angels, and he’s got his new robe, and they hand him a harp, and he’s reaching for the tree of life, and just then, poof, he’s back down on earth in the grave. (Audience laughs) Would he have thanked the Lord for that? (Audience laughs)

No, that would have been a mean trick for a friend. (Audience laughs) Says your friend is sick, Jesus could have said, “Well, he’s in heaven, let’s leave him alone,” right? Or if he’d been in hell, suffering, he didn’t make any comments “Oh, boy that was hot! Thank you, Lord, for saving me from all that torment.” (Audience laughs) The deafening silence of Lazarus speaks volumes that he didn’t know anything, he made absolutely no comment at what would have been the most penetrating question; what happened? Nobody in the Bible resurrected ever comments on what it was like, what does that tell us? The living know they’ll die, the dead don’t know anything; it is like a dreamless sleep.

Again, Matthew 27 verse 52, “And the graves were opened and many of the bodies of the saints which slept arose,” and that happened at the resurrection of Jesus. Again, Psalm 13 verse 3, “Consider and hear me, Oh, Lord, my God, lighten mine eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death,” we’re reinforcing that it’s called a sleep in the Bible.

DB—Sermon Question #10: Number ten. What happens to the righteous dead at the second coming of Christ?

I Corinthians 15, it tells us again, “…will be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye,” when does that change happen? “…at the last trump: for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible.” When Jesus comes, at His coming, that’s when the resurrection transpires. This mortal then will put on immortality. Do we have immortality yet? No! Then, at the coming of the Lord; He says, “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me to give to every man.” When do they get the rewards? So they don’t get the rewards, they don’t go to heaven or hell before that, it’s at His coming. “My reward is with me to give to every man according to his work shall be,” when He comes.

Again, I Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” That tells us something more. Who is in the first resurrection? The saved, the dead in Christ will rise first.

And again, John chapter 5:28, Jesus is speaking here: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear His voice, and come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life;” first resurrection, “they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

The Bible is very clear there are two distinct resurrections. (Sound effects starts) When Jesus comes then we are caught up, we’re given a glorified bodies, those who are dead in Christ are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, those who are alive on the earth are transformed, given their glorified bodies, (Sound effects ends) at that point they go up and they meet the Lord, so shall we ever be with the Lord, from that point on. That’s the sequence, biblically, of how this is gonna happen, amen?

If you have any doubts, read in John chapter 6, I think four times, Jesus tells us when the dead are resurrected. Notice this, “This is the will,” John 6:39 and 40, “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all that He has given me I should lose nothing but raise it up at the last day,” when? “…the last day.” “And this is the will of Him who sent me that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him might have everlasting life and I will raise him up at,” say it, “the last day.”

And again John 6:44, He goes on to say, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up,” when? “…the last day.” One more just to punctuate this truth, John 6 verse 54, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,” and as soon as they die they’re gonna go off to heaven? No! “I will raise him up the last day.”

Now when is the last day, have we lived the last day yet? Is it in the past or is it still coming? It’s future, it’s the judgment day, the day of the Lord, the last day in the Bible, it’s ones probation closes and all the cases are settled, that’s the last day. When Jesus comes, saved are saved, the lost are lost.

Again, I Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive everyone in his own o--order,” I already read this one to you, “Christ, the first fruits, afterward, they that are Christ’s at His coming.” Now this is where it all begins to really apply and we understand why we’ve gotta understand this.

DB—Sermon Question #11: What was the first lie that the devil ever shared?

The first lie in the Bible; in the Garden of Eden, Satan said to Eve, “You will not surely die.” You know what’s pathetic is that now there are even many pastors around the world that are perpetuating the lie of the devil. They say, “You don’t really die, you go right to heaven, you go right to hell, you go to purgatory, you go to limbo, you got Abraham’s bosom, you can’t die.” That’s what the devil said. God said, “If you eat the forbidden fruit you’ll die.” And Adam and Eve are dead today, aren’t they? Doesn’t say that they’re floating around in heaven.

DB—Sermon Question #12: Number 12. Why did the devil lie to Eve about death?

Why does the devil want us to misunderstand this subject? Bible tells us in Isaiah chapter 8 verse 19, “And when they say unto you, seek unto those who are mediums, and wizards, who whisper and mutter should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living”? I think we all know that people are involved in (Sound effects starts) séances, and mediums, and trying to find what their departed loved ones are saying, and communicating with the dead. But is it the dead departed loved ones that are talking to them? What does the Bible tell us the devil wants to do in the last days to deceive? They are the spirits of devils working miracles.

In Revelation it tells us these spirits work in concert with the leaders of the world to try to assemble people for the battle of Armageddon. (Sound effects ends) If we don’t understand that the dead are dead, we could easily be deceived. And you’d be surprised there are people who would believe some apparition but they won’t believe the word of God; gotta go by the Bible.

I Timothy 4 verse 1, “Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” People listening to seducing spirits and what have they one? Departed from the faith; diabolical doctrines; and you just see it everywhere you look. This is (uh) an older magazine, (uh) Billy Graham actually doesn’t teach how to contact the dead, they just put his picture on there to try and give it some credibility. How to contact your dead loved ones in three eebeeasy steps or something, I don’t know what they got in there.

And we know that the movies, the tv programs, are absolutely rife with these stories about communicating with the dead. Almost 70 million Americans surveyed say they think it’s possible to communicate with the dead. Now if what I’m teaching is biblical, and if those who pose as the departed dead are communicating with these people that believed it, who are they really talking to? Are they talking to the dead or they’re talking to fallen angels and demons?

And they’ll believe it they’ll say, “Oh but it was grandma, she looked so sweet you know, had the same sound of grandma’s voice and she gave me a message.” Was it grandma? Can--does the devil know what grandma looked like? Can he replicate her voice? He can be transformed into an angel of light, y--you does the devil know everything Gra--, “Oh, but she said things only grandma would know.” Does the devil know what grandma knew? The devil’s organized, he got a database on everybody, he’s better than the CIA, (Audience laughs) right?

So, “But how would they know these things only grandma knew”? The devil knows. And they use this information to deceive people and prepare them to reject the truth. US News (uh) USA News: Life after death. Science has searched for the meaning of near death experiences. Some people say, “Well, Doug, I know what you’re saying and I’ve read those scriptures before but I’ve had an experience. I died on the operating table and I had a vision and I know that you go right to heaven or hell when you die.”

You know how many people have said that? They supposedly die on the operating table and they say, “I came out of my body and there I looked down and the doctors were operating on me and I was on my way to heaven and God said, ‘Our computers are down, it wasn’t time for you to come, gotta go back.’” (Audience laughs)

Are we to base our theology on people’s ill--illusions and hallucinations that they have when their minds are robbed of oxygen? And you know the interesting thing is there are almost no two people that have these near death experiences or these out of body experiences called OBE’s who have the same vision. Some of them have these experiences and they say, “I was getting ready to be reincarnated into my next form and there were two doors; and one was a pink door, and one was a blue, and I couldn’t make up my mind whether to be a boy or a girl in my next life but I came back.”

And others say, “You know I was in hell and I was burning and God said, ‘If you behave I’ll give you another chance.’” And you know it may be that God gives people dreams to speak to them personally, but do we base our theology on people’s dreams and visions? The individuals that have--I had a dream one time that Jesus came for me and took me to heaven, it was a wonderful dream. Did I mention that in my dream Jesus came in a bumper car? (Audience laughs)

Any of you ever been to a fair? You know you drive around these bumper cars? In my mind I always thought of driving a bumper car as the ultimate fun experience. You just you know for a boy to just be able to crash a car? That’s why men have demolition derbies; that’s the height of fun for them to destroy something and drive fast at the same time. (Audience laughs) And so the Lord knew for me to go to heaven in a bumper car was like the ultimate picture of bliss! But do you think Jesus is coming in a bumper car because I dreamed it? Are we gonna base our theology on people’s dreams?

And you know let’s face it most of these people that have these out of body experiences and they say, “I was dead,” they weren’t dead. They used to think you were dead when you’re heart stop beating, we know that’s not true now. Now if somebody has their brain removed and they come back, I’ll be impressed, (Audience laughs) because now we know that it is really the brain.

Some people did some studies regarding this out of body experiences. In one experiment, Dr. La--Ladias Medina administered 30% carbon dioxide and 70% oxygen to his subject afterward, the subject stated, “I felt as though I was looking down at myself as though I was way out here in space I felt sort of separated.” It is a very natural phenomenon, doctors will tell you that when your brain is robbed of oxygen you can begin to hallucinate and have all kinds of visions.

So for people to write these books and build their religion on these ol--visions and hallucinations they had when their heart stops beating, is that safe theology to determine what happens when you die?

DB—Sermon Question #13: Number 13. Can devils really work miracles?

The Bible is very clear, Revelation 16 verse 14, s--we need to know this for prophecy, “For they are the spirits of devils working miracles.” Devils can work miracles. They are diabolical, fallen angels that are using these (uh) misconceptions to deceive people. And if you don’t understand that the dead are dead, you are a sitting duck for the devil, he can make you see things. Matter of fact, your faith has to be so thoroughly rooted that even if somebody from your family appears and starts telling you something, you’ve got to know that’s not them because the Bible says they’re dead, right? Then you need to say, “Get thee behind me Satan,” when that happens. And watch what happens they’ll disappear; they’re the spirits of devils working miracles.

I Kings Chapter 22: 22, and that story, it says there that, “He declared; I’ll go forth, and I’ll be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” One of these demons before the Lord said, “I will be a lying spirit, false prophets.” And these false prophets were claiming to be prophets of God.

And again, Matthew 24 verse 24, and 25, “There will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they’ll do great signs and wonders; in so much that, if it were pos--possible, it will deceive even the very elect.” How are we gonna prevent from being deceived? We’ve got to know what the Bible teaches.

Revelation 18, speaking of the last day deceptions, “For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” The devil’s gonna use this misunderstanding about death to deceive. One of the characteristics of Babylon, God’s people are being called out of Babylon, Revelation chapter 18 verse 2 is what? “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and become the habitation of devils and the hold of every foul spirit.”

Spiritualism, the idea that you can communicate with the dead, is a devilish doctrine, it’s one of these doctrines of devils that is really confusing even Christians. Few years ago Christians used to understand this, the Bible is so clear. And you know (uh) the American preoccupation or everywhere around the world actually, with angels, I believe in angels, don’t you? But you almost never hear them talk about evil angels, and all these people that say they are seeing angels they might be seeing angels, they’re not all good. Bible says one third of the angels fell with Lucifer, and they can pose as angels of light and deceive.

If we don’t know that the dead are dead then all of a sudden Mary starts appearing everywhere. (Audience laughs) And I don’t wanna be unkind, but have you all heard about these Marian apparitions? This is (uh) this week’s magazine, again, “Mary, Hail Mary. Catholics have long revered her but now Protestants are finding their own reasons to celebrate the mother of Jesus.” And so if these beings start appearing claiming to be Mary where in the Bible does it say Mary is in heaven now? The Bible doesn’t even allude to her death. It is a Catholic teaching that she was (uh) ascended to heaven, but it’s not in the Bible. And the idea that she’s appearing everywhere and giving these messages, that ought to make you think, can--does the devil know what Mary looked like?

Oh, by the way, Mary is a saint; she will be in heaven, everyone clear on that? I believe that. I don’t think she’s there yet because she died after Matthew 27 when that special resurrection took place. I think she’s sleeping in her grave right now.

DB—Sermon Question #14: Number 14. Why will God’s people not be deceived? What’s gonna keep us from being deceived on this subject?

Answer? “They received the word of God with all readiness of mind and they searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.” If you go from cover to cover in the Bible you’ll never come to the conclusion that people die and go right to heaven and hell before the judgment and the resurrection. If you base your faith on the Bible, but I’ll tell you something, friends, you’ll be ostracized, because the most popular teaching among Christians is that you do die and you go to heaven; and how many of you—you’ve heard the preacher say, “They’re with the Lord now. They’re with the Lord now.”

And you know you hate to tell them, “No, they’re not,” because then you’re the bad guy, it’s like you’re taking them away from the Lord. But the fact is they may be with the Lord soon but the resurrection hasn’t taken place, the judgment hasn’t taken place, the Bible says they’re asleep, why would they be with the Lord now? And you know I’m not alone in what I’m teaching you. Many of the great scholars of the church have also understood this. Isaiah chapter 8 verse 20, “If they speak not according to this word,” the Bible, “it’s because there is no light in them.” We need to base our conclusions regarding the subject of death on what? What does the Bible say? Are they alive or are they dead?

DB—Sermon Question #15: Number 15. What did God command should be done to people who taught that the dead are alive in Moses’ day? How serious was this?

Leviticus 20 verse 27, “A man also or a woman that hath a familiar spirit or that is a wizard shall surely be put to death, you should stone them with stones.” How does the Bible feel about those who claim to communicate with the dead? Again Ephesians 5 verse 11, “Have no fellowship,” how much? “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,” they’re dead.

Again, Galatians chapter 5 verse 19 through 21, “The works of the flesh are manifest which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanless--uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry…” and what? “…witchcraft.” And you know part and parcel of a lot of witchcraft is communicating with the dead. Now we’re gonna go back to Revelation prophecy, Revelation 21 verse 8, “Sorcerers will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death.”

Let me tell you a story, and (uh) I’ve every time I do this presentation I tell this story because it’s--it’s the best way for me to illustrate why this is important to understand. Number of years ago, during the Vietnam War, a lady who was living in San Francisco had a son. Her son was in Vietnam fighting. She was very apprehensive for his welfare not only because of the danger but because she knew her son had made no profession to accept Christ. This woman was a devout Christian. And then one day she got a telegram that said: “We regret to inform you that your son is missing in action and presumed dead.” Her only son evidently died lost.

She was totally devastated, sequestered herself, locked herself in the bedroom for days and just wept. And one night after a long spell of weeping, all of a sudden she heard a voice, she turned and there at the foot of her bed was her son wearing this robe of light. And he said, “Mom, I’ve been sent to tell you not to worry about me, I’m okay.” And she, when she recovered her senses she actually began to talk to him and she said, “I don’t understand, did--did you accept the Lord? I--I--I didn’t know that you believed in God, I’m so thankful.” And he said, “Everybody’s gonna make it, these things in the Bible that talk about hell, and the destruction, they’re just to encourage people to live godly lives but everybody comes to heaven.”

And he began to spew all these things that were very compelling but contrary to what the teachings of the Bible were. And she was really confused because whenever her son would appear and it happened several times, she was naturally, her heart yearned for her son, she was so happy to see him that she’d listen and she’d dialogue and he knew things that only her son knew, looked just like her son, voice sounded just like her son.

And this went on for sometime and one day the doorbell rang and now her son appeared at the front door, and she said, “Why are you appearing here now, you usually are in the bedroom”? And he said, “Mother, what are you talking about”? And she looked at him and he wasn’t (uh) vapor-like I guess. He--he was three-dimensional, and she touched him, and there he was in his uniform with his arm in a sling, it was her real son.

Evidently, the--the devil’s had a computer failure. (Audience laughs) And they had been impersonating her son, and her son was presumed dead and just missing in action but he had been wounded and missed, they’d carried him off somewhere else and lost the records and he was being shipped home now, and he was very much alive. Somebody appeared to that lady claiming to be her son but it wasn’t her son. Can you see why not understanding what happens when people die can set us up?

The battle of Armageddon spoken of in Revelation chapter 16, “Three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the beast out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the false prophet and they go forth to the kings of the earth to prepare them for that last great battle,” the kings of the earth.

You know it’s interesting how many world leaders, the news has reported, are dabbling with the occult, and astrology, and mediums. How many of you remember when Nancy Reagan started checking on the president’s horoscope and doing his schedule, and this is been freely admitted especially after the assassination attempt. She made no apologies for admitting that. And a few years ago, Hillary Clinton supposedly had a dear friend that was a medium and she talked to her and they tried to get the information said, “Well, what did you talk about”? The only thing that she ever divulged was she tried to contact Eleanor Roosevelt, anyone remember that? And then when people started making a deal out of it she played it down.

But you’d be surprised I think how many world leaders do dabbling that? And it would not be surprising if these unclean spirits posing as great people from the past start appearing to them and manipulating the leaders who then can manipulate the masses. If we don’t know that the dead don’t know anything then the devil can easily deceive us.

And you know by the way, whenever you’re in doubt what have I been teaching you do the safe thing, what I’m telling you is safe. To believe that they’re asleep and they don’t know anything, what’s the harm in that? It’s what the Bible teaches. If you start dabbling with spirits that are communicating with you go by what the Bible says and you’re safe friends, amen? Isn’t that what Jesus said?

DB—Sermon Question #16: Number 16. Will the righteous people who are raised in the resurrection ever die again?

Do we ever have to fear death? No. Luke chapter 20 verse 35, Jesus said, “They that shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world,” speaking of the resurrection, “from the dead neither can they die anymore so shall we be with the Lord forevermore.” And again, Revelation 21 verse 4, “And God shall wipe way all tears from their eyes and there shall be,” say this with me, “no more death,” isn’t that good news? (Audience answers, “Yes”) “Neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain, for the former things are all passed away.”

DB—Sermon Question #17: Now I would be remiss if after I finish this subject I didn’t at least touch on the idea of reincarnation. Belief in reincarnation is expanding rapidly today, is this teaching biblical?

Yeah, maybe the dead don’t know anything but they do come back as somebody else. I’m embarrassed to tell you I used to believe that. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto man once to die,” how many times? (Audience answers “once”) You’ve got one life, friends, once to die and after this the judgment. You’ve got one life and you will be judged for that one life.

The devil loves the idea that you just keep on recycling until you get it right. He wants people to believe, “Well, I messed up this life but next time I’ll come back.” And you know it’s really crazy when you think about it cause these reincarnated people they don’t ever remember their former life so how does it even matter that they’re supposed to have lived before? How can you benefit from your former life? And I always think it’s interesting my friends that used to say, “I was reincarnated, yeah.” They’re always, “Who are you”? “Well, I was Napoleon. I didn’t wanna tell you that.” “Well, I was Cleopatra,” or it’s always somebody great you know they have these visions of grandeur, it’s from the devil.

DB—Sermon Question #18: Number 18. Are you thankful for the Bible?

(Audience says “amen”) That the day is coming and there’ll be no more death? The Bible says that we might know the power of His resurrection. You can experience the power of His resurrection now, friends. And the good news is he that has the Son has life, right? He that has not the Son has not life. Jesus said, “I have the keys of life and death and I’m alive forevermore,” and someday we’ll be able to see Him face to face, is that your desire? (Audience says “amen”)

John, come and inspire us with this truth, that someday there’ll be no more death.

(Piano playing)

John Lomacang sings:

Face to face with Christ my Savior

Face to face what will it be?

When with rapture I behold Him

Jesus Christ who died for me

Face to face shall I behold Him

Far beyond the starry sky

Face to face in all His glory

I shall see Him by and by

You know the subject of death, biblically, is really good news friends, amen? Does a Christian need to fear death? Death is an enemy. God created us, He designed us from the beginning to live forever with Him and it’s His plan to give us new bodies and start over again where we can eat from that tree of life and never die again. If you have the Son then you have life, when does eternal life begin? Now! If you have the Son you have life. (Audience says “amen”) And the devil can’t take it away. He can destroy this bo--body but I don’t care about this one, I want a new one, don’t you? (Audience says “amen”) And God promised us to give us that glorified body when Jesus comes. Would you like to ask Him for that new life and invite the Son in?

Loving Lord, dear Jesus, we are so thankful for the truth that when you are abiding in us because you are life, that we can have life. We ask, Lord, that you would enter into our hearts, cleanse those temples from everything that defiles. Fill our minds as your dwelling place and give us that gift of eternal life. Help us to experience the power of the resurrection by recreating us now. Bless all of these people and comfort those who mourn. We’re looking forward to the day, Lord, when there is no more death and we pray this in Christ’s name, amen.

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