Greetings, dear Stephen... and peace to you!
With this verse in mind I think we need to test your prophetic vision
1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 (New International Version)
20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.
The word of my Lord to you, dear Chalam, is test away! However, I am to exhort you to keep in mind HOW we are to test inspired expressions... and that at the time this particular verse was penned (believed to have been c. 50) the only other books of the NT in existence was Matthew's gospel account (believed to have been written c. 41) and possibly the letter to the Galatians (believed to have been penned somewhere between c. 50-52). In addition, other than the Revelation and John's gospel account, none of the NT is scripture. Be all of that as it may, certainly - let's continue, shall we?
Hebrews 4:12 (New International Version)
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Indeed, t is on the basis of what this verse says that I shared what I did. God's Word (Revelation 19:13) IS alive (Revelation 1:18). And he IS active (Matthew 28:20). That sword protrudes from HIS mouth (Revelation 19:15)... and it is HE that can see between a man's flesh (soul) and spirit... joints and marrow... for it is HE that judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (John 2:25). And it was he who gave me the vision. So, I have no doubt about it. But that's me...
So, okay, to Test One. You quote Ecclesiastes 9:5-6:
5 For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing;
they have no further reward,
and even the memory of them is forgotten.
My vision did not contradict this truth: those I saw knew absolutely nothing. Not where they were, who they were, what they were, what they were waiting for, what was going on there, what was going on here... nothing. I used the word "conscious" as directed by my Lord because to show exactly that: they were conscious of waiting for something but had no idea what that something was. They did not KNOW. I stated it as my Lord directed me. Let's look at the rest of the verse:
6 Their love, their hate
and their jealousy have long since vanished;
never again will they have a part
in anything that happens under the sun.
There is a problem with this part, dear Stephen, as it is set out in the NIV. The confusion comes in with the phrase "in any[thing] that HAPPENS under the sun." The NIV use of the phrase "anything that HAPPENS" is an error. "Happens" is synonymous with "occurs." The correct transliteration, however, is "in anything that is DONE under the sun." And this is true. They will no longer have a part in anything that is DONE under the sun. BUT... they WILL have a part in one of the resurrections... if not the first, then the second, because the second is a resurrection of the righteous AND the unrighteous. That event HAPPENS... and they do have a part in it.
My understanding is that you take issue with where the other spirits were. Your use of Luke 23:43 here is an error, however. Let's see why. You quote:
43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Here's why the man could NOT have been with my Lord in paradise on THAT day: my Lord himself did not enter paradise... until several days later. First, he went to Hades for 3 days. Then, he appeared to his disciples for about 8 days. THEN... he ascended. Did the man go with him to Hades? No. Did he return from the grave to hang out with my Lord while he showed himself to his disciples? No. Did he later ascend with my Lord? Uh-uh. What you're suggesting, however, is that HE went BEFORE my Lord. If so, I must ask you: HOW DID HE GET IN... in light of what my Lord is recorded to have said TO HIS APOSTLES, whom he CHOSE:
"I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:2, 3
Now, I know that while you might not LIKE it, the accurate rendering IS "... I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise." But those truths are not the only reason to know this phrasing is accurate. The FACT that the man COULDN'T have entered into paradise at that time is born out in the FACT that the resurrection has not yet occurred. Okay, moving on...
It appears that you included 2 Corinthians 5:6-9 to say that when we're NOT in the body, we are with Christ and at home with him. Meaning, that as soon as we die, we are with him. Unfortunately, that's not accurate. I offer you Revelation 6:9, 10:
"I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed."
But since you referred to Paul, let's see what he had to say on the subject. I refer to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, which states:
"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."
So, according to Paul... whose words to "test" things out you follow... my Lord returns, at which time those who have died "in" him are resurrected AT THE SAME TIME as those who are "in" him but have NOT died (i.e., are still alive)... are caught up TOGETHER... to meet him in the air... and then be with him forever. Now, I say "at the same time," because the word in the Greek, "epieta," means "thereupon" as well as "afterwards." How do we know to choose "thereupon"? Well, why not look again to Paul, since he appears to be the "expert" here. He wrote, at 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52:
"I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."
I am not sure (nor, apparently, is my Lord for he offers no guidance) as to why you included Philippians 1:20-22. So I will wait for your response.
The man that Paul referred to in 2 Corinthians 12:1-6 is the Apostle John. Paul wrote that he didn't know whether the man went in body or in spirit. However, John was taken in SPIRIT, NOT in body, to the third heaven. And he was told later (41 years or so) to write what he was shown:
"Write, therefore, what youhave seen, what is now and what will take place later." Revelation 1:19
"At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it." Revelation 4:2
I do not see any "place of protection" in the bible, unless you mean paradise or third heaven as Paul describes it?
No, I meant the place "under the altar" as mentioned at Revelation 6:9 (as quoted above).
Neither do I read of any hint of being "a bit more conscious". Clearly Paul was conscious when he was in heaven receiving revelations from Jesus.
If Paul ever went (he may, although the Bible does not have a record), he went in spirit, not in body; however, we have no record (in the Bible) of him ever being in heaven OR receiving a revelation. We DO, however, have the revelation that was given to John... who shared it with Paul...whom he had met some years earlier (see Galatians 2:9). But how do we know it wasn't Paul who went to the third heave? Because Paul SAYS it wasn't him. He wrote:
"I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know-God knows. And I know that this man-whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows- was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses."
So, while Paul certainly may have had a HOPE of going to receive visions and revelations, the Bible does not have a record of it. That doesn't mean he didn't, though... and such well could have been recorded somewhere else and left OUT of the Bible canon... as wat his FIRST letter to the Corinthian congregation. Again, though, the Bible does contain a record of John's revelation...
Notice that James writes "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
I absolutely agree: a body without the spirit is a dead soul. And a body WITH the spirit... is a LIVING soul.
However, he does not write that "the spirit is dead without the body"! If not, how could Paul or the thief be "away from the body" yet "gain" in paradise?
Dear Stephen, the spirit is NOT dead without the body, nor did I ever post such a thing. The body dies... but the SPIRIT... merely sleeps. Which is exactly what I posted. Spirits don't die; they can't die. They must be destroyed (Matthew 10:28). As for both Paul and the thief, neither entered into paradise, at least not when you assert: Paul, because you have him confused with John who DID enter, NOT in body but in SPIRIT (as he recorded at Revelation 4:2); the thief because you are misapplying the word "today," as I've had the privilege of explaining, above. Paul MAY have entered later, but if so it was ONLY in spirit... and the thief not at all, yet, because the resurrection has not yet occurred... which is the ONLY they CAN enter. Flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of hte heavens, dear one.
Regarding Luke 16:13-19, you state "There is nothing in this passage to support your view that this occurred "BEFORE he passes over to the World of the Dead". On the contrary, verse 22 says both we already dead... and in their abodes, see also verses 30,31."
Verse 22 says he died... and was buried. Meaning, his body was in the grave. The World of the Dead is beyond the grave, though (although, it is in the earth). It is where the SPIRIT goes (for those who don't go under the altar). The BODY... or FLESH... goes back to the dust. The BONES... however... don't.
And the reason I saw bones... is because the spirit is IN the bones. LIFE... is in the BLOOD... and BLOOD... is manufactured in the BONES... in the marrow. That is why the Most Holy One of Israel blew into ADAM'S nostrils... Adam who was BONE (and flesh)... but not yet SKIN... and Adam came to be a LIVING soul. Eve came from one of Adam's BONES. It is why He blew spirit INTO the bones He showed Ezekiel... and they came to life... BEFORE they had sinews and skin. (Genesis 2:7, 21, 22; Leviticus 17:11; Ezekiel 37:1-14).
What I saw were bones... with NO life in them: they could NOT stand up; they had NO thoughts; they remembered nothing. It was only when my Lord and I visited them that there was enough "life"... holy spirit... for them to even wake up in anticipation of something, and fall right back to sleep upon learning that that something hadn't occurred. All of which took less than 3 seconds. There was enough because my Lord was there. He IS the life, dear one!
Your view that the torment is temporary directly contradicts the very words of Jesus Himself and the prophets.
I have no view of torment, temporary or otherwise, for anyone other than the false prophet, the wild beast, and the Adversary. That was the message.
Matthew 25:46 - 46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
See, here again is the problem with listening to men... and/or following their erroneous transliterations. The Greek word for "punishment" here is "kolases" and means "correction," "punishment," or "penalty." Which is correct? The word of my Lord is the "penalty" is correct. The verse should read:
"These go away/depart into everlasting penalty."
Which, according to Revelation 20:15 is true: they are cast INTO the Lake of Fire. But they're not tormented there. It's just that the penalty for their sins... is everlasting. They don't come back. They don't exist.
Mark 9:47-48 - 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'
Okay, a couple things here: first, they are not thrown into hell. They are thrown into Gehinnom, or Gehenna. The Greek word for "hell" is "Hades" and that IS the World of the Dead. The word "hell" that the NIV shows here is "geenna"... which is the Lake of fire. And that fire is NOT quenched. It does not go out. It burns forever.
As for the quote "where there worm does not die and the fire is not quenched," that is a reference from Isaiah 66:24, which is talking about the wild beast (whom I said WOULD be tormented forever and ever in the Lake of Fire) and those who worship it, the false prophet. The SMOKE from these being tossed INTO the Lake... will go on forever (Revelation 14:10, 11).
Revelation 20:10 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
I take no exception here. I believe I posted this truth...
Jude 1:7 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
Here's one of those mistransliteration error things again. The word used here as "punishment" is "dike" in Greek and means the "execution of a sentence." I am to ask you, since Sodom and Gomorrah are the example: did those towns continue to burn? Are they burning yet? Or were they utterly destroyed... with NO trace of them left? What was the "example"? Were they tortured/tormented/or continually punished? Or were they simply wiped out?
Also, the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, hence David writes this
Psalm 139:7-8 (English Standard Version)
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
You are misunderstanding. I absoutely agree that the Holy Spirit can go/be anywhere. I did not write that HE was not there. I wrote that God's holy spirit... His life force, blood, semen... was not there. The bones were DRY. NOT because the Holy Spirit wasn't there - indeed, he is the One who TOOK me there! Dry because there was no "WATER"... no LIVING WATER... God's holy spirit... which Christ pours out. There was none there, until he arrived with me in tow.
I do not know your history of faith, I assume you are a former JW?
It's been some years, but, yeah...
If so, it seems clear that false JW doctrines are still lingering IMHO.
You are entitled to your opinion... but truly, I did not get one bit of this from them. In fact, THEY would denounce me for such a vision. They would accuse me of consorting with demons.
Anyhow, I would be interested to hear you thoughts, especially supported with scripture!
Well, then, there you have it. Just as my Lord, the Holy Spirit and Holy One of Israel, JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH, who is the Son and Christ of the MOST Holy One of Israel, JAH of Armies... guided me.
May JAH bless you, as well, and again, I bid you peace!
A slave of Christ,