Participants: Lonnie Melashenko
Series Code: VOPS
Program Code: VOPS000014
00:31 King Charles II once stood before a group of scholars
00:37 at a meeting of the Royal Society of England.
00:39 And he proposed this question to his August assembly,
00:42 "Gentlemen, if I place upon these weigh scales
00:47 a pail of water weighing in all 10 pounds
00:51 and then I place in this water five live fish,
00:56 each weighing one pound.
00:59 Why is it the scales still remain at precisely ten pounds?
01:04 Well, the wise men heatedly debated the matter,
01:06 trying to solve the king's question.
01:08 One suggested, "Well, your Highness,
01:11 fish have a great number of air sacs
01:12 which buoy them up and perhaps this is the answer."
01:16 And another muttered something about a theoretical vacuum
01:20 and others propounded theories of "ungravitating gravitation."
01:23 And finally the king's voice just silenced their discussion,
01:26 he said, "Gentlemen, gentlemen, you're all mistaken.
01:30 When one places five one-pound fish
01:34 in a pail of water weighing ten pounds,
01:37 the scales must necessarily read 15 pounds.
01:41 Your failure to answer my question discloses the fact
01:44 that you place too much confidence in me, your king."
01:49 Well, you know, ladies and gentlemen
01:51 all too often we tend to accept statements
01:55 without asking the right questions.
01:58 In fact millions today accept
02:00 what someone else has told them,
02:02 without personally analyzing the facts for themselves.
02:06 And this is probably more true in the realm of religion
02:10 than anywhere else.
02:12 For example, let me ask you a question.
02:14 What happens to a person when he dies?
02:20 Nine out of ten people will reply
02:22 what they have been told.
02:25 Well, if you're good you go to heaven.
02:27 And if you're not so good you might go to another place.
02:31 But what about the dead?
02:33 Ladies and gentlemen tonight we find ourselves
02:36 in a psychic Cinerama about the dead.
02:39 Television is full of it. "Beyond and Back."
02:43 Movies about life after death.
02:44 Chilling thrillers like "The Sixth Sense"
02:47 which got six Oscar nominations.
02:50 Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer
02:52 in "What Lies Beneath."
02:55 Or one of the most viewed programs on the Syfy Channel,
02:58 "Crossing Over with John Edwards."
03:02 A psychic who claims to be able to communicate with the dead
03:06 and relay messages to grieving relatives.
03:09 In fact even the soaps are into it.
03:12 Tune in tomorrow for the "Days of Our Lives"
03:15 when psychics will tell you what your lost loved one
03:18 is trying to communicate.
03:21 Spirit medium James Van Praagh
03:24 communicates with the dead on television.
03:26 In fact his book is entitled, "Talking to Heaven:
03:29 A Medium's Message of Life after Death."
03:32 Folks, we're having a veritable explosion of life
03:35 after death phenomena.
03:37 In fact it is so popular,
03:39 I personally pulled this out of the Los Angeles Times
03:42 one day headlines in the second section.
03:47 "Contacting the Dead? It's Become a Lively Business."
03:53 And let me quote, the gentleman who write says,
03:56 "After 12 years of not hearing from my dad,
04:00 I was starting to get worried.
04:01 I mean, just because he's been dead
04:02 the whole time doesn't mean he can't stay in touch.
04:06 With so many talented psychics running around,
04:08 including several who have their own television shows,
04:11 the lines of communication should be wide open.
04:16 You know, as well as I do the televisions
04:18 "Entertainment Tonight" has attempted to contact
04:21 actor Robert Blake's slain wife.
04:25 And people are even trying now
04:27 after death contacts with psychic dogs.
04:34 Now what is death? Is it as final as it seems?
04:39 Or is there something beyond this vale of tearful good-byes?
04:45 Believe it or not my wife Jeannie enjoys
04:47 an unusual pastime even here in Carolina
04:50 she's gone to look at some of the cemeteries.
04:53 She likes visiting and looking
04:54 at the epitaphs of the old tombstones.
04:58 Well, a number of years ago
04:59 there was an epitaph on a tombstone
05:01 that was a little bit different it said this,
05:03 "Stop, my friend, as you go by.
05:07 As you are now, so once was I.
05:10 As I am now, you soon shall be.
05:14 So prepare yourself to follow me."
05:18 Well, someone with clever poetry gift,
05:21 piece of chalk at this little sub epitaph,
05:26 "To follow you I'm not content.
05:29 Until I know which way you went."
05:32 Amen, amen.
05:34 Well, today more than ever
05:37 people believe in life after death.
05:39 I was gonna bring an article I forgot to bring,
05:40 it's USA Today, we all know about that magazine.
05:43 USA Today just recently reported
05:45 that one out of three Americans believe that they have
05:49 personally communicated with a dead loved one.
05:53 You see the idea that the dead
05:54 are not truly dead is what leads
05:57 men and women to pound on the door of the unseen
06:00 and try to communicate with the dead.
06:02 In fact you can't go to the supermarket
06:04 to checkout counter
06:05 with all the tabloids there claming,
06:07 "Elvis is talking with Priscilla again."
06:11 Or, Jackie Onassis or John-John
06:13 or someone is trying to get through.
06:14 All of the psychic movements are built on one concept
06:18 that the dead aren't dead,
06:21 therefore they are able to transmit messages.
06:26 Now I'd like to submit tonight that this theory
06:28 that the dead are actually alive
06:31 in some other form and in some other place
06:33 that is either true or it's untrue, right?
06:37 It cannot be both.
06:39 Tonight we're going to test the Bible's formula
06:41 for re-discovering truth to the max
06:44 comparing Scripture with Scripture
06:46 as the Bible says,
06:47 here a little and there a little.
06:48 Let's examine the evidence and then decide.
06:51 Are the dead really alive?
06:55 If this claim is true,
06:56 it is the grandest and sweetest truth
06:58 that ever could come to a mourning loved one.
07:01 But if it's not true, then it's a shameless fraud
07:06 promoted in the name of life's tenderest memories,
07:10 even in the name of religion.
07:13 Now what I want to share tonight,
07:14 I want to say in the tenderest sympathy.
07:17 Because all of us know of a mound somewhere
07:21 that guards the form of someone who was once dear to you.
07:25 So to begin I want you to read from the screen,
07:28 this passage from Job 14:14.
07:30 This is the question we're raising tonight
07:32 all together out loud.
07:33 "If a man dies, shall he live again?
07:38 All the days of my hard service
07:41 I will wait, till my change comes."
07:48 What do those words mean?
07:51 Well, I want to share a Bible principle with you
07:53 for the clearest and best Bible answer on any subject,
07:57 it's always best to go back
07:59 to the very beginning in the scripture
08:01 what Bible scholars call "the law of first mention,"
08:06 So let's turn to the only dependable
08:08 source of information about the other side of death.
08:12 Way back in the beginning in the Garden of Eden,
08:14 when God made Adam and Eve, what were the conditions there?
08:19 Well, the conditions were the terms
08:22 Adam and Eve "Go for it!
08:24 It's yours.
08:25 Garden of Eden obey and live forever."
08:28 Notice this is Genesis 2:16, 17.
08:32 "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying,
08:36 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat of it.
08:40 But of the tree of the knowledge
08:43 of good and evil you shall not eat of it,
08:47 for in the day that you eat of it,
08:48 what did God say?
08:50 You shall surely die." ' Who said that?
08:55 Did he tell the truth? Yes, he did.
08:58 But billions and billions of men
09:00 and women don't believe that.
09:02 They believe no, you live on.
09:05 God said, "You will," what? "Die."
09:08 Now stay with me now, because notice what happens
09:10 in the next passage Genesis 3:1-4.
09:15 "Now the serpent was more cunning
09:19 than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.
09:22 And he said to the woman, now can snakes talk?
09:26 All right, who was this? Satan.
09:28 Satan, already masquerading through the supernatural.
09:33 Notice the sneer to he says, "Yeah."
09:38 Eve did God say, Has God said indeed,
09:42 "You shall not eat of every tree
09:44 of the fruit of the garden?
09:45 And the woman said to the serpent,
09:47 Oh, we may eat the fruit of the garden of the trees
09:50 but of the fruit of the tree
09:51 which is in the midst of the garden,
09:54 God says, 'You shall not eat of it,
09:57 nor shall you touch it, lest you,"' what?
10:00 "Die." Did she have it correct?
10:02 Yes, clear as a bell.
10:05 Then the serpent said to the woman,
10:07 "You will not surely die."
10:11 Subtle but direct contradiction.
10:14 In fact it's Satan's first lie on earth recorded in the Bible
10:18 and men and women have been believing it ever since.
10:22 God said, "Don't disobey you will die."
10:26 Satan said, "Oh, no, don't worry, be happy.
10:30 You don't really die."
10:33 But what actually in fact happened.
10:37 Notice this Genesis 3:22, 23.
10:41 "Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become
10:45 like one of Us, to know good and evil.
10:47 And now, lest he put out his hand
10:49 and take also of the tree of life,
10:51 and eat, and live forever'
10:53 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden
10:56 to till the ground from which he was taken."
11:01 So death not life came upon humankind.
11:05 Notice Genesis 3:24, "So He drove out the man,
11:10 and He placed cherubim
11:11 at the east of the Garden of Eden,
11:13 and a flaming sword which turned every way,
11:16 to guard the way to the tree of life."
11:20 Because they chose to separate themselves from God,
11:24 the source of life and the tree of life,
11:27 the punishment was not more life, it was death.
11:32 Genesis 3:19 God said, okay, "In the sweat of your face
11:37 you shall eat bread till you return to the ground,
11:42 for out of it you were taken,
11:44 For dust you are, and to dust you shall return."
11:51 Now ladies and gentlemen
11:52 it is crystal clear from Genesis to Revelation,
11:55 it's consistent in the Bible that the wages of sin is dust.
12:01 But Satan said in Genesis 3:5, verse 5,
12:05 "Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,
12:12 knowing good and evil."
12:14 You won't die.
12:16 Maybe something like transmigration of the soul.
12:18 Reincarnation or nirvana or some sort of new awareness
12:22 or Hollywood says, "You become an angel."
12:26 Now ladies and gentlemen
12:27 please we're not playing games tonight.
12:30 Friend, you want truth on this subject, don't you?
12:33 I want you to read this next with me
12:35 because I believe it is the clearest text
12:37 in all of the Bible on the subject.
12:39 Ecclesiastes 9:5.
12:41 I want to hear all of those young people out there.
12:43 Read with me all together.
12:44 "For the living know that they will die
12:48 but the dead know, "how much?
12:52 Ninety five percent of our Christian friends
12:55 were never taught this.
12:57 You were taught the dead know everything.
13:02 That they're up there watching you quarrel
13:04 over the money they left behind.
13:08 Do you know where that concept came from?
13:11 It came from Plato and Aristotle
13:14 and was introduced into Christendom
13:16 during the apostasy of the Dark Ages,
13:18 there's not a word in the Bible that tells you
13:21 that you go to heaven or hell at death.
13:25 I know this is stunning,
13:27 but you're here because you're sincere.
13:30 Verse by verse let's continue. Someone says, Lonnie.
13:34 Lonnie, "My mother died a Christian.
13:36 Isn't she an angel now?"
13:39 Well, friend to die a Christian is the only way to die
13:41 but she's not an angel.
13:43 Because listen, the dead know how much?
13:46 Nothing. Nothing.
13:48 Notice the rest of the text verses 5 and 6 in Ecclesiastes,
13:52 "...and they have no more reward,
13:55 for the memory of them is," what?
13:58 Also their love, their hatred,
13:59 and their envy have now, " what?
14:01 "Perished, Nevermore will they have a share
14:04 in anything done under the sun."
14:07 By the way let me insert a little parenthesis here
14:10 not try to take a crack
14:11 at anybody's particular translation of the Bible.
14:13 But this is why a paraphrase
14:16 is a little bit dangerous to try to teach Bible truth.
14:20 You see a paraphrase as much as I like them
14:23 for devotional reason and so easy to read.
14:25 That is just one man's opinion
14:28 of what he thinks the Bible might say.
14:31 This is the text that we just read
14:33 that Mr. Kenneth Taylor in his "Living Bible"
14:37 he put an asterisk
14:39 at the bottom of the page for that text.
14:41 And he said, you know, "Solomon must have been
14:43 discouraged or ill when he wrote this,
14:45 "because it does not agree with my Baptist theology.
14:50 Now folks, I want to know what the Bible says, don't you?
14:53 Amen. Praise the Lord.
14:55 The Bible says the dead know how much?
14:58 Folks they are not moving the shoes
15:00 around in Aunt Sue's closet who died 45 years ago,
15:04 they're not doing that.
15:06 They're not setting the clock on the mantel at the hour
15:10 that Uncle Harry died 46 years ago.
15:14 Bible says they have nothing to do
15:16 with anything done under the sun.
15:19 Psalm 115:17 David says,
15:22 "The dead do not praise the Lord,
15:25 n`or any who go down into silence."
15:29 The Psalmist says again in Psalm 146:4,
15:32 "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth,
15:37 in that very day his thoughts," what?
15:43 You say my Lonnie, that's a strong statement.
15:47 But now I want to turn to Ecclesiastes 12,
15:50 where I believe we read the clearest verse
15:52 in all of the Bible on this subject.
15:54 But I want you to notice that Solomon
15:57 the wise man is talking poetically.
16:00 Now he is the one who gave us all of the proverbs.
16:02 He is a very brilliant person, wisest man who ever lived.
16:05 And he's talking in poetry about our life span
16:08 begins from childhood goes on to teenage youth
16:11 finally it's a senior citizen.
16:13 I want you to notice in Ecclesiastes 12:1 he says,
16:16 "Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
16:21 before the difficult days come when in the day
16:25 when the keepers of the house tremble,"
16:28 and see this, "and strong men bow down,
16:33 and when the grinders cease because they are few,"
16:37 see the teeth are following out now.
16:39 "And those that look out the windows grow dim,
16:42 " isn't beautiful?
16:43 See he is growing older and older
16:44 and he says, "and desire fails.
16:47 And for man goes to his eternal home,
16:51 and mourners go about the streets."
16:53 See he's dying now.
16:55 But now comes one of the plainest verses
16:57 in all of the Bible.
16:58 I want you to repeat it out loud with me, everyone.
17:01 "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
17:06 and the spirit will return to God who gave it."
17:11 You say, what Lonnie
17:12 that's exactly what I thought it said.
17:14 The spirit returns to God see.
17:19 May I say kindly that is not what you think it says.
17:24 This isn't talking about Christians or good people.
17:29 This is saying all spirits return to God
17:33 whether it's good or bad or wicked or evil or Judas or
17:36 and you haven't been taught that.
17:38 You have been taught Christians go to heaven
17:41 and others go to some other place.
17:43 You see how shallow and misled we've been?
17:47 Notice, "Then shall the dust return to the earth,
17:52 " that's the body.
17:54 "And the spirit return to God."
17:59 Now this word spirit,
18:01 you don't have to be a Greek and Hebrew scholar
18:02 but let me tell a little bit about it.
18:04 This word spirit means
18:07 simply wind or breath,
18:15 It's the word in the Hebrew which simply means air.
18:18 In the New Testament it's translated pneuma
18:21 from which we get our word pneumonia.
18:23 Okay or pneumatic tires
18:25 which is talking about air in our tires or wind.
18:29 That's simply the spark of life that goes back to God
18:33 whether you are saint or a sinner or your dog
18:35 or your brother's fish that's died.
18:37 This is not something you see that can sing that goes back
18:41 because the vocal chords are in the grave.
18:44 It's not something that can love
18:45 because the heart is in the grave.
18:47 It simply the "spark of life" that goes back.
18:52 I know that your minds are whirling.
18:55 But hold on,
18:56 couple more scriptures will help clear it up.
18:58 Let's go back again to the beginning
19:00 and let's see how God created us in the first place.
19:03 In Genesis 2:7 it says, "And the Lord God formed man
19:11 from the dust of the ground,
19:13 and breathed into his nostrils" the what?
19:19 "See the breath of life, and man became a living being."
19:25 It doesn't say he was given a soul,
19:28 it says, he became a soul, he became a person.
19:32 Now watch carefully Genesis 2:7.
19:35 "The Lord God formed man from the dust."
19:38 Can you see him there?
19:40 He's shaping him here and it's got it all made,
19:42 perfect in every part.
19:43 In fact it looks like he's sleeping there
19:46 on a little tuft of grass.
19:48 He is complete in every part, he has a brain in his head,
19:51 but it isn't thinking, he has a body,
19:53 but it isn't moving, he has a heart in his chest,
19:55 but isn't beating, he even has blood in his veins,
19:57 but it isn't not flowing yet.
20:00 He's ready to live, he's ready to love,
20:02 he's ready to act but he isn't living,
20:04 he's isn't loving, he isn't acting yet.
20:07 "The Lord God formed man and breathed into his nostrils
20:13 the ruach, the wind or that spark of life
20:17 and man became a living, loving, acting individual."
20:23 Now when he dies, the two simply separate.
20:28 The body becomes dust again
20:31 and that spark of life goes back to God
20:34 whether you are saint or a sinner.
20:36 And ladies and gentlemen that is the only thing
20:38 that the Bible teaches from Genesis to Revelation.
20:42 Anything else is from the Dark Ages.
20:46 I want you to consider little equation
20:48 my young friends here tonight.
20:49 A mathematical equation something like this.
20:52 Body + Breath = A Living Person.
21:00 Now at death you simply subtract the Living Person
21:08 take away the Breath, we've just got a Corpse.
21:14 I want to illustrate that
21:15 with little different here tonight with this light.
21:20 When you take a lamp,
21:22 there is a filament in there in a bulb, okay.
21:25 When you unite that bulb in that filament with electricity
21:31 and you turn the switch on, suddenly you have light.
21:38 Where did this light come from?
21:41 Did it just now come down from heaven?
21:44 Come from a hot place.
21:46 Now where does that light come from?
21:49 The intelligent union of that filament
21:52 and the electricity running through this cord here.
21:55 Now when you disconnect the electric power
22:00 from that light bulb,
22:03 say where did that light just go?
22:05 Where did the light go?
22:09 It didn't go anywhere. It went out we say.
22:14 It just cease to exist because you don't have
22:17 those two elements together anymore.
22:19 The light just ceases to exist.
22:22 When the Lord God formed man and breathe into his nostrils
22:26 he became a light, a person.
22:32 When the light goes out and he dies,
22:36 those two key elements are simply separated
22:38 until the resurrection,
22:39 when all will be restored again.
22:42 In fact Psalm 146:3, 4 King David says,
22:47 "Do not put your trust in princes
22:49 or in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
22:52 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth,
22:56 in that very day his plans or his thoughts perish."
23:01 His breath leaves, the body returns to the earth.
23:05 And any consciousness, any part of man
23:07 that's conscious perishes, goes out.
23:11 In fact David makes it quite clear in Psalm 115:17,
23:15 "The dead praise not the Lord,
23:18 nor any who go down into silence."
23:22 Well, someone says but then Lonnie,
23:25 where are we when we die?
23:28 Let's look at Job again 14:12, 13.
23:33 "So man lies down and does not rise.
23:38 Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake
23:41 nor be roused from their sleep.
23:43 Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,
23:46 that You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
23:48 that You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!"
23:53 And it's clear as a bell from God's Word,
23:56 man dies, he lies down in the grave
23:58 and he doesn't rise again until Resurrection Day.
24:02 Job 14:15 he says, "You shall call,
24:06 oh, I will answer You."
24:09 Job tells us in Chapter 17:13.
24:13 "If I wait, the grave is mine house.
24:17 I have made my bed in the darkness."
24:20 Oh, but friend on Resurrection morning,
24:22 Jesus says, Revelation 1:18,
24:25 "I am He who lives, and was dead,
24:29 and behold, I am alive for evermore.
24:31 And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
24:35 You see, friend, our only hope for the future is Jesus.
24:40 The coming day of the resurrection.
24:42 In fact Paul, the Apostle says, if there is no resurrection,
24:47 there is no future, there is no hope for anyone.
24:51 1 Corinthians 15:16-18, Paul says,
24:55 "For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen,
25:00 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile,
25:04 you are still in your sins!
25:05 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Jesus have perished."
25:12 Have you noticed in our study so far
25:14 that the Bible writers repeatedly use the term
25:17 "sleep" in talking about death?
25:21 Psalm 13:3, David wrote: "Consider and hear me,
25:26 O Lord, lest I sleep the sleep of death."
25:31 See David was afraid of sleeping
25:32 the sleep of death, and maybe nobody waking him up.
25:36 Daniel says that the dead wake up
25:40 at the second coming of Jesus.
25:42 Daniel 12:2 he says, "And many of those
25:45 who sleep in the dust of the earth
25:47 shall awake, some to everlasting life,
25:50 some to shame and everlasting contempt."
25:55 In fact Jesus Himself called death a sleep.
26:01 You may remember that one day Jesus and His disciples,
26:04 they got an urgent cell phone call,
26:06 Jesus, Lazarus, your friend, he is ill, he is dying,
26:10 come quick and come at once.
26:12 But, you know, the Bible is interesting there
26:13 in the Book of John that Jesus, instead of making a sick call,
26:16 He intentionally stayed right where He was for two more days
26:20 and Lazarus his good friend died.
26:22 The two sisters had to bury him.
26:25 Well, the disciples were absolutely shocked.
26:27 Why would Jesus dilly-dally for two days
26:30 before going to visit some of His best friends,
26:32 going to the funeral?
26:34 Notice in John 11:11 it says,
26:36 then Jesus said "Our friend Lazarus," what?
26:41 "Sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."
26:46 What did Jesus call death? Sleep.
26:50 You see the point? He didn't call death a reward.
26:54 He didn't call death a punishment.
26:56 He simply called it a sleep.
26:59 Now the disciples were grown men
27:01 and they were also ministers, pastors.
27:03 I know when a person is sick in the hospital in ICU
27:07 and they're sleeping, I don't go and wake up them
27:09 because that's the best thing they need is some rest.
27:12 So they were very puzzled about this.
27:14 In John 11:12, 13, 14, 15 says, "Then His disciples said,
27:18 'Lord, if he sleeps he will get well!'...
27:23 Then Jesus said to them plainly,"' What?
27:26 "Lazarus is dead.
27:29 And I am glad for your sakes
27:31 that I was not there, that you may believe.
27:34 Nevertheless let us go to him."
27:36 You know the story they went to Bethany.
27:38 Martha hears that Jesus is coming,
27:40 comes running out to meet Him.
27:41 It says there in verse 21 and 22.
27:44 "Oh, Lord, Lord, if You had been here,
27:46 my brother would not have died,"
27:49 Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.'
27:55 " Now I want you to notice carefully
27:56 Martha's response in verse 24.
27:59 Oh, Lord, "I know that he will rise again
28:02 in the resurrection at the last day."
28:06 But Jesus was about to give
28:08 a dramatic preview of that event.
28:11 And He said, 'Martha,
28:13 "I am the resurrection and the life.
28:17 Roll away the stone."
28:20 Martha objected and said, verse 39,
28:22 "But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor,
28:25 he's been dead there four days."
28:28 Roll away the stone. They rolled away the stone.
28:32 And Jesus, the Bible says He wept
28:35 but then He called out with a loud voice,
28:37 "Lazarus, come forth."
28:42 He didn't say, friend, Lazarus up there in heaven
28:45 by My Father and the angels, I'm very sorry,
28:48 your family wants you down here
28:50 to crawl into this old body again,
28:51 you got to have to come.
28:53 He didn't say come down.
28:55 He did not say, Lazarus, down there
28:56 in the other place come on up.
28:58 He simply said, Lazarus, come out.
29:03 Because Lazarus hadn't gone anywhere,
29:05 but what a day of rejoicing
29:07 for those three friends in Bethany.
29:09 But friends, that was only a little small preview
29:13 of the glorious excitement when Jesus comes and He opens
29:16 all of the graves of His other friends forever.
29:21 I've told you before that just a couple of summers ago,
29:23 Jeannie and I were with Voice of Prophecy team,
29:25 we're in Thessaloniki over in Macedonia in Greece.
29:30 It was July, 2001 and that's what Paul wrote
29:32 to those early Thessalonian Christians,
29:34 in fact that's one of the first books
29:35 in the New Testament that was written.
29:38 They needed some comfort
29:39 because some of their brand new converts had died
29:43 and somehow they got the impression
29:45 that Jesus was gonna comeback
29:46 in their lifetime before anybody died.
29:49 So now they were so concerned and sad, now what?
29:53 Paul comforts them by saying in 1 Thessalonians 4:13.
29:58 "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren,
30:01 concerning those who have fallen asleep,
30:03 lest you sorrow as others who have no hope."
30:07 Listen, Paul says.
30:08 Here's what Jesus does at the second coming, verse 16.
30:12 "For the Lord Himself will descend
30:15 from heaven with a shout,
30:17 with the voice of the archangel,
30:18 and with the trumpet of God.
30:20 And the dead in Christ will rise first."
30:25 How will that take place?
30:26 Well, over in 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52, 54,
30:30 he says, "Behold, I'll show you a mystery.
30:32 We shall not all sleep,
30:35 but we shall all be changed in a moment,
30:38 in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
30:40 For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised
30:43 incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
30:47 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption,
30:51 and this mortal has put on immortality,
30:54 then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:
30:58 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'"
31:03 You know, Jesus had told his disciples
31:06 that one day everyone would be raised from the grave.
31:11 John 5:28, 29, "Marvel not at this,
31:16 for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves
31:20 will hear his voice and come forth,
31:23 those who have done good, to the resurrection of life,
31:27 and those who have done evil,
31:28 to the resurrection of condemnation."
31:31 Now we'll talk about those two separate resurrections
31:34 a week from Friday night and don't miss that.
31:37 But may I have your eyes for a moment.
31:40 I want you to put on you thinking caps,
31:44 just kind of forget what you've been taught
31:47 about any particular theory or concept just remove yourself
31:50 but I want you to just ask and answer three questions.
31:55 Number one, do you folks here tonight
31:57 believe in the resurrection?
32:01 Of course if you're a Christian,
32:03 it's our only hope.
32:05 My question.
32:06 Why would we need resurrection
32:10 if we've already gone through our reward at death?
32:15 If we go to heaven at death, do we need to comeback down
32:20 and crawl in our body and be raised up again?
32:24 Folks, that is driving thinking people out of the church.
32:29 Just raising some questions here, so you're thinking.
32:32 A second question.
32:33 Do you folks believe in the judgment?
32:37 Of course, Bible speaks,
32:39 we talked about at the Last Day Judgment,
32:42 Great White Throne Judgment.
32:43 You know, I'm so glad
32:44 that Jesus has something to do with the judgment.
32:47 I don't know about you but I'm gonna need
32:48 a lot of mercy in the judgment.
32:50 How about you? Amen.
32:52 But listen.
32:54 Why would we need a judgment in the last day
32:59 if we've already gone to our reward at death?
33:02 Aren't we already judged?
33:06 Does God need to send an imp of hell down there
33:08 in the last day of the judgment,
33:10 down to the hot place, tap someone on the shoulder
33:12 who's been burning for 460 years,
33:15 12 months, 9 days and 2 hours.
33:18 To tap him on the shoulder and say,
33:21 friend, you ought to come up to the judgment bar
33:23 to see whether you ought to be here or not?
33:28 Folks, that makes mockery of the Bible.
33:31 And it's why intelligent people
33:32 are leaving the church by the thousands.
33:36 But you see the dedicated Christian
33:37 will get down on their knees with their Bible open
33:40 and they will study this out,
33:41 to go to our discover Bible text.
33:43 They'll get that lesson that's given out tonight
33:45 and you won't walk out angrily, no matter how sweet
33:48 the idea of momma up there looking down on us.
33:52 Folks, isn't the reason for the last judgment
33:56 to determine what our rewards will be?
34:01 Question number three, I'm just asking questions.
34:05 Do you folks here tonight
34:06 believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ?
34:08 Amen. Amen.
34:10 Now I'm going to repeat a text
34:12 that you all know if you're Christians
34:14 and I don't want you to repeat it,
34:15 I don't want you to whisper out loud, okay.
34:18 Because you've said it so many times, you may have missed it.
34:21 In John 14:1-3 Jesus said,
34:24 "Let not your hearts be troubled,
34:27 you believe in God, believe also in Me.
34:30 In My Father's house are many mansions,
34:33 if it were not so, I would have told you.
34:37 I go to prepare a place for you.
34:41 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
34:44 I will come again to receive you on to Myself
34:50 that where I am, there yee may be also."
34:57 The only reason Jesus is coming back
35:00 is because He does not have one of us with Him tonight.
35:04 Some of us have repeated that text for 30 years
35:06 and we haven't seen it until now.
35:08 Remember, "Line upon line, precept upon precept."
35:12 Revelation 22:12 says, "And behold,
35:16 I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me,
35:22 to give every one according to his work."
35:25 You see everyone's reward is at the resurrection.
35:29 We sleep until the resurrection morning.
35:33 Jesus said in Luke 14:14 write this text down,
35:36 "Thou shalt be recompensed
35:39 at the resurrection of the just."
35:42 Everybody you see is gonna be rewarded
35:45 at the same time, not at death.
35:49 That loved one who may have died a few years ago
35:51 in a tragic automobile crash, a Christian.
35:55 Jesus will wake him up. You know what?
35:58 His thoughts will pick up right where they left off.
36:01 And he'll reach for the wheel.
36:03 See there's no sense
36:04 of the passing of time and death.
36:07 This is the most thrilling message of the Bible
36:10 to bring comfort that you can possibly find
36:12 and it takes away the sting of death.
36:17 Now we're ready to answer some questions.
36:20 Someone says, "Lonnie, it sounds so reasonable,
36:22 it sounds so clear.
36:23 But didn't Jesus Himself promise the thief
36:28 that he would be with Him in Paradise that very day?
36:33 That's our next text.
36:35 You know and you remember that
36:36 Jesus was crucified between two thieves.
36:39 They cursed Jesus, "If You're the Son of God,
36:42 deliver Yourself and us."
36:44 But you remember that one of those
36:45 two thieves repented,
36:46 didn't he and he called out for salvation."
36:48 In Luke 23:42 and on, "Then he said to Jesus,
36:55 'Lord, would you remember me
37:00 when I die?
37:02 Notice what he said.
37:05 He said, "Lord remember me when you come in Your kingdom,
37:09 the thief had it right.
37:12 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly or verily, verily,
37:15 I say to you, today,
37:19 you will be with me in Paradise.
37:23 You say, "That's what I thought it said.
37:26 And I can understand you've been taught
37:30 that the thief was promised paradise that very day.
37:36 Was he?
37:38 Does this one verse contradict every other verse
37:41 that we've laid out tonight the clear ones from the Bible.
37:44 Remember, if one verse and scriptures we're studying
37:46 kind of gets out of line with the plain Bible teaching,
37:49 there might be something wrong
37:50 with our interpretation of that verse, is that fair?
37:54 Did Jesus mean that very day
37:57 He and the thief would be in paradise?
38:00 I'm going to make some very serious statements,
38:02 then you'll decide whether or not I'm right.
38:06 By the way it's a fascinating story
38:08 how we got our Bible.
38:10 When I went to college I'd first started out
38:12 I was gonna take dentistry
38:13 but I went into theology and I was amazed to discover
38:15 that in the original Greek manuscripts
38:17 we require to trans-- you know,
38:19 to translate from them in English.
38:21 In those earliest manuscripts they did not used punctuation,
38:26 they did not have spaces between words.
38:28 All the words ran together.
38:29 In fact, in the earliest manuscripts
38:30 the words go this way,
38:31 they write this way and then, you know,
38:33 we start at one side of the page
38:34 we read and go back this side.
38:35 They, you read this way in the early Greek.
38:38 They were no paragraphs,
38:39 they were no commas, no periods.
38:41 In fact you'll find out that it wasn't
38:43 till the 13th century in the University of Paris
38:46 that punctuation marks were added
38:47 to make it easier to read and I'm so glad
38:49 that Robert Stephanos did it one day
38:51 when he was riding on horse back.
38:53 Imagine how he got to fill the periods
38:55 and commas in the wrong place.
38:59 But they weren't any of those
39:00 in the original manuscripts none.
39:03 Now, occasionally we know after studying now
39:06 that a comma happen to get in the wrong side of a word.
39:11 But you see that's why God gave us
39:13 a plan to detect any irregularities.
39:15 We compare scripture with scripture,
39:17 Isaiah 28:10 says, "Precept upon precept,
39:20 line upon line, here a little, there a little."
39:22 To make sure we get it right.
39:24 And we happened to know that for example in Acts 19,
39:27 a comma got on the wrong side of the word there,
39:31 out of place in the King James Version.
39:33 He's talking about Paul healing people,
39:35 but it says this in verse 12.
39:37 They brought unto the sick handkerchiefs.
39:41 Well, handkerchiefs don't get sick.
39:43 Brought unto the sick handkerchiefs comma,
39:46 but that's no problem we know the comma
39:47 got on the wrong side of the word there.
39:49 It should be they brought unto the sick,
39:51 handkerchiefs blessed by the Apostle Paul
39:53 and people have touched them got well and so forth.
39:56 Now my question is.
39:58 Could the comma have gotten on the wrong side
40:00 of this word today in this passage
40:02 when Jesus promised the thief he would go to paradise?
40:08 Take the sentence like this.
40:12 Johnny says, the teacher is a fool.
40:16 Now if I move the comma this way,
40:18 Johnny, says the teacher, is a fool.
40:26 Changes the entire meaning of that sentence doesn't it?
40:28 Look what happens to the meaning of this text
40:30 if you simply move the comma where it should be Luke 23:43.
40:35 "And Jesus said unto him the thief,
40:37 assuredly, I say unto you today.
40:41 You will be with me in Paradise."
40:46 I say unto you today when everything looks hopeless,
40:48 I tell you today when my own disciples
40:50 have forsaken me and fled
40:52 when it doesn't look like I have a Kingdom,
40:53 I promise, I make the promise today
40:56 you will be with me in paradise.
40:59 How do I know this is right?
41:01 Because folks the thief didn't die that day.
41:07 That's why Jesus Himself by His own admission said,
41:11 He didn't go to paradise until three days later.
41:14 How could He have possibly been
41:15 with the thief in paradise on that Friday?
41:18 I want you to hold on because there is an answer,
41:20 I made some very bold statements
41:21 and let's examine them from the evidence, okay.
41:24 Folks the Bible plainly says that the Jews
41:27 would never permit a victim of crucifixion
41:30 to remain on the cross on the Sabbath
41:33 especially a high holy day like Passover
41:35 and so they would break their legs
41:37 so they couldn't escape,
41:38 they would haul them off to the dump Gehenna
41:41 and then they would drag them back
41:42 and put them on the cross after the weekend.
41:44 In fact Josephus the historian says
41:45 that the thieves lived for three weeks
41:48 until the birds finally finished them off.
41:51 Now what is your Bible say?
41:52 John 19:31-33 it says, "Therefore,
41:55 because it was the Preparation Day,
41:58 that the bodies should not remain
41:59 on the cross on the Sabbath
42:01 for that Sabbath was a high day,
42:03 the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken,
42:06 and that they might be taken away."
42:09 To the dump, so they wouldn't escape.
42:12 Then it says the soldiers came
42:14 and broke the legs of the first
42:15 and the other who was crucified with Him.
42:17 But when they came to Jesus
42:19 and saw that He was already dead,
42:21 they did not break His legs."
42:24 You see folks, you don't die
42:25 from crucifixion in just three hours.
42:28 But Jesus did die not from the nails,
42:33 Jesus died of a broken heart.
42:35 He died because of my sins, your sins
42:39 but the thieves didn't die that day.
42:41 So how could he possibly have gone
42:42 to heaven to be with Jesus?
42:46 Now the next scripture settles it.
42:48 Three days later, on Sunday morning,
42:51 three days later,
42:52 we read these words every Easter in John 20.
42:55 "Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping,
42:58 and as she wept she saw two angels,
43:02 "and she turns around and remembers
43:03 she sees the gardener standing there it says,
43:06 and did not know that it was Jesus.
43:08 Jesus said to her, ''Woman, why are you weeping?
43:13 Whom are you seeking?"
43:14 She recognized, was ready to through her arms around Him.
43:16 But He said, "touch me not."
43:19 Or if some translations say, "Do not cling to me
43:22 for I've not yet ascended to my father."
43:27 Well, the father lives in paradise,
43:30 three days later on Sunday morning,
43:32 Jesus, by His own admission,
43:33 stated He had not yet ascended to His Father.
43:36 How could He have been there with the thief on Friday?
43:40 See, friend, listen,
43:41 the next scripture is absolutely thrilling.
43:44 The good news of the gospel is the glorious climax
43:47 and grand finale of the second coming of Jesus Christ,
43:50 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.
43:52 "For the Lord Himself will descend
43:54 from heaven with a shout,
43:55 with the voice of the archangel,
43:57 and with the trumpet of God.
43:58 And the dead in Christ will rise first."
44:00 Right where you put them.
44:03 Then it says, "We who are alive
44:04 and remain shall be caught up together with them
44:06 in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air
44:09 and thus we shall always be with the Lord."
44:12 Amen. Listen, can I have your eyes?
44:15 Tongue cannot tell it, pen cannot portray it,
44:18 the hope that this brings to the human heart
44:20 when the Lord Jesus comes down through these Eastern skies,
44:23 past constellations of unnumbered universe systems,
44:26 down to a planet that spat on Him,
44:28 but one that He couldn't forget.
44:30 And as He nears the earth,
44:31 He shouts with a voice of thunder,
44:33 "Awake! Awake!
44:36 Ye that sleep in the dust of the earth!
44:37 Arise to everlasting life! And your dead too will live."
44:43 All at the same time they all receive immortality,
44:46 just like Jesus.
44:47 Sinless, deathless, glorified forever.
44:50 Friend, that is the Bible, pure and simple.
44:53 And it's our only safeguard
44:55 against spiritualism and the occult,
44:57 purported miracles, and prime time soaps.
45:01 And today's kaleidoscope of the psychic Cinerama
45:03 masquerading all around us.
45:05 "Arise to everlasting life!"
45:07 The voice of Jesus breaks every tomb
45:10 and your loved ones come forth with eternal youth.
45:13 Folks, no news at all, the Bible is more thrilling
45:16 because that day is not far distant.
45:19 Tonight I would like to have you pray
45:21 the same prayers the thief did.
45:23 "Lord, would you remember me
45:24 when You come into Your kingdom."
45:25 Would you repeat that with me?
45:27 "Lord, remember me when You come into your kingdom."
45:30 Friend, eternal life is yours if you want it
45:33 because He that has the son has eternal life.
45:38 A very meaningful symbol was sculptured
45:41 on an old English tombstone.
45:44 There carved in the granite is the representation of a door.
45:48 And in the door there is a lock and in the lock, a key.
45:52 Holding the key is the hand of an angel.
45:54 And his other hand is held up to shade his eyes
45:56 and he's steadily gazing upward toward heaven.
46:00 And beneath the engraving
46:01 are these profound words sculpted,
46:05 "Till He Come."
46:09 The message is clear.
46:11 When Jesus comes the angel will throw the--
46:14 turn the key, open wide the door
46:17 and our loved ones will be united.
46:20 Listen as Joey and Benny fill to sing.
46:27 Because He lives
46:32 I can face tomorrow
46:38 Because He lives
46:42 All fear is gone
46:46 Because I know, I know
46:52 He holds the future
46:56 And life is worth the living
47:01 Just because He lives
47:07 And life is worth the living
47:11 Just because
47:15 He lives
47:22 I want to thank you for coming tonight.
47:23 Remember Friday night,
47:25 important message "The Elijah Message."
47:28 Tonight, we'd like to meet you at our hospitality centre.
47:30 Remember as we go friend, God really does love you.
47:37 Good night.