State of the Dead

Paul's Dilemma: To Stay Or To Depart

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: SOD

Program Code: SOD000004

00:01 If a man dies shall he live again?
00:07 What does it mean to be absent from the body
00:09 and present with the Lord?
00:13 Did Jesus go with the thief to Paradise on Good Friday?
00:18 Did the souls of dead people really cry out
00:22 from below the altar?
00:23 Pastor Bohr answers these questions and more
00:28 in the amazing series,
00:34 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:36 Our Father and our God, we're so thankful for the awesome
00:40 opportunity of coming into Your presence with the express
00:45 purpose of opening Your Holy Book, and studying a portion
00:49 from that book. We ask, Father, that as we explore
00:54 Philippians 1:21-24 that Your Holy Spirit will be with us.
01:00 Open our minds that we might be able to understand what You have
01:04 for us. Help us to set aside all preconceived ideas
01:08 that we might hear Your voice.
01:10 We pray this in the precious name of Your Beloved Son, Jesus.
01:13 Amen. As I mentioned in my prayer, we're going to study
01:20 today the passage that we find in the book of
01:23 Philippians 1:21-24.
01:28 And basically, in this series, we're dealing with texts
01:33 that have been misused to try and teach that when a person
01:37 dies their soul departs the body and goes to Heaven,
01:42 if the person was righteous, or perhaps to hell if the person
01:46 was wicked. We're dealing with the texts that are used
01:49 to try and prove that.
01:51 We're not trying to sweep these Bible verses under the rug.
01:54 You know, it's very easy to use verses that express our own
01:59 ideas, like the living know that they will die,
02:02 but the dead know nothing.
02:03 You know, the Bible is clear on that, but then you have these
02:06 difficult verses that you have to deal with; you have to come
02:09 to terms with them.
02:11 And so today we are going to discuss another one of these
02:15 passages. Turn in your Bibles with me then to
02:17 Philippians 1:21-24, and in a couple of moments I'm going
02:24 to go back to verse 20 as well for the context.
02:28 It says there, here the Apostle Paul is speaking, For me to live
02:33 is Christ, and to die is gain.
02:37 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit
02:43 from my labor: yet what I shall choose I cannot tell,
02:47 for I am hard pressed between the two,
02:51 having a desire to depart and be with Christ;
02:55 which is far better: Nevertheless to remain
03:00 in the flesh is more needful for you.
03:04 So basically the idea that people get from this passage,
03:08 as they read it with their preconceived notions,
03:12 is that the Apostle Paul was very anxious to die,
03:16 and depart at the moment of his death, so that he could be
03:20 with Christ; that is so that his soul could be with Christ.
03:25 The question is, is this what the passage is really
03:31 trying to teach? And, of course, as we examine it,
03:34 we will notice that it is not teaching this at all.
03:39 Now I need to give you a little bit of historical context about
03:42 the book of Philippians.
03:44 This book was written by the Apostle Paul during his first
03:48 imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome.
03:53 Now at this point the Apostle Paul did not know yet whether
03:58 he was going to be delivered from prison, or whether he was
04:01 going to die the death of a martyr.
04:05 So he didn't really know what was going to occur;
04:08 whether he was going to die, or whether he was going
04:11 be released and live, or whether he was going to left in prison
04:15 indefinitely. Now, you say, how do we know that this book was
04:19 written while the Apostle Paul was in prison?
04:22 Well, let's notice several verses from chapter 1
04:26 of Philippians, and we'll read verse 7, and then we'll go
04:30 to verses 13 and 14.
04:33 And I want you to notice the terminology.
04:34 The Apostle Paul is in prison at this point. He says this:
05:03 That's verse 7. Now let's go to verse 13.
05:11 See there it's speaking about the guards at the prison.
05:19 There's the idea of chains again.
05:36 So, very clearly, in context, the Apostle Paul is writing
05:41 this epistle from prison.
05:44 And according to those who have studied the chronology
05:46 of the gospels, and the chronology of the books of the
05:50 Apostle Paul, they say that this is the first imprisonment
05:54 of Paul in Rome. Now I'd like us to go back one verse.
05:59 We started in verse 21, but let's go to verse 20,
06:03 and notice a very interesting, and important expression here.
06:07 It says in Philippians 1:20; here the Apostle Paul,
06:10 once again is speaking:
06:17 I want you to remember that expression.
06:22 By the way, that's the translation of one Greek word.
06:26 The Greek word is apokaradokia.
06:29 That's a long word.
06:31 That's a mouthful, isn't it?
06:33 Basically, that word is translated, earnest expectation.
06:38 And now notice:
06:41 And what? hope. Notice that Paul had an...
07:01 What does the Apostle Paul want?
07:03 He wants to magnify Jesus in his body, whether it be alive,
07:09 or whether it be what? dead.
07:12 And you'll notice that he has an earnest expectation and hope.
07:17 Now the question is, what was the earnest expectation and hope
07:23 of the Apostle Paul?
07:24 Was his earnest expectation and hope that of dying,
07:30 and having his soul depart from the body, and go to Heaven,
07:35 to be with Jesus; was that his earnest expectation and hope?
07:39 Absolutely not. You see, we need to let Paul interpret Paul.
07:44 So now we need to go to Romans 8:19-23,
07:49 where the Apostle Paul uses that very same Greek word:
07:53 apokaradokia. Romans 8:19-23.
08:00 Here the Apostle Paul says this:
08:06 There's the same word.
08:17 You see creation is eagerly waiting for the revelation
08:20 of the Sons of God. What does that mean? Verse 20:
08:29 That is because Adam sinned.
08:31 Nature fell into futility, but it wasn't the choice of nature,
08:36 and so it says; once again verse 20:
08:48 So is there hope for creation?
08:50 Yes, there is. Does creation have an earnest expectation?
08:54 It most certainly does. Verse 21.
09:07 Is nature going to be transformed according to this?
09:11 At the same time that the children of God are transformed.
09:14 Absolutely! And that's the earnest expectation of the
09:17 children of God, and of creation, or nature. Verse 22:
09:42 And what are we groaning about?
09:44 We're groaning so we can die and have our soul fly off
09:46 to be with the Lord, right?
09:48 Absolutely not! It says, once again in verse 23:
09:51 Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits...
10:03 And what is the adoption?
10:11 So what was Paul's earnest expectation?
10:15 Was it to die and have his soul go to heaven? No!
10:20 It was, according to this, the adoption, the redemption of
10:25 the body. And when does the redemption of the body
10:27 take place? The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that our
10:30 body will be redeemed from corruption to incorruption,
10:33 from mortality to immortality, when Jesus comes on the clouds
10:38 of heaven. Now you'll notice here that the Apostle Paul
10:42 says that he wants to magnify, in his body, Jesus,
10:50 whether it be by life or by death.
10:55 By the way, that word magnify is also translated glorify God,
11:01 either by life, or by death.
11:03 Now the question is, how could the Apostle Paul glorify God
11:08 by his death? You say, that doesn't make any sense.
11:11 How can you glorify God by your death?
11:13 The fact is that you can if you are going to die the death
11:18 of a martyr. Notice the parallel case of the other great apostle
11:24 of the early church, the Apostle Peter.
11:26 Go to John 21:18, 19; John 21:18, 19.
11:35 You know, Jesus here was talking about what was going
11:38 to happen to Simon Peter at the end of his life.
11:40 Jesus was saying, your arms are going to be extended,
11:43 and you're not going to have any control whatsoever
11:46 over your body. In other words, they are going to extend
11:49 your arms and they're going to crucify you.
11:50 Notice John 21:18, 19.
12:14 And, by the way, early church tradition says the Apostle Peter
12:17 was offered the option of being crucified with his head up like
12:23 Jesus was, but he chose that he could not die in the same manner
12:28 as his Master, and so he requested that they crucify
12:32 him with his head down. Notice verse 19:
12:49 What is it that the death of Peter did?
12:51 It glorified God, or it magnified God, because Peter
12:57 was dying a faithful martyr to Jesus.
13:00 By the way, we have another case in scripture of a death
13:04 of a great saint glorifying God.
13:09 Notice Acts 7:59, 60; Acts 7:59, 60.
13:16 This is speaking about the death of Stephen,
13:19 the first Christian martyr.
13:21 And it says there in verse 59, And they stoned Stephen,
13:26 as he was calling on God, and saying, Lord Jesus,
13:31 receive my spirit.
13:44 Let me ask you, did the death of Stephen bring glory and honor
13:49 to God? It most certainly did.
13:51 And we're going to notice that it also bore fruit
13:54 to the glory of God.
13:55 You say, what do you mean it bore fruit to the glory of God?
13:58 Do you know that according to the book, Acts of the Apostles,
14:03 when Saul of Tarsus was watching those people stone Stephen,
14:10 and he saw Stephen with such a peaceful look on his face,
14:14 and looking to heaven, and speaking to Jesus
14:18 at the right hand of God, Saul of Tarsus was greatly impacted,
14:24 and he knew that Stephen had something that he needed.
14:27 Of course, in reaction to quiet his conscience, he immediately
14:32 went to persecute the church; to Damascus, but you know
14:35 what happened. He was knocked to the ground;
14:37 a voice spoke to him, and to make a long story short,
14:42 Saul of Tarsus became the great Apostle Paul.
14:45 It all began when the stoning of Stephen was taking place,
14:50 and the Bible says in Acts 6:15 that the face of Stephen was
14:55 like the face of an angel.
14:58 And so what is the Apostle Paul saying?
15:01 He's saying, if I die the death of a martyr, because he knew
15:04 he was going to die the death of a martyr, he says, my death
15:08 will what? my death will bring glory and honor to God.
15:13 My death will magnify the Lord.
15:17 Now notice what the Apostle Paul continues saying
15:20 in Philippians 1:21. He says:
15:33 Now you say, now wait a minute!
15:34 How can the Apostle Paul say that to die is gain?
15:40 We can understand that to live for Christ, you know,
15:44 that is a blessing. But in what sense is the Apostle Paul
15:52 gaining by dying? Well, the fact is that the Apostle Paul,
15:59 at this period in his ministry, was very, very tired.
16:02 In fact, I want to read you what the Apostle Paul had gone
16:07 through at this point of his life.
16:09 2 Corinthians 11:23-28.
16:12 This was quite an experience of the Apostle Paul.
16:15 2 Corinthians 11:23-28.
16:18 Here the Apostle Paul is describing
16:20 the many trials of his life.
16:25 He's speaking about his accusers.
17:33 Would you say that the Apostle Paul, at this point,
17:35 was pretty tired? After going through all these experiences,
17:40 the Apostle Paul is worn out, so he's saying, you know,
17:43 for me, actually, to die would be what? would be gain!
17:47 Why would it be gain?
17:48 Notice Revelation 14:13.
17:51 You see, in death what happens?
17:53 The Bible uniformly says that at the moment of death
17:57 we go to sleep. We just read it in Acts 7:60 about Stephen.
18:05 It says there that when he was stoned he fell asleep.
18:10 Let me ask you, is sleep an enjoyable experience?
18:14 Do you rest from your daily labors? Absolutely!
18:17 Now notice what it says in Revelation 14:13.
18:21 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, blessed are
18:25 the dead who die in the Lord from now on.
18:29 Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors,
18:33 and their works follow them.
18:36 So what happens with people when they die?
18:40 They go and they what? and they rest.
18:43 Even today we say the person was laid to what?
18:46 The person was laid to rest.
18:49 We don't mean that the body was laid to rest,
18:51 we mean that the total person was laid to rest.
18:55 And so the Apostle Paul is saying, you know, for me to die
19:00 that would be gain, because I would rest.
19:03 Did the Apostle Paul have the security that if he died he was
19:07 dying in Christ, and he would resurrect someday?
19:10 He knew that it was just a moment of unconsciousness,
19:13 and so he knew that if he died the next thing he was going
19:16 to hear was the voice of Jesus, so he says, if I could rest
19:19 from my labors, if I could just pass away, that would be gain,
19:23 because I wouldn't have to suffer and go through these
19:25 tribulations anymore.
19:26 Are you understanding what the Apostle Paul is saying?
19:30 But then the Apostle Paul says something else.
19:33 Notice verse 22: but if I live on in the flesh...
19:39 That is if I don't die.
19:41 To die would be gain, he says.
19:50 Now we need to ask the question, what does the Apostle Paul
19:53 mean when he says, if I live on in the flesh?
19:58 You know, some people take that and say, see, the Apostle Paul
20:00 was saying that he didn't want to live in the flesh anymore.
20:03 He wanted to live as a disincarnated spirit or soul
20:07 in the presence of the Lord.
20:08 What did the Apostle Paul mean when he said,
20:11 to live in the flesh?
20:12 What he's actually saying is that if I live in my present
20:18 body, in my present existence, in a world where my body is
20:23 corruptible and mortal.
20:24 Let's notice several other texts from the Bible that use this
20:29 expression, flesh or flesh and blood.
20:33 Notice 1 Corinthians 15:50, 1 Corinthians 15:50.
20:40 It says there:
20:50 Let me ask you, does that mean that in the kingdom of God
20:53 we're not going to have flesh and blood?
20:55 Does that mean that we're going to have some just kind of some
20:59 ghostly existence with no flesh and blood at all? Of course not!
21:03 When it says, flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom
21:07 of God, that phrase is explained in the next phrase.
21:11 It says, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
21:19 So what does flesh and blood mean?
21:21 It means our body in its present state of what?
21:25 of corruption. It's not talking about living in a spirit
21:31 existence outside the body.
21:32 When the Apostle Paul says, to live in the flesh,
21:35 with flesh and blood, he's saying, to stay in this body,
21:39 which is mortal and corruptible, is better right now because
21:42 it will bear fruit.
21:44 We'll talk about the fruit in a few moments.
21:46 By the way, when God's people resurrect, are they going to
21:49 have a body, a real body?
21:51 Yes! What kind of body?
21:53 Well, go with me to 1 Corinthians 15,
21:56 and let's start at verse 51.
21:59 We're already there.
22:00 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep,
22:03 but we shall all be changed, in a moment,
22:06 in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet:
22:09 for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised.
22:12 How? incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
22:17 Now notice this: For this corruptible (that is this flesh
22:21 that we have now)... this corruptible must put on what?
22:25 incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
22:30 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption,
22:34 and this mortal has put on immortality,
22:37 then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written,
22:41 Death is swallowed up in victory.
22:43 O death, where is your sting?
22:45 O Hades, where is your victory?
22:48 So let me ask you, are we going to have a body in the kingdom
22:51 to come? Yes, we are.
22:53 What kind of body? immortal and incorruptible.
22:57 But now we are in the flesh.
22:59 We have flesh and blood, which means our present existence,
23:03 our corruptible, mortal body.
23:05 It's not that we now have a body, and then we're not
23:08 going to have a body.
23:09 It means that now our body is corruptible, immortal,
23:12 then our body will be immortal, and incorruptible.
23:16 Are you understanding what I am saying?
23:17 Now let's look at another text that speaks about being in the
23:23 flesh. Notice Hebrews 5:7.
23:26 By the way, while you're looking for Hebrews 5:7,
23:29 let me ask you this question: Do you believe that Jesus
23:32 today has a body? Do you all believe He has a body?
23:35 Does that body have bones and blood?
23:38 Yes? Absolutely! We're going to notice it in a minute.
23:42 But now notice the expression that is used about Jesus
23:46 while He lived on this earth, in a body that was subject to
23:51 death, and subject to weakness, and subject to suffering.
23:55 Notice Hebrews 5:7: Who in the days of his flesh,...
24:01 So now He doesn't have flesh, right?
24:03 Of course He does! Is it a different kind of flesh?
24:07 Yes, because His flesh now is what?
24:10 incorruptible, and immortal.
24:26 Notice also Hebrews 2:14, Hebrews 2:14. It says there:
24:43 So did Jesus have flesh and blood like we have
24:46 flesh and blood? Yes.
24:47 Was He subject to death at that point?
24:50 Of course, because He did die.
24:52 And so it says:
24:59 So Jesus had flesh and blood.
25:01 Question, did Jesus still have flesh, and blood, and bones
25:05 after His resurrection? Of course He did.
25:08 So when Jesus came forth from the grave was He some kind of
25:13 ghost, or some kind of soul, or spirit entity? Of course not.
25:18 Notice what we find in Luke 24:39, Luke 24:39.
25:24 This is after the resurrection.
25:25 Jesus says to His disciples, Behold my hands and my feet...
25:31 Did Jesus have hands and feet?
25:35 So did He have a body?
25:36 Of course He did!... Behold my hands and my feet,
25:39 that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit does not
25:46 have what? flesh and bones, as you see that I have.
25:51 So, does Jesus have flesh and bones today?
25:56 Of course, He does! What is the distinction then?
25:58 The distinction is, in the days of the flesh, simply does not
26:03 mean contrasting the flesh with the spirit, or the soul.
26:07 It's contrasting our present existence of corruptibility,
26:11 and mortality, with our future existence of immortality,
26:15 and incorruptibility.
26:17 Now, notice 1 Corinthians 15: 42-44.
26:21 It puts it altogether.
26:24 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.
26:59 I'd like to read a very interesting statement from
27:01 Ellen White in the book Maranatha, which is a devotional
27:05 book, page 301, where she speaks about the spiritual body,
27:09 and its relationship to the physical body. She says:
27:14 Paul illustrates this subject, (the subject of the verses
27:20 that we just read).
27:21 Paul illustrates this subject by the kernel of grain sown
27:27 in the field. The planted kernel decays, but there comes forth a
27:33 new kernel. Is this true?
27:35 Those of you who are into agriculture? Sure!
27:38 The natural substance of the grain that decays is never
27:45 raised as before. But God giveth it a body
27:49 as it hath pleased Him.
27:51 A much finer material will compose the human body,
27:56 for it is a new creation, a new birth.
28:00 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
28:07 Now why does the Apostle Paul say, But if I live in the flesh,
28:11 this will mean fruit from my labor.
28:14 In other words, if I live in this present existence,
28:16 this will produce fruit.
28:18 What did He mean by fruit?
28:20 Well, let's go to Colossians 1: 5, 6.
28:24 Let's allow Paul to interpret Paul.
28:28 Colossians 1:5, 6.
28:31 Here the Apostle Paul says:
28:42 So he's talking about the preaching of the gospel.
29:01 So how was the preaching of the gospel bearing fruit?
29:05 It was bearing fruit because souls were being won
29:08 to the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
29:10 Notice also, John 12:24, on what the Apostle Paul means,
29:15 that if I live in the flesh, in other words, if I live in my
29:18 present existence, in my corruptible, mortal body,
29:21 I'll be able to preach the gospel, and people will come
29:24 to the feet of Jesus and be saved.
29:26 John 12:24 speaks about some Greeks that come to Jesus,
29:32 and they want Jesus to come and preach over in Greece.
29:35 And Jesus says something strange, he says, you know,
29:40 it's not time to go to Greece now.
29:42 The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
29:45 The time has come for Me to die, is what He's saying.
29:48 Notice John 12:24.
30:07 And, of course, that's talking about souls that are saved.
30:11 So the Apostle Paul is very clearly saying that to live
30:15 in the flesh, in his present existence, will allow him to
30:18 preach the gospel. And as a result he will have the fruit
30:22 of souls coming to the feet of Jesus.
30:25 So he says, if I live in the flesh, I'm going to bring
30:30 souls, and fruit to Jesus.
30:32 If I die, he says, God will be glorified, and He will be what?
30:38 and He will be magnified.
30:39 So now he says, I don't know which of the two options I
30:44 should choose. Notice Philippians 1:22, 23.
30:50 See the Apostle Paul is caught between a rock and a hard place.
30:54 He says, you know, for me to die would be gain,
30:58 because, you know, I would magnify and glorify God
31:02 by the death of a martyr, and I would rest from all of my trials
31:06 and tribulations and labors.
31:07 He says, but if I live in the flesh, in my present existence,
31:10 I can preach the gospel, and I an bear fruit.
31:13 So he says, now I don't know what to choose.
31:16 I don't know whether to live in the flesh,
31:17 or I don't really know whether it would be better to die
31:20 and to rest. Up to this point he has how many options?
31:24 two options, but now suddenly a third option is going to appear.
31:29 And you say, what is the third option?
31:32 Philippians 1:22, 23. It says:
31:40 He says, whether to live in the flesh, or whether it is to die;
31:44 I can't tell.
31:48 In other words, I'm torn.
31:51 That is dying or staying.
31:55 Now notice, here comes a third option.
31:57 He says, I don't know what to choose:
31:59 whether to live in the flesh, or whether to die.
32:03 He says, but now a third option comes. He says:
32:15 Departing and being with Christ is far better than what?
32:19 It is far better than living in the flesh.
32:23 It is far better than what? than dying.
32:27 Now the question is, when did the Apostle Paul expect this
32:31 moment to be when he would depart and be with Christ,
32:36 which would be far better?
32:37 Was it that he would die and at that moment he would depart
32:41 to be with Jesus? Of course not, because he says, I don't know
32:46 whether to choose death or life.
32:47 I don't know whether to live in the flesh, or I don't know
32:50 whether it would be good to rest from my labors.
32:52 He says, but there's something that's better than either
32:54 of those, and that is to depart and to be with whom?
32:59 and to be with Jesus, which will be far better.
33:04 Far better than what? than living in the flesh.
33:07 Far better than simply dying.
33:10 In other words, the Apostle Paul is presenting a third
33:13 option. He's saying, translation is better than living
33:16 in the flesh. Translation is better than simply dying.
33:21 In other words, I would love to be translated to Heaven
33:25 from what? From among the living.
33:27 By the way, does this text tell us when he expected to depart?
33:30 Does the text say, you know, Christians read it this way,
33:34 yet what I shall choose, I cannot tell for I am
33:37 hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart
33:41 the moment I die, and be with Christ; which is far better.
33:46 That's the way Christians read it, see they add to the verse.
33:49 They say, Oh, I want to depart.
33:52 I want to die, and I want to depart.
33:54 By the way, does it say here, I would love to die
33:56 and have my soul depart, to be with Christ?
33:59 No, these are assumptions that are added by Christians,
34:03 because they're reading their preconceived notions
34:05 into scripture. They're reading Greek philosophy into the Bible
34:09 instead of allowing the Bible to speak for itself.
34:13 Now the question is, when did the Apostle Paul expect
34:16 to be with Jesus? Should we let Paul tell us?
34:22 Was it at the moment of death?
34:24 Absolutely not! Go with me to Philippians 3:10, 11.
34:29 By the way, it's the same book.
34:33 So you think the Apostle Paul in chapter 3 would contradict
34:36 what he said in chapter 1? Of course not.
34:39 When did the Apostle Paul expect to be with Jesus?
34:42 What did he look forward to if he should die?
34:46 Was he looking forward to his soul flying off to heaven,
34:49 or was he looking forward to the resurrection of the dead?
34:51 Notice Philippians 3:10, 11.
35:11 That my soul can fly off to heaven when I die.
35:13 That's not what it says.
35:15 Being conformed to his death...
35:20 To my immortal soul going to heaven.
35:23 That's not what it says. It says:
35:31 What was the hope of the Apostle Paul?
35:32 It was not dying and having his soul go to heaven.
35:36 It was dying and then having Jesus resurrect him
35:40 from the dead. The very book of Philippians tells us that.
35:43 Now also notice 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14.
35:48 And here we're going to deal with another problem that
35:51 Christians bring to the fore.
35:53 They misread this text to give the idea, and I'll tell you what
35:58 the idea is. It's the idea that when a person dies,
36:01 listen to this, the body goes to the grave, the soul flies off
36:07 to heaven to be with Jesus, and then when Jesus comes
36:12 back the second time, He brings with Him all of the souls
36:18 of those who went to heaven when they died, and all those souls
36:21 now are joined with the body, and then Jesus takes the soul
36:25 and the body together back to Heaven.
36:26 Is that really what Jesus was trying to teach?
36:31 Is that what the Apostle Paul was even trying to teach?
36:34 Of course not. But let's read this problematic passage,
36:37 and then I'm going to give you a simple explanation of what
36:40 scripture is telling us.
36:41 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14.
36:51 Who are those who have fallen asleep?
36:53 Those who have what?
36:54 Those who have died.
37:02 Now here comes the verse.
37:11 Where did Jesus go after He rose again?
37:15 He went to Heaven, right?
37:17 He went to His Father's house.
37:19 Would you agree with that?
37:20 He died, He resurrected, and He was taken by the angels
37:25 to where? to His Father's house.
37:28 To the presence of His Father, very clearly.
37:31 We're going to notice that in a moment.
37:37 What does even so mean?
37:39 Just like this in the same way.
37:43 Is this God the Father or Jesus?
37:45 This is God the Father.
37:51 Who's going to bring?
37:52 God is going to bring, not Jesus.
37:57 With whom? God will bring with Jesus to where?
38:05 To Heaven, to where the Father is.
38:10 That's right. It says, once again.
38:16 God the Father.
38:18 That is to Heaven.
38:20 That is with Jesus.
38:26 Now you say, now is this really true that it's not speaking
38:30 about Jesus bringing anybody with Him, but it's speaking
38:33 about Jesus taking those people from Earth with Him,
38:37 to God, to the Father in Heaven?
38:39 Absolutely! The context makes it very, very clear.
38:42 Let's notice a few details before we read the succeeding
38:46 verses. John 8:29 tells us that the Father sent Jesus
38:51 to this world. Notice John 8:29.
38:56 And this is just rudimentary, this is elementary,
39:01 but we need to have it in order to understand this passage.
39:04 It says here in John 8:29:
39:09 Who is the One who sent Jesus? God the Father.
39:21 So let me ask you, did the Father come down with Jesus,
39:23 or did the Father send Jesus?
39:25 Did the Father stay in Heaven when He sent Jesus
39:30 the first time? Of course.
39:31 He stayed up there and He sent Jesus.
39:34 Now notice John 16:28, where this idea is corroborated.
39:40 John 16:28: Jesus says, I came forth from where?
39:46 From the Father. In other words, He was sent by the Father,
39:51 and have come where? into the world.
39:55 And then He says again, I leave the world, and what?
40:00 Go to the Father. Where was the Father all the while
40:03 Jesus was on Earth?
40:04 The Father was in Heaven.
40:06 That's why He taught us to pray, Our Father,
40:08 which art everywhere.
40:09 No, He taught us to pray, Our Father, which art where?
40:14 which art in Heaven.
40:15 So are you understanding this, that the Father stayed in
40:17 Heaven. He sent Jesus, and then Jesus died, He resurrected,
40:21 and He what? He came back to His Father.
40:25 Brought by whom? By the angels.
40:28 Thank you. Now notice Revelation 12:5, Revelation 12:5.
40:34 In case you don't believe that Jesus was caught up by God
40:37 to God's throne; it's very clear here.
40:39 It says in Revelation 12:5, speaking about she who bore
40:45 Jesus. She bore a male child, who was to rule all nations
40:51 with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God,
40:58 and to His throne.
41:01 So where was Jesus caught up to after He died,
41:04 and resurrected? to the Father's throne.
41:07 So notice the sequence.
41:09 Jesus was sent by the Father, the Father stayed in Heaven.
41:13 Jesus came, He died, He resurrected, and then He was
41:20 brought by the angels back to the Father's throne,
41:23 and He sat next to His Father on the throne.
41:27 Is that sequence clear?
41:28 Well, let me ask you this, when Jesus comes to this world
41:32 a second time, is the Father coming with Him?
41:36 No. You say, No? No!
41:44 Just like the first time, the Father is going to be in Heaven.
41:49 I'm going to prove it to you in a moment from scripture.
41:53 Now the Father's going to stay in Heaven, and He's going to
41:58 send Jesus with all of His what? with all of His Holy Angels.
42:02 And somebody says, but Pastor Bohr, what about that text
42:04 that says that Jesus will come in the glory of His Father?
42:07 Well, the fact is that Jesus is always in the glory
42:12 of His Father. Notice Hebrews 1:3.
42:16 It says that Jesus is the brightness of the Father's
42:19 glory, the express image of His person.
42:22 So Jesus always bears the glory of His Father.
42:26 Coming in the glory of His Father is different than saying
42:29 that He comes with His Father.
42:30 Are you with me or not?
42:31 Now let's read a very interesting text; Acts 3:19, 20.
42:37 Acts 3:19, 20. Here Peter is speaking after the
42:44 Day of Pentecost, and he says this: Repent therefore and be
42:49 converted that your sins may be blotted out.
42:53 I won't go into that right now.
42:56 That's not talking about forgiveness, because the Apostle
43:00 Peter has already talked about forgiveness,
43:02 or remission of sins in Acts 2:38; forgiveness of sins.
43:07 Blotting out of sins is different,
43:09 but I won't get into that.
43:10 Repent therefore and be converted that your sins
43:14 may be blotted out. Now notice this.
43:16 So that times of refreshing, that's the outpouring
43:20 of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.
43:22 And so the times of refreshing may come from the presence of
43:27 the Lord. Who is that Lord that is spoken of there?
43:31 from the presence of the Lord?
43:33 That's called the Father, because it continues saying,
43:36 From the presence of the Lord, and that He may, shall,
43:45 or may in the New King James.
43:48 So that He shall, or He may what? send Jesus Christ
43:55 who was preached to you before.
43:56 Is the Father going to send Jesus? Yes.
44:01 So if He sends Jesus, He is not coming with Jesus.
44:05 Well you say, Pastor, why do you go through all of this detour?
44:08 It's not a detour. It's background to understanding
44:12 these verses in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14.
44:17 Now let me just put it succinctly and simply.
44:20 Jesus was sent by the Father to this Earth.
44:23 He died, He resurrected, He was caught up by the angels,
44:30 and taken back to the Father's throne.
44:33 Is that the same thing that's going to happen with those
44:37 who died and resurrected?
44:39 Remember, even so, the Apostle Paul says; even so will happen
44:45 with God's people. You see, God's people also will die,
44:48 and they will what? And they will resurrect.
44:52 And who will be sent from Heaven?
44:56 Jesus along with what? all of the Holy Angels.
45:00 And God's people will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
45:04 And then where will God's people be taken to?
45:07 They will be taken to the Father's house.
45:12 So let me ask you, is the Father bringing with Jesus,
45:15 all of those who went to sleep?
45:17 Of course He is. But, you see, it's not Jesus bringing the
45:23 sleeping saints down, it is Jesus bringing the sleeping
45:27 saints up! Are you with me?
45:30 I hope so. I see some of you with a puzzled look.
45:35 I don't know how I can make it any clearer.
45:38 Do you want me to repeat it again?
45:41 Not necessary? No? Yes? No? Maybe? No, it's clear.
45:48 Now you say, Pastor, is your interpretation really correct?
45:52 Well, let's continue reading the verses that come afterwards.
45:55 It's absolutely clear that this is not talking about Jesus
46:01 bringing with Him. It doesn't say that Jesus will bring with
46:03 Him. It says that God will bring with Jesus; to where He is.
46:09 Notice 1 Thessalonians 4:15.
46:25 Who goes to heaven first?
46:26 Those who went to sleep, those who died, or those who were
46:29 alive when Jesus comes?
46:30 Who goes to Heaven first?
46:32 Neither one of them goes first.
46:33 So much for the idea that when the dead died,
46:36 they went to be with the Lord, because the Apostle Paul says,
46:39 no they didn't. They go together with those who are alive
46:42 when Jesus comes. Notice verse 16:
46:49 Is He coming again? What's He coming for the second time?
46:55 Ah, He's coming to pick up His people and bring them with Him
47:00 where? to the Father's house. So it says:
47:14 Now notice, the dead in Christ will rise first.
47:23 How many groups? Two groups.
47:36 So He comes down and we go what? And we go up,
47:41 and we meet Him in the air.
47:43 And then what happens after we meet Him in the air?
47:45 We go further up to the Father's house. Jesus said:
48:00 That is in the Father's house.
48:07 That is in the Father's house.
48:16 So this text is not saying at all what Christians think
48:20 it's saying. You see, they don't read carefully what scripture is
48:24 saying. They don't read the context.
48:27 They just interpret scripture in the light of the traditions
48:32 that they have received repeatedly, over and over again.
48:36 They do it with the story of the rich man and Lazarus.
48:38 They say, yes, he went immediately after death,
48:40 and he was talking down there when he was burning.
48:44 Interesting! They say the thief on the cross; that very day he
48:48 went with Jesus to Paradise.
48:50 We notice that Jesus did not go to Paradise that very day.
48:54 He went to the grave.
48:55 The thief didn't go to Paradise either because he wasn't dead.
48:59 And the people say, what about the witch of En Dor?
49:04 You know, didn't the witch of En Dor bring Samuel before Saul?
49:08 We studied; no, there's no way when you look at the story,
49:11 that good Samuel, who, by the way, is going to live again
49:15 at the resurrection, according to Hebrews 11, who would appear
49:18 to wicked Saul and say, hey, Saul, tomorrow you're going
49:22 to be in the same place where I'm at.
49:24 Be real! When we read that story how can we come to conclusions
49:29 like that? The trouble is we trust our religious teachers.
49:33 We accept it as gospel truth.
49:36 But God is not going to ask us, what did your pastor believe?
49:40 What did your priest believe?
49:41 He's going to say, did you have a Bible, and did you read it?
49:44 Did you study it?
49:45 He's not going to accept any excuses from us,
49:49 saying oh no, my pastor told me, or my priest told me.
49:52 Jesus says He's going to say, did you have a Bible, yes or no?
49:56 There'll be no excuse in that day.
49:59 The uniform concept of the Apostle Paul, and I'm going to
50:06 mention three passages.
50:07 We've looked at two of them.
50:09 And in our next lecture we're going to look at the third.
50:12 We'll go through this quickly.
50:14 2 Corinthians 5, the Apostle Paul speaks about three options:
50:19 being alive, being naked...
50:23 We'll deal with this in our next lecture.
50:25 ...which means being dead, and in the third place,
50:30 being translated. In 1 Thessalonians 4 the Apostle
50:36 Paul also speaks of us being alive, going to sleep,
50:41 and being translated.
50:44 In Philippians 1 the Apostle Paul says living in the flesh
50:51 is more productive of fruit, because I can preach the gospel.
50:55 He says, but if I die, I know that I will go to heaven.
51:01 But it would be much better if I could be what?
51:04 If I could be translated.
51:07 Now let's go to one last passage before we finish
51:11 this study. 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
51:15 The Apostle Paul is in the Mamertine Prison
51:18 for the second time.
51:19 This is his second and last imprisonment.
51:21 He's about to be beheaded.
51:23 Now I want you to notice here, when it is that the Apostle Paul
51:27 expected to receive his crown.
51:29 It's not at the moment of death that he expected to receive
51:33 his reward. It will be at the moment when Jesus comes.
51:37 2 Timothy 4:6. Here the Apostle Paul says:
51:50 He's talking about his departure from the land of the living.
51:57 He says:
52:08 In other words, there's stored up for me.
52:18 Immediately after my death.
52:20 No, that's not what it says.
52:22 That's the way the Christians interpret it. It says:
52:32 What day is that, on that day?
52:36 The day when Jesus comes. That's right.
52:50 Uh-uh. All those who have taught His appearing?
52:55 All those who have preached His appearing?
53:00 Uh-uh. It's not enough to believe it, or to teach it,
53:05 or to preach it. The Apostle Paul says that there's a crown
53:10 prepared for all those who have what?
53:13 who have loved His appearing.
53:17 When is it that Jesus is going to give the crown
53:19 to those who have overcome?
53:21 It is not at the moment of death that we receive our reward.
53:27 It's not at the moment of death that Jesus
53:30 receives us into glory.
53:31 It is on that day when Jesus gives the crown to Saul
53:37 of Tarsus, who became the Apostle Paul, that He will give
53:41 that crown to everyone who has received Jesus
53:45 as Savior and Lord.
53:47 This is the glorious hope of the Church, folks.
53:51 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:2.
53:57 Oh, what a beautiful promise!
54:18 And then in the very next verse the Apostle John says,
54:23 everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself;
54:29 even as He is pure.
54:33 You see, by contemplating Jesus every day, we become like Him.
54:39 Beholding as in a mirror without a veil the glory of the Lord,
54:45 we are being changed from glory to glory into the same likeness.
54:50 And it's not at the moment of death that we're going to be
54:55 with Him. At death we go to the grave; we sleep, we rest.
55:00 But the next wakeful moment, the next instant,
55:04 we will hear the voice of Jesus, our Savior and Lord,
55:09 calling us from the grave.
55:10 And when we wake up, if we should die before Jesus comes,
55:14 it will be like no time has passed from the time we died
55:18 till our next thinking moment.
55:20 So there is a certain sense in which the moment a person dies,
55:24 at the very next moment, they're going to be with the Lord.
55:27 We know that there's a period that transpires between death
55:31 and the moment of the resurrection,
55:33 but the dead person doesn't know.
55:35 You see, for the dead person, he dies now, and his next thinking
55:39 moment is hearing the voice of Jesus.
55:41 There was no separation for the person who was dead.
55:44 Isn't that a marvelous thought, that there is no separation
55:48 for those who are in Christ Jesus?
55:51 But then the Apostle Paul ends this passage by expressing these
55:57 words. See he loved people.
55:59 He loved souls. And so he says, you know, to die would be gain,
56:04 to live in the flesh would bear fruit, to be translated would be
56:09 far better, but then he says in verse 24:
56:16 That is to remain in my corruptible, mortal body.
56:25 How unselfish! He says, you know, I'd love to depart
56:31 and be with the Lord.
56:32 To die would be gain.
56:33 I would rest from my labors, and Jesus would come to call me
56:37 forth from the grave, but he says, it's really more necessary
56:42 for your sake for me to remain, because I still have to preach
56:46 the gospel. I still have to proclaim the message
56:50 to the world. I still have to harvest much fruit for the Lord
56:55 as a result of preaching the gospel.
56:57 So the Apostle Paul says, though to die would be gain,
57:01 though to the translated would be far better,
57:04 to stay in the flesh, in my present existence is more
57:09 needful to you. And we know that the Apostle Paul died.
57:14 He produced much fruit.
57:17 His crown will have many stars.
57:18 The question is, are we so close to Jesus
57:22 that when His voice calls, we shall also hear His voice,
57:27 and go to live with Him forever?


Revised 2014-12-17