This is one of the most painful experiences of a persons life, to lose a loved one in death and as it is a part of our everyday life we need answers BUT not just answers that will pacify us BUT the true answers that will help us to recover the loss.
Many people visit the grave of a loved one in the hope of gaining solace and peace of mind to feel close to that one, because that is the last resting place of their loved ones.
Many religious leaders today think that by giving someone a “placebo” which is an answer just to pacify a person and help them over their loss is the right thing to do BUT sadly this is just distorting the truth of God’s word.
The “placebo” they offer is, that their loved ones are now with God in heaven, or that God actually took their loved one to be with him. Although this might help the person to grieve it is NOT the truth of God’s word. In fact it can cause the opposite to happen. To be fair why on earth would God want to take anyone to be spirits in the heavens when he already has a great large family there already, we were created for the earth not for the heavens.
Let me tell you a little story that really happened to me personally and I expect it will be your experience too.
On the death of my father a clergyman came to the house to pray with us and I asked him “where is my father now?” His answer was “he is in heaven now with God and is now a spirit. So I asked him if he was a spirit now could he be in the room with us right now and his answer again was “Yes” he was with us.
This answer or placebo, made me turn my back on my heavenly father. My God, because this was the cruellest thing of all, to take a person from their loved ones and have them present in the same room and not be able to comfort their loved ones this was cruel. My mother was beside herself and so must my father have been seeing her in this sad agitated state and not be able to help her, so this answer from a church minister certainly did not help me at all. In fact it turned me against my heavenly father instead. This is what happens when the truth is not taught but is replaced by a fantasy in order to help one to grieve.
So what is the truth? We can read of one account in God’s word, that of Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, in John chapter 11v1-45. It shows Jesus had heard that Lazarus was ill but he also knew he was dying but he did not hurry to him because he wanted to show God’s glory by resurrecting him. So Jesus said to his disciples “our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep but I go to awaken him from sleep. (verse 12,13) but, Jesus had spoken of his death.
We can see here that Jesus was teaching, when one dies they are in fact just sleeping. On reading the whole account we can see that the sisters Martha and Mary were not at the graveside mourning their brother because they knew the true teachings of Jesus about a resurrection at a later time, the last day. (verse 24)
Also we can see that their brother had been in the tomb for four days at this time and most probably already started to decay because of the heat. (verse 38-44)
It is interesting too that Jesus called him out of the tomb because that is where he was, not in heaven, but asleep. Also what is interesting was the fact that Lazarus did not say, “why did you bring me back here when I was happy in heaven”? He came out wondering what all the fuss was about. He certainly did not know he had been dead for four days.
We also have the knowledge that Jesus was in the grave, tomb, for three days too and if he had gone straight to heaven he would not have needed a resurrection. Proving yet again, a person would have to be raised up by someone else, if they were in a deep sleep they could not possibly have a resurrection to life after they have fallen asleep. Just as Lazarus and Jesus needed help.
Everyone today dies because we have inherited sin and death from Adam. But Jesus promised that under his kingdom set up on the last day, where he will be the lord of the Sabbath, everyone will have life instead of inherited death.
Adam lost the right to eat from the tree of life which would have sustained his body and life in good health, so when his body started to break down without that life giving food, he could not pass on to us perfect health. (Genesis chapter 3v22-24)
We cannot blame God for our loss of life he certainly would not want to take anyone from their loved ones, in fact he cared so much about this he sent his only beloved son to the earth to change our future inheritance from death to life.
The bible assures us that everyone will have a resurrection from their long deep sleep and return to life here on the earth where they belong.
This must be reassuring to everyone who has lost someone dear to them to have this knowledge that our loved ones are in a deep, deep, sleep and do not know anything at all. Yes! We are hurting and feeling their loss but to have the true knowledge that our loved ones do not know or feel anything is a great comfort. We do not need to visit their last resting place, their grave, to remember them all we need to do is to have a lovely photograph of them and to look at this in their loving memory instead. This will portray them “alive and happy” not dead and gone. Keep the happy memories of them instead of the sad end of them.
Knowing that they are in a deep sleep will help one to have peace of mind knowing they do not feel anything. This is the true teachings of our lord Jesus. If he had to wait three days in the grave to have a resurrection and Lazarus four days, then so will we also have to wait for the kingdom of our lord for our resurrection. Both of these two examples show the need to have someone resurrect us, it is not automatic, this might seem completely different from what you have been taught by the church or imagined, but it is the truth from God’s word the bible not just a placebo. This is truth!
Always have a photo of your loved ones at hand and look at it, and remember the wonderful happy times you shared with them while you wait for their resurrection under God’s kingdom. Let your kingdom come, let your will take place as it is in the heavens and under God’s kingdom death will be no more what a wonderful promise. (Revelation chapter 21v3-5) Just remember they are not conscious of anything at all. (Ecclesiastes chapter 9v5) remember they are feeling nothing, not sad, pain, nothing at all just sleeping.
It is like when you go to sleep at night you wake up in the morning you look at the time and think wow is that the time? Also when people are in deep comas they do not know how long that have been in one, they wake up as if it is morning.
The resurrection is divided into two parts, a resurrection to life and a resurrection to judgement, the early, or first resurrection will be to eternal life followed by a general one by which they will not attain eternal life until the end of Christ’s reign, and just like the two examples we have covered, the resurrection of both Jesus and Lazarus they can be a guide as to the two resurrections. One was a resurrection to “life” (Jesus) and one was a resurrection back on the earth as an imperfect man.
If we look at the first resurrection Jesus shows this will take place all in one resurrection, not individual ones, but those who make up the body of our lord will be one full complete number of persons resurrected all together.
When he was asked by the Jews what authority he had to remove those dealers and cleanse the temple from them, it tells us in John chapter 2v18-23 “Jesus answered them destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up…But he spoke of the temple of his body”.
Note Jesus says “I will raise it up” we know he could not raise himself out of the deep sleep he was in back to the world of the spirit, so he meant as his body represented the temple, he was the “chief corner stone” of the spiritual temple and his apostles were the twelve pillars, or foundations stones of the spiritual temple and all the others that make up the spiritual temple will be built up upon these, the whole spiritual temple that make up the body of our lord will be “Raised up”, resurrected as “one” body, a bride chosen for him by his father in three days.
The apostle Paul tells us in Romans chapter 12v4, 5 “For as in one body we have many members and all the members do not have the same function so we though many are one body in Christ and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us let us use them.”
Just as the apostle Paul tells us here, there are many parts to the human body and they all have a different function.
For instance we have two feet and two hands which serve the body in different ways, we have toes and fingers and many different organs to serve us all with a different job to perform to make our bodies work for the best. They all function in a different way from each other so too those that makes up the body of our lord Jesus.
It shows in 1st Corinthians chapter 7 v7, and 12v4. “There are a varieties of gifts… and varieties of service…To one is given…the utterance of wisdom, to another the utterance of knowledge. to another faith…to another gifts of healing…to another the workings of miracles and to another prophecy…to another various tongues.. to another the interpretation of tongues… For just as the body is one and has many members so it is with Christ. For the body does not consist of one member but of many, if the foot should say because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body and if the ear should say because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body. If the whole body were an eye where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear where would the sense of smell be? God arranged the organs in the body as he chose, there are many parts but one body”. As verse 27-31 shows “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”.
When the apostle John was privileged to see into the future earth’s heavens by Jesus angel he saw the number of those sealed that will be with Jesus in his kingdom as recorded 144.000. (Revelation chapter 7v4) we have no reason to doubt this number as it was given through the angel directed by the Christ.
All these members will be given their own function to perform under the kingdom of the Christ and they will make up a perfect government over the earth which in turn will produce a “new earth”.
Also 1st Thessalonians chapter 4v13-18 shows “But we would not have you ignorant brothers concerning those who are asleep that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope for since we believe that Jesus died and rose again even so through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep…we who are alive who are left until the coming of the lord shall not precede those who have fallen asleep for the lord will descend from heaven with a cry of command with an archangel’s call…and the dead in the Christ will rise first, then we who are alive who are left shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the lord in the air”.
Note! They will all meet the lord as ONE body, ONE bride all together, having ONE resurrection. So the spiritual temple is built up complete in three days just as Jesus told the Jews.
Of course there are many references to the order of the resurrection, as in 1st Corinthians chapter 15v21-24 v51-53.
Also John chapter 14v3 Jesus shows he will go and prepare a place for his people and he tells them “I will come again and take you to myself”. This shows again that when one of the bride class dies, they are not resurrected at once but they will wait asleep in the grave until our lord returns then he will awaken them and take them to the place he had prepared for them. Just as he tells us in 1st Corinthians chapter 15v21-24 “but each in its own order Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ”. So the apostles and all those who make up the body of our lord will remain sleeping in the grave UNTIL he comes back. Returns.
Jesus tells us in John chapter 6 that he will raise these ones up on the “last day” which will be under his kingdom over the earth. In fact he tells them four times in all, verses 39,40,44 and 54. they will be resurrected on the last day, the day of the Sabbath when Jesus will be lord over the earth.
Now to the resurrection of Lazarus, he was raised up out of sleep by Jesus through the power of his father but he was raised back on the earth as flesh and blood. His body was still the same as it was, not perfect on his raising up so too will the general resurrection be. During the reign of our lord Jesus and his bride of helpers all will be raised back to the earth but they will not be perfect in mind and body. They will have the 1,000 year reign of our lord to gain health and perfection, then at the end of that time when they have attained that perfection they will be granted a full resurrection as perfect humans on the earth just as Revelation chapter 20v4, 5. The first to be resurrected “came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years”. “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended”. Although they were resurrected during the 1000 years they did not fully receive eternal life until the end of the reign of the Christ.
These are the teachings of our lord Jesus but not the teachings of the churches on the earth today. Who insist ones go to heaven when they die, as we can see Jesus did not even apply this to his apostles but he told them, “when I return I will take you to myself”.
This must be reassuring for everyone wanting to know the truth about death. To know no one is suffering or in pain except us, for our loss.
A well know poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye says, “do not stand at my grave and cry I am not there I did not die.”
Let our epitaph be: ~ I am asleep waiting to be reawakened, resurrected back to you, so in the meantime look at my photo and remember the happy times we had together and not mourn at my grave.