Death is taken in scripture, first for the separation of body and soul, the first death; secondly, for alienation from God, and exposure to his wrath; thirdly, for the second death, that of eternal damnation. Death was the penalty given to mankind because of the transgression of Adam, and all his seed are under the same malediction. We all share the curse afflicted on the first man. At the end of the world, however, "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was also cast into the lake of fire."

Natural death is described as a yielding up of the breath, or spirit, expiring; as a return to our original dust. It is the soul departing from the the body, its shell, or the temple in which we have dwelt. The death of a believer is a departure, a going home, a falling asleep in Jesus. We need to look death straight in the face and think like David, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me."

I have always believed in life after death. As a child I did not know all the splitting of hairs that so many have placed upon our brothers and sisters but I do know what it is to believe in an after-life. I cannot think of what Christian fellowship one might have with one that does not believe that there is a heaven prepared for those that love Him and that many of our departed loved ones are partaking of eternal bliss. I believe what the Bible teaches me about eternal life. And I believe what Jesus wants for me and it is in the hope of eternal life.

I distinctly heard that there are those that believe that the departed saints are dead now. Of course we are not to talk with the dead, or commune with them, or have anything to do with them. We are not to go to seances or fortune tellers or witches. God is not the God of the dead. Who are the living that God is God of? The saints. It is hard for me to understand how anyone calling themselves Christian can not believe in life after death and think the saints are dead now. Or is it just confusion? What did they depart to - death or life? Was their hope for life after death in vain? If you say that the departed are dead then I say that they are alive. This is just so inconceivable for me to think that so many would say that saints are dead.

Then I stand on this ground affirming life in all its parts. Paul stood his ground on this same issue, as must we. Those that believe in life after death are accused of heresy and not deserving the fellowship of those that believe that our departed loved ones in the Lord are dead now.

There is the death of the body and the soul. In the last days, the fifth angel of the Apocalypse will come that has been given the key of the bottomless pit. Those who have not the seal of God upon their foreheads shall be tormented for five months. They shall seek death and shall not find it. They shall desire to die but death will flee from them. Kierkegaard writes that: "The torment of despair is precisely this, not being able to die. When the danger is so great that death has become one's hope, despair is the disconsolateness of not being able to die."

We as spiritual Christians that have cast off the mark of the beast have an awesome responsibility. We are to deliver others from death, which is bringing them into the light, "I the Lord have called you in righteousness and will hold your hand and will keep you and give you for a covenant of the people for a light of the Gentiles. To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." "The people which sat in darkness saw a great light and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up." "To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." The light is in the words of Jesus, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hears My word and believes on Him that sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death unto life...If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death." Jesus showed us that He loosed the pains of death by being that light. Do not read these pages and content yourselves with basking in the light for a season and then move on. Join us and come to one accord with your brothers and sisters so that we may share the light and deliver the world from certain death.
[134, Psalms 23, Isaiah 42, Matthew 4, Luke 1:79, Revelation 9, 20, John 5, 8, BD, 380]

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