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This Christmas season ...Mjcmcook12-22-14  10:16 pm
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Username: Ric_b

Post Number: 2177
Registered: 7-2004

Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 4:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a reason that I did not answer #2, it deals with a question that we simply aren't given an answer for in Scripture, "why". The question "why" is at the center of a great deal of SDA speculation about the Bible and they make up all kinds of answers and then claim that these answers are based on Biblical study. I prefer to address only what the Bible says. If the Bible explains why, then we can elaborate on the reason. But if the Bible only says that it happens without giving the "why", trying to speculate about the why leads to a number a false ideas.

In regards to Martha and Lazarus, Jesus was the first fruit of the resurrection. I believe that what happens after death changed at the cross.

Throughout the book of Hebrews the "something better" was Jesus. The promise that they did not receive, but that we have is Jesus.

BTW, "conversation" involves actually discussing what has already been addressed to you rather than making offhanded remarks and moving on to other subjects. If you actually want conversation and discussion, please demonstrate that.

(Message edited by ric_b on December 29, 2014)
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Username: Chris

Post Number: 1808
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Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 8:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think it is important to understand that no one here is in anyway denying a physical resurrection of the dead at the time of Jesus' second coming.

I believe the overall testimony of scripture is that man is not body and breath, but body (physical nature) and spirit (immaterial nature). So if that's true, then the next logical question is, “What happens to the body and the spirit when we die?” First let us note that what happens to the body at death is not the same as what happens to the spirit.

The Bible often refers to death by the euphemism of “sleep”. However, that euphemism is only applied to the body, never to the spirit. “Sleep” describes the appearance of the body at death, but not the state of the spirit.

The following is what I believe happens to the spirits of post-cross believers at death. At death the spirit departs the body. The spirit returns to God. The spirit is consciously with the Lord. At the second coming God will bring those departed saints with Him when He comes. He will then raise up for them imperishable bodies in the resurrection.

Let’s look at a few scriptures that support these ideas either explicitly or implicitly. I have not used what I would consider to be the two strongest didactic (teaching) passages here just for brevity, but can certainly take more time to exegete each of them thoroughly in subsequent postings if desired. But for now, here is brief outline of what I think is a biblically supportable view of death:

I. At death the spirit departs the body.


Genesis 35:18 (NASB)
18 It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she [Rachel] named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
When Rachel died her spirit departed.


Luke 8:53-55 (NASB)
53 And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died.
54 He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!"
55 And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.

When Jesus brought the girl back to life her spirit returned. It is therefore implied that her spirit departed at death.


James 2:26 (NASB)
26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

The absence of the spirit is the very definition of death. Death is the separation of the spirit from the body.

II. The spirit returns to God.


Ecclesiastes 12:5-7 (NASB)
5 Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street.
6 Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed;
7 then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Notice that this text speaks of man going to “his eternal home”. It does not say that breath goes to its eternal home.


Acts 7:59-60 (NASB)
59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"
60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he fell asleep.

Again, it makes little or no sense to insert “breath” here. Why would Stephen cry out to the Lord to receive the spent CO2 in his lungs as he is being stoned to death? Stephen is asking Jesus to receive that immaterial part of him that departs the body when the body sleeps in death.

III. The spirit is consciously with the Lord.


Revelation 6:9-11 (NASB)
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

Even if there are symbolic elements in this passage, it is difficult to imagine why the Bible would depict the spirits of dead martyrs standing at the foot of the altar and asking the Lord for justice if such a notion is all a satanic lie. However much of this might be symbolic, it is clear that the Bible has no problem depicting departed saints as being consciously in the presence of the Lord.

IV. At the second coming God will bring those departed saints with Him when He comes.


1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NASB)
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

I have actually been to SDA funerals were verses 13 and 15 are read, but verse 14 is completely skipped over as if it did not exist. It’s rather inconvenient to SDA theology to have the departed saints coming with Jesus when He comes.

V. He will then raise up for them imperishable bodies in the resurrection.


1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 (NASB)
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.


1 Corinthians 15:52 (NASB)
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

All of the texts above are very interesting indeed and I think that together they support the general premise. However, I would not consider some of these texts to be completely conclusive all by themselves, particularly those that come from wisdom or apocalyptic literature. I discussed the reasons for this here: but for now suffice it to say that the strongest Christian doctrine is formulated upon New Testament didactic passages like the last two I referenced (1 Thess. 4:13-16 and 1 Cor. 15:52). Understanding the teaching contained in clear didactic passages helps us to properly interpret those passages that are less clear. Although I have not exegeted those passages here for brevity, I would suggest reading them in their entirety. I believe they are entirely consistent with the brief outline I gave above.
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Username: Chris

Post Number: 1809
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Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 9:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


I inadvertently included one of my comments within the quote bracket as I was formatting the post. It should have appeared with just the text inside the quote box and my comment outside the quote box, like this:


I. At death the spirit departs the body.


Genesis 35:18 (NASB)
18 It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she [Rachel] named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.

When Rachel died her spirit departed.

My sincerest apologies,

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Username: Mjcmcook

Post Number: 1640
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Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 9:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Many years ago when I was studying my way out of adventism, this particular verse,
Genesis 35:18, was very significant to my understanding regarding our "spirit" and where goes
when it leaves our physical body at death.

Also, when I studied the book of John chapter 4, verse 24 was a new "revelation" to me!

Thank-you for your well researched comments. I pray these will resonate
with "Truth" to all who read them.

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Username: C4c

Post Number: 19
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Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 11:30 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for your response. I have wondered how any explain the state of the dead apart from Adventist viewpoint. I have heard a number of different beliefs but was just not convinced. I have followed you as closely as I can. I must admit that death is a mystery...

Iam not sure the Adventist belief is that the spirit is just mere co2. We do have co2 cylinders and if it was that simple am sure we would have made life. The breath is the spirit that comes from God. In it it has the ability to bring life. At creation as I understand it Adam was created from the soil and then God breathed into his nostrils and THEN man became a living being. Before that he simply did not exist. That's where life began. It makes sense that the opposite is true. The verses you have sited above tell of the spirit leaving man, and him dying. Ecc says the opposite of genesis. Genesis was the start of life, ecc is end of life, death. So I would not say that the breath or spirit is the simplistic version of gases. I. Don't know. But it came from God like he did when creating and when one dies it goes back to him.

When he now comes and raises the dead, he joins that spirit with the body and life again resumes.

The verse in revelation I take as clearly prophetic. Just like he said of the blood of Abel crying out. It's figurative. Else how does a spirit put on robes? White ones. Does a spirit have hands, shoulder,legs etc. no. It's figurative. Else you must be consistent and say the spirit has these parts.

The text in Thessalonians is interesting as I really have not looked at it that way. Let me look up the exegesis of that one.
The context however tells me that the "being with The Lord" is not there until after they are resurrected. Paul says we shall not precede them which have died. So whatever existence, it certainly is not the same as that before.

Then there is the thought of pre cross death and post cross...where is that belief derived from. Can u guide me to know how the death of eutycus or dorcus differs from that of say David? Where in scripture do we get that difference?

The reason I believe death is a state of unconsciousness is the following verses.

Eccles 9
But all this I have laid unto my heart, so as to clear up the whole of this, that the righteous and the wise, and their works, [are] in the hand of God, neither love nor hatred doth man know, the whole [is] before them. The whole [is] as to the whole; one event is to the righteous and to the wicked, to the good, and to the clean, and to the unclean, and to him who is sacrificing, and to him who is not sacrificing; as [is] the good, so [is] the sinner, he who is swearing as he who is fearing an oath. This [is] an evil among all that hath been done under the sun, that one event [is] to all, and also the heart of the sons of man is full of evil, and madness [is] in their heart during their life, and after it -- unto the dead.
But [to] him who is joined unto all the living there is confidence, for to a living dog it [is] better than to the dead lion. For the living know that they die, and the dead know not anything, and there is no more to them a reward, for their remembrance hath been forgotten. Their love also, their hatred also, their envy also, hath already perished, and they have no more a portion to the age in all that hath been done under the sun. Go, eat with joy thy bread, and drink with a glad heart thy wine, for already hath God been pleased with thy works. At all times let thy garments be white, and let not perfume be lacking on thy head.

Here Solomon says in death, there is no activity so activity must be done now.

Psalm 115:16,17,
The heaven , even the heavens , are the Lord’s : but the earth hath he given to the children of men . The dead praise not the LORD , neither any that go down into silence . But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore . Praise the LORD .

He David says the dead do not praise The Lord. And he calls it silence, like sleep, you would say?

He again says in 6:5
For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks ?

This is as clear as crystal, accordingl to David, there is no remembrance of God. No praising.

If this is. What you mean by the spirit going to God, then I may not dispute. But as I understand, it like when one dies, they talk, walk around heaven, see the pipo on earth, sing praises, etc. basically having a good time.

Isaiah 38:18
For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth . The living , the living , he shall praise thee, as I do this day : the father to the children shall make known thy truth .

Again here it's clear to me that there is no celebration in death. But only the living.

Thus there is no consciousness in death. These are direct verses and are not parables or figures of speech of prophecies. Just statement saying time to work is now, now praises. In death, no repenting, no chatting, just silence. Sleep. Until the resurrection. Why hope for a resurrection and put so much emphasis on it by Paul in Corinthians to the extent that without it, we are the most miserable. Why? Well because before that there is death, a silence a sleep and only when the resurrection happens. Here are some resurection texts.
Luke 14:14
But when thou makest a feast , call the poor , the maimed , the lame , the blind : And thou shalt be blessed ; for they cannot recompense thee : for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just .
John 5:29
And shall come forth ; they that have done good , unto the resurrection of life ; and they that have done evil , unto the resurrection of damnation .
Acts 24:15
And have hope toward God , which they themselves also allow , that there shall be a resurrection of the dead , both of the just and unjust
Philippians 3:10
That I may know him , and the power of his resurrection , and the fellowship of his sufferings , being made conformable unto his death ; If by any means I might attain unto the
resurrection of the dead .

Thus to me the Christian hope hinges of the power of that resurrection morn. Heavenly bliss does not happen before that. This seems to be the consistent message.
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Username: Chris

Post Number: 1810
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Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 1:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


You've raised a number of good issues in your post. I'd like to try to address them in more or less the order they were raised, but over time in several posts. I'd like to keep these posts of a reasonable length, so in this post I'm just going to address this concept of "breath" versus "spirit".

You're correct that Adventism ties man's breath into the creative power of God as He put "breath" into Adam. No, Adventism does not believe that O2 or CO2 in a canister is life in itself. You're right in suggesting it's a bit more complex than that.

In Adventism, breath and body are inseparable in terms of conscious existence and when breath leaves the body, the person ceases to exist. While I think Adventists generally see "breath" as something slightly more than just oxygen and CO2, maybe some sort of life force or something, I have sat through many, many SDA seminars, classes, and the like where the speaker repeatedly emphasized that the words in the Bible shouldn't really be translated as "spirit" or "soul" because they really just mean "breath". So, even if the belief is slightly more nuanced and might include some sort of life force concept, the emphasis in teaching is that we should be reading "spirit" as "breath". I think this falls far short of the biblical data regarding the human spirit.

The word translated “spirit” in English is the Greek word pneuma in the New Testament and the Hebrew word ruach in the Old Testament. Most of us grew up being told that these words usually mean “breath” when used in the Bible. That’s just not true. These Greek and Hebrew words certainly can mean “breath” or “wind” in the right context, but that’s NOT how they are usually used in the Bible.

Anyone who has ever opened a dictionary knows that nearly every word in the dictionary has multiple meanings that are sometimes quite different from each other. Stop for a moment and consider how many ways you can use the word “can”, slang or otherwise. My dictionary shows at least 15 different meanings for “can”. So how do we determine the correct meaning of a word? The answer is fairly simple, context ALWAYS determines meaning. In proper biblical hermeneutics context is king. I’ll say it again, because I think most of us missed this point in our early education: “CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT!”

According to Zodhiates’ well respected Greek lexicon, The Complete Word Study Dictionary, when “spirit” [pneuma/ruach] is used in the Bible it usually has one of the following three meanings:

1. Man's immaterial nature which enables him to communicate with God, who is also spirit.

2. An incorporeal, immaterial being, such as an angel.

3. The Holy Spirit.

Why do Hebrew scholars, Greek linguists, and evangelical theologians agree on this? The answer, once again, is because of how the word is used in context. Just try this as an experiment (really, I mean it, give it a try). Try reading the following verses and substituting the word “breath” every time you see the words “spirit” or “Spirit”.


Proverbs 20:27 (NASB)
27 The spirit [ruach] of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the innermost parts of his being.


Romans 8:15-16 (NASB)
15 For you have not received a spirit [pneuma] of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit [pneuma] of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
16 The Spirit [pneuma] Himself testifies with our spirit [pneuma] that we are children of God,


1 Corinthians 2:11 (NASB)
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit [pneuma] of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit [pneuma] of God.


1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NASB)
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit [pneuma] and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Hebrews 12:9 (NASB)
9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits [pneuma], and live?


John 3:5-7 (NASB)
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit [pneuma] he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit [pneuma] is spirit [pneuma].
7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

Do any of those texts make any sense at all with the word “breath” inserted? Of course not! Context demands another meaning. Simply put, “spirit” does not usually mean “breath” as used in the Bible. The suggestion that it does is a falsehood that not only violates context, but also violates essential Christian doctrine. What essential doctrines are violated? Let me list three major Christian doctrines that are violated by such an aberrant interpretation:

1. You may have noticed that I listed John 3 last instead of in biblical order. I did this for a reason. I wanted to especially highlight this text because it is essential to the message of the Gospel. If we boiled the Bible down to its most basic essence it is this: Man sinned and experienced spiritual death. Since then we have all been born dead in our sins, separated from God, and in need of a Savior. Jesus paid the price for our sin and offers us life and relationship with God. When we come to faith, our dead spirit is regenerated and is now able to commune with God’s Spirit. Our dead spirits are born again, born of the Spirit, and we have eternal life as a present possession. This is not merely metaphor, it is very real, it is the essence of salvation, it is central to the Gospel message. If we turn our spirits into mere “breath” then we have destroyed the reality of a new birth and spiritual life. To say that our “breath” is born again is nonsensical and contrary to what the Bible is teaching. I also think it is incredibly destructive to our understanding of what it really means to be saved.

2. Insisting that pneuma/ruach mean “breath” in the Bible violates the Christian concept of God’s being. Christianity believes that God is pure spirit, an incorporeal, immaterial being. That’s what Jesus is saying when he said, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24). In fact, Jesus is reinforcing the same teaching he delivered to Nicodemus in chapter 3. He is implying that because God is spirit, those who worship him must have a spirit that is alive to do so. Once again, if you insert “breath” into what Jesus is saying, His words become complete nonsense.

3. Insisting that pneuma/ruach mean “breath” in the Bible infringes upon the personhood of the Holy Spirit. “Holy Spirit” is hagios pneuma in the Greek. So if we insist that pneuma must mean “breath” we end up with the “Holy Breath”. This interpretation would be closer to the Jehovah’s Witness’ idea that the Holy Spirit is merely a force, than the Biblical teaching that He is a person.

Hopefully, it is clear that when pneuma and ruach are used in the Bible we must first consider the context and then assign meaning. A survey of scripture will show that these words usually mean something quite different from breath, or even just a life force, especially as they pertain to God and man.

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Username: Ric_b

Post Number: 2179
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Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 2:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Allow me to add to Chris' list of NT verses that do not make sense if the spirit is merely breath.


1 Corinthians 5:5
I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Why the distinction between flesh and spirit of man? Would calling man's spirit his "breath" make any sense here


2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

If our spirit is just breath, how can it be defiled? Was Paul just being redundant with his statement here?


I Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

What and where are these imprisoned breaths? How can it make sense that mere breaths are imprisoned, or that Christ would preach to breath?


1 Peter 4:6
For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.

Is there any other reasonable way to understand this except a distinction between flesh and spirit as two distinct, yet equally "real" things?


Galatians 6:18
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

Does it make sense for God's grace to be with our breath?


Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Certainly sounds like our spirit is real, not just a breath.


Acts 17:16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.

Does this just mean that Paul had a cough?

One question that SDAs have never been able to answer for me while holding on their doctrine of the non-existence of the soul-"How did Jesus raise Himself if He had no consciousness? He said it was He who would raise Himself (John 2:19)."
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Username: Resjudicata

Post Number: 403
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Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 2:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"One question that SDAs have never been able to answer for me while holding on their doctrine of the non-existence of the soul-"How did Jesus raise Himself if He had no consciousness? He said it was He who would raise Himself (John 2:19)."

AHA! He had the assistance of angels! One of them hollered him back to life, and another scared away the evil angels who had taken control of Jesus's body:

"His light dispersed the darkness from his track, and caused the evil angels who had triumphantly claimed the body of Jesus, to flee in terror from his brightness and glory."
"One angel rolled back the stone in triumph, and with a clear and mighty voice, cried out, Thou Son of God! Thy Father calls thee! Come forth! Death could hold dominion over him no longer. Jesus arose from the dead. The other angel entered the sepulchre, and as Jesus arose in triumph, he unbound the napkin which was about his head, and Jesus walked forth a victorious conqueror."

The Great Controversy, Chapter 10

Like it has been said many times, Jesus was merely our example. And by observing the Sabbath perfectly, he earned the help of several Angels to initiate and assist in his Resurrection. An Arian Jesus cannot be expected to Resurrect himself with no help from Angels, can he?

(Message edited by Resjudicata on December 29, 2014)
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Username: C4c

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Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014 - 11:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Chris, res, ric,
Well well well! This is certainly a twist I did not see coming! Wow!

Chris thanks for your well thought out presentation and format. Very easy to follow. I actually have never thought that breath just means breath. Like one Would do when doing CPR to bring to " life" the person who had a cardiac arrest. I ve thought it was breath of God and rather complex. I certainly am listening to your treatise and it makes sense and most importantly biblical, well so far. I like your 3 points where this ideas violets the principles you have set forth. Am not just sure that's what adventism teaches. Surely not. Would you give me time to check this out properly. Maybe I just did not understand properly. Wow. So hold on a little while so that we move together. Wait for my comment.

The context surely can't mean mere breath! That's for sure. The context in Hebrews Made me throw out the IJ and 1844.
So am for context context context and the primary meaning of the writer to himself and his readers.

"Does this just mean that Paul had a cough? "
That's very funny! Lol. You cracked me up! Lol

Res ,
Sarcasm right? Valid point tho.

Let me ponder on these and then we can resume the very nice conversation.

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Username: Chris

Post Number: 1811
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Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 6:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Fair enough! When you return I would like to address the next point you brought up dealing with Ecclesiastes and other wisdom literature, as well as touch on Old Testament (pre-cross) vs. New Testament (post-cross) understandings of death.
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Username: Chris

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Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 6:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Just for clarity, I do not intend to suggest that Adventism teaches that pneuma and ruach are simply referring to molecules of air. It's a bit more complex than that. Adventist sources do teach that pneuma and ruach mean "breath" but would say this "breath" comes from God and might at times refer to it as "the breath of life" (apparently some sort of life force tied up with the idea of breathing). Fine. I would still suggest the same exercise suggested above. Try going through all the texts posted by Ric and myself and replacing "spirit" with "breath of life" then test the context. Does the context support a meaning of "breath of life" or does it support one of these three meanings supported by Hebrew and Greek dictionaries:

1. Man's immaterial nature which enables him to communicate with God, who is also spirit.

2. An incorporeal, immaterial being, such as an angel.

3. The Holy Spirit.

As you said, context makes all the difference.
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Username: Colleentinker

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Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 11:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Very interesting thread! Great studies, Chris and Rick!

C4, Adventist will say that "spirit" involves "life force", but that vague description does not allow for any personal identity to be attached to it. In other words, when a person dies, they say, that "life force" goes to God, and the person is gone.

I will refer to their book Seventh-Day Adventists Believe in which they explain their fundamental beliefs to illustrate this understanding:


This breath of life is "the breath of the Almighty" that gives life (Job 33:4)—the spark of life. We might compare it with the streams of electricity that, when they flow through various electrical components, transform a quiet, gray panel of glass in a box into a pulsating splash of color and action—when we flip the switch on a color TV. The electricity brings sound and motion where once there was nothing" (P. 93-94)

Adventism equates "spirit" with "life force" or "breath", and they compare spirit with electricity. When one flips a switch on, the TV comes on. When one flips it off, the color and light are gone. This comparison is clearly not biblical. It does not allow for "spirit" to be troubled, to rejoice, to mourn, to worship God, or to relate to God or reality in any way. Adventism clearly sees people as body + breath (spirit).

Another evidence of Adventism's lack of understanding that a person has an immaterial part to his identity is this quote from page 94 of Seventh-day Adventists Believe. The following quote contains a quotation from the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary and is discussing the meaning of the word "soul":


In Genesis 2:7 it denotes man as a living being after the breath of life entered into a physical body formed from the elements of the earth. "Similarly, a new soul comes into existence whenever a child is born, each 'soul' being a new unit of life uniquely different and separate from the other similar units."

Notice that the quote above states that new souls come into existence NOT when a child is conceived but when a child is BORN. This clearly reveals the Adventist teaching (which is overtly taught in Adventist schools and Sabbath schools...converts to Adventism don't receive this overt teaching at first) that humans are not actually "people" who are alive until they breath. This belief is one of the reasons they practice abortions. This belief is the reason they are so fixated on their "health message". They teach and believe that humans perceive the Holy Spirit through their neurons in their frontal lobes (as president Ted Wilson stated this summer while at a health conference in Geneva).

Adventists have no clear teaching of "new birth", as Chris mentioned above, because they do not believe they have immaterial spirits that are born dead (see Ephesians 2:1-3) and must be made alive through faith in the Lord Jesus (John 3:16-18; John 5:24, etc.). They have no understanding that they are born into the domain of darkness and must be transferred out of it by the Father when they believe (Col 1:13).

Adventists see themselves as bodies activated by "breath" or "life force"...analogous to electricity. To them, "spirit" is a force that activates the person; it is not an integral part of the person's identity that is kept by God when a person dies.

Registered user
Username: Mountaingirl

Post Number: 95
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2015 - 1:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I too appreciate those who have taken the time to list scripture texts and the concept of what is spirit and what happen when one dies.

I have pretty much over the past two years figured out the idea of non-existantance as I was taught in adventism as unblicial. I have found great peace and more love for God in knowing I - who I am is spirit and is now alive through being born again. It is exciting to learn what God's word actually teaches as I overcome the darkness and fraudulent teaching I was raised with.

I am the first one in my family who has left adventism. My oldest daughter is now out too. For the extended family some of us have hit heads, some like my parents have listened but have not been intetested enough to ask question nor to read any material nor books I gave them. My dad recently died, I can only hope I got enough of the true gospel in him for him to understand he is saved by Christ 100%. I talked a lot about spirit and going to be with God at death and not into non-existantance as he was taught. For some time he knew he was dying and he was so afraid he wasn't going to have been found to be good enough for heaven, that he hadn't kept the 10c's good enough, hadn't made every sin confessed and loose life eternal. It was heart breaking.

So not to get to off topic here. I just have a comment like question.
It is my understanding that there are three groups of people who believe in non-existantance at death, atheists, Adventists, J.W.'s. Is this correct?

Registered user
Username: Islander

Post Number: 99
Registered: 4-2014
Posted on Monday, January 19, 2015 - 2:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Personally I agree with you, Mountaingirl as yourunderstanding of this topic and my understanding are the same. At the same time it will be like carrying a bucket of rocks a mile to get a SDA to understand this topic like we do because to a SDA the words spirit and breath are synnomans so all SDA'i know will answer, "yes, our breath or spitit or whatever you want to call it goes back to God. We are made dust andback to dust we go"and the conversation then is pau.

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