Monday, April 5, 2021

'No One Has Ascended To Heaven'

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Greetings friends in Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Philippines, and throughout the United States of America. Now, I don’t mean to offend you – but I’m going to go against the mainstream evangelistic teachings of this world.

When I scroll down my news feed on Facebook, it’s often replete with people posting and talking about their dead loved ones. “I know you’re here with us,” many write. But are they seeing us down here!? Are we ever going to see them again!? And when, and how!? Are they able to know what we’re doing now!? Well, the greater majority of them believe that their dead loved ones are in heaven, watching them, and seeing everything that they are doing.

Now, if some people go to heaven and others go to hell; then I wonder if saved people in heaven can actually see the writhing and the screaming, the wailing, the torture of their family members who were lost to hell!?

Do the ones who post such comments think about this!? Or, do they have an answer!? Well, how do you actually know where your loved ones are after death, and what has happened to them, and whether you will see them again!?

Sadly, the majority of people just continue believing what they’ve been taught, what they’ve always heard. Surely you’ve heard somebody say to their dead loved one, “I know you’re looking over us.”

Do You Accept the Bible As God’s Authority?

The Bible is the authentic living word of God and His authority. It is actually alive and speaking – it is His word.

Friends, have you ever noticed in the New Testament – Romans 6:23!?

“For the wages of sin is death …”

Now, stop right here, and ask yourself, “Do I agree with that!?” Do you agree with Jesus Christ!? Because, after all, He is the LIVING word of God. And, the Bible is the very same word of God in print. It’s the same word – there is no difference.

So, the wages of sin – wages being something you receive, or what you get for what you’ve done. What you have earned by what you have performed. Capiche? And if sin is what you’ve done, then God’s word says, death. But, according to all those comments on my Facebook news feed, the wages of sin is eternal life, not death. It is eternal life in heaven or eternal life in hell. But have you read the rest of this verse!?

“ … but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Again, stop right here, and ask yourself, “Do I agree with this!?” Do you believe that you have an immortal soul? Because if you do, then you don’t agree with God. Well, sadly, not very many people agree with God – not very many people do.

Have I piqued your interest, or just completely turned you off!?

Should you choose to continue, I’d like to show you Ezekiel 18:4. Back in 1981, I got to looking into this thing about going to heaven, and about an immortal soul, and I found this.

“ … ‘The soul who sins shall die.’”

You mean to tell me a soul can die!? Do you agree with this!? Again, not many people actually agree with God. Adam and Eve surely didn’t in the garden of Eden.

Our Lord Jesus Christ preached for 3½ years. He preached before thousands upon thousands of people. Do you know how many of all those people who heard Jesus Christ – the very Creator – the One whom, and through whom, God the Father created everything; how many truly believed what He said!? Only 120. We read this in the Book of Acts, chapter 1 verse 15. Only 120 people believed what He said. Now, a great many people believed in Him, but they didn’t believe what He said. Turning to the Book of John, chapter 8, verse 30 you’ll see what I’m saying.

“As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.”

So, we found these things – and do you agree with them!?

Now, this next part may be redundant to many – but to first learn we must go back to the beginning. To the beginning of the Bible. Now, I have a friend who suggests, that if you’re going to read your Bible from one end to the other, start in the New Testament. And, I believe that’s a wise thing. However, for this, we’ll be in the Book of Genesis.

Again, back in 1981, I began studying evolution. I went to my local library, checked out On the Origin of Species, went home, and studied it intensely. After all, there are so many who claim that the creation of mankind at the beginning of the Book of Genesis, the creation week, and all of that is just a lot of myths and fables that never actually happened. Because they claim, as they praise the likes of Stephen Hawking, everything came by natural selection and resident forces, and not by an intelligent and masterful mind, who designed everything, brought everything into existence, and the very One who created gravity and friction in order to retard the expansion of the universe in a given region. They believe the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics.

Well, that’s like believing that this computer in front of me here, just brought itself out of the ground and put all its various pieces together, plugged itself into an electrical outlet, and started working. There wasn’t any computer manufacturer. No one designed it or equipped it with modeling software, or gave it a CPU.

The Creation of Mankind

With the beginning of my studies, I began at the beginning. Genesis 2:7.

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man [formed from the dust of the ground] became a living soul [not an immortal soul, a living soul].”

So then, what became a living soul came out of the ground. Does that sound like a spirit, or like it was something immortal!? Now, you will see in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis where it says that animals too are a soul. A soul is a physical creature that comes out of the ground, and got its life by the breath of air and the circulation of its blood, and has to be fueled by food from the ground; whether animal or man. That is what a soul is. The Hebrew word being nephesh.

Now, I had also learned this exciting knowledge. Genesis 2:17.

“’ But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, …’”

There were these two symbolic trees in the midst of the garden of Eden, and I don’t doubt there were real trees there – though it actually makes no difference. There’s no reason to quibble over such semantics. They were symbolic, yet they had a great meaning, a great significance. One tree that being the tree of life and the other was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the LORD God said of this tree of the knowledge of good and evil:

“ … ‘for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”

I’m sure you’ve read that many times before. But again, do you believe what God said!? What God told Adam “You shall surely die’”!? But turning a page, on over into the third chapter and even into the fourth, the serpent came along – an enchanting whisperer – Satan the devil, which said:

“ … ‘You will not surely die.’”

So he essentially told Eve, God’s been lying to you, He hasn’t been telling you the truth. A great many people today continue to believe Satan the devil – saying essentially that man has an immortal soul. In a sermon recently I had mentioned that it is but a short leap between the concept of reincarnation and the concept of an immortal soul. Again, so many people are believing this, that you are an immortal soul.

When You Die, Do You Go To Heaven?

So, we learned that “the soul that sins, it shall die.” And Adam sinned and Adam died. He lived a total of 930 years and he died. Now, like my wife, many don’t like to use the term ‘die.’ Often you’ll hear the phrase, “They passed away.” Like the late American televangelist, Billy Graham would say, “Your body is going to go to the grave. But your soul is going to live forever and ever!”

“ … ‘the soul who sins shall die.’”

They claim that they were a soul, and the soul passed out of them and passed away somewhere else. Where!?

Well, did Billy Graham ever read this? Notice what our Lord Jesus Christ said. John 3:13.

’ No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.’

So, it’s clear that only Jesus Christ, who came from heaven, has ever ascended to heaven. No man has ascended up to heaven. Now, the Protestants, of course, tries to negate this truth by claiming, “Jesus was only talking about His validity and His authority.” But I want to take you through a few Scriptures.

So, if you don’t have your Bible yet, go grab it and come with me.

We hear it all the time; ministers saying before thousands of people, “The Bible says, ‘when we all get to heaven …’ But where!? Where does the Bible say this!? I guarantee it's not in your Bible – it teaches just the opposite. What does God say!? Or do you too think that God is wrong, and all the Billy Graham’s are right!?

Let’s go over some Scriptures.

“For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, …” – Psalm 37:22.

“The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.” – Psalm 37:29.

“The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S; But the earth He has given to the children of men.” – Psalm 115:16.

So, the heavens are the LORD’S, but the earth has been given to the children of men. And the righteous shall inherit, if you’re saved, will be the earth. Doesn’t mention heaven does it!

“ … And dwell in it forever.”

That’s for all eternity – the righteous are going to inherit and dwell therein forever on the earth.

What about the New Testament. Turn with me into the Book of Revelation.

’ And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations [speaking of the nations here on earth] ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels.’ – Revelation 2:26-27.

So the righteous, those who overcome, are going to rule the nations right here on earth. That doesn’t sound like ‘going to heaven.’ Well, turn a couple of pages.

“And [He will make] us kings [a kingdom] and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” – Revelation 5:10.

As our Lord Jesus Christ was at His mock trial for His life before the governor of the Roman province of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, He said, “ … ‘I AM a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world …’” But He had also added, “ … ‘My kingdom is not of this world. …’” – John 18: 36, 37. In other words, of this time, of this age. He was born to be a King. And He said that if we overcome, we would rule with Him upon His throne, even as He also overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne. Now, He is in heaven – called the “third heaven” by the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2) – but He said that no one has gone up there.

Continuing with this, in approximately A.D. 31, on the Day of Pentecost, the inspired apostle Peter spoke of King David, saying:

“Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” – Acts 2:29.

“For David did not ascend into the heavens, …” – Acts 2:34.

So, even King David – a man after God’s own heart – is not in heaven.

The Dead Know Nothing

In 2014, before undergoing surgery, I was administered general anesthesia which put me in a sleep-like state. I felt no pain, had no awareness of the passage of time because I was unconscious. Under general anesthesia, it’s much like being in a coma – a reversible coma. You lose awareness, and the ability to form memories and move. Now, about those in the graves, are they conscious!? Turning into the Book of Ecclesiastes, the ninth chapter and verse five, we read:

“For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, …”

So, the living knows that they are going to die. Certainly, you’ve heard the famous idiom by Benjamin Franklin, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”? But how many people do you know who have died!?

“ … And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.”

They don’t know anything, they are UNCONSCIOUS. Now, don’t get angry with me, that’s what your Bible says – I know you’ve heard otherwise. But where did you learn it from!? You didn’t learn it from your Bible.

Again, I began to discover that God’s living word – the Holy Bible – is speaking the truth. Are you willing to accept what God says!? I accepted it 40 years ago. I believe what He says. It’s the word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God.

Now then, our Lord Jesus Christ emphatically said in the Book of John:

’ Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice …’

So, apparently, they’re not hearing His voice now. And other Scriptures indeed say this is true. Such as:

“The dead do not praise the LORD, Nor any who go down into silence.” – Psalm 115:17.

“ … ‘And come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life …’

The only hope of life after death is the resurrection of the dead after they die, and Jesus Christ is speaking here of the resurrection – ‘the resurrection of life.’

“ … ‘and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of [judgment].’ – John 5:28-29.

Another Scripture says:

“ … it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27.

And this judgment comes by a resurrection.

“For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten.” – Ecclesiastes 9:5, NET.

So the dead don’t know anything, they are unconscious. In the resurrection, they’ll remember everything just as if they’ve never been dead. But, like being under general anesthesia, the dead know nothing while they are in the grave.

Now, question – are they saved or are they lost!? Maybe you wonder about this, where are they today!? Are they in heaven, or are they in hell!?

Well, if God the Father had called them and they had been granted to Jesus Christ, been gifted repentance, been baptized and had hands laid upon them receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, then I would like to show you something in the Book of Romans.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:11.

And, while we’re here:

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are [children] of God.” – Romans 8:14.

Children of God – begotten children of God – if we are led by the Spirit.

Saved or Lost!?

In all probability your loved ones who died are not lost – you know that!? Heading back in your Bible, let’s read the Book of Hebrews again:

“ … it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27.

‘After this the judgment.’ Let’s go a little further on this. You’ve heard of the ‘Great White Throne Judgment’!? It’s a glorious truth that so very few people appear to understand. The judgment God is speaking of is in the Book of Revelation.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, [both] small and great, standing before God [speaking of God the Father here], …”

So, the dead, now resurrected, standing before God the Father.

“ … and books [the Holy Bible] were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. …”

And this shows us that most all in that judgment are going to find eternal life!

“ … And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” – Revelation 20:11-12.

Now if they repent they will be given a chance to accept the blood of Jesus Christ, even then, over a thousand years ahead of us – in the resurrection!

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:22.

Truly, everyone who ever died in Adam is going to come back in a resurrection.

But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming [So, JESUS CHRIST rose first. And afterwards they that sleep in Christ]. Then comes the end, …” – 1 Corinthians 15:23-24.

The apostle Paul also mentions this in the Book of 1st Thessalonians:

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven [the atmosphere] with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet [the SEVENTH TRUMPET] of God. And the dead in Christ [recall the previous Scripture, ‘afterwards they that sleep (are dead) in Christ’] will rise FIRST. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air [the atmosphere]. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

So, there will be what is called a ‘Great White Throne Judgment – and in fact, this is what the prophet Ezekiel is speaking of in chapter 37. Everyone who has been misled and deceived by Satan the devil – the very same evil one which deceived Eve – are going to be resurrected out of their graves (whether in the earth or in the seas). They are going to hear Jesus Christ’s voice and come forth.

Now, the prophet Daniel, about 530 B.C., foretold of this very resurrection of which we speak. A resurrection which can also be followed by a sentence to eternal death – ‘everlasting contempt.’

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life [eternal life], Some to shame and everlasting contempt.” – Daniel 12:2.

Everyone is not called now, and there’s no way to come to God except through Jesus Christ. For He said Himself in the Book of John chapter 6, verse 44:

’ No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; …’

So, friends, there is going to be a future judgment; those who are called now indeed have the ‘god of this age’ (2 Corinthians 4:4) to overcome, along with themselves to overcome. But those who are called in the second resurrection after the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ won’t have Satan the devil or his minions around (cf. Revelation 20:1-3). Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords will be ruling this earth – “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Certainly, without the ‘god of this age’ anywhere around the overall majority of people will make the decision to go the Way of God. And will accept the precious blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins, will be reconciled to God the Father, and will receive eternal life within the Family of God.

Now, I want you to read a very enlightening and informative online PDF booklet that goes into great depth on this subject: “The Confusion About Death!” Take special note of the section called “Are the Dead Now in Heaven!?” □

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