Dear Refiner's Fire...

My question is this: Will our bodies be re-united with our spirits when we die?

Our Response...

Nobody really knows for sure, because there's nothing in the Bible to explain this. It would seem that our carnal, fleshly bodies won't play a role in eternity because they were either old, diseased, decrepit, crippled, mangled or decayed. It is our SPIRITS that will be rising, and we'll be receiving brand new "bodies" - ones that will last eternally, unlike our present flesh.

Another thing to consider is this: Our spirits won't necessarily "go to heaven" right away because there needs to be a "catching up" of believers, first.

1 Thessalonians 4: 16. Because our Master (Y'shua) will himself descend from heaven with the mandate and with the voice of the chief Messenger and with the Qarna (trumpet/shofar) of Elohim; and the dead who are in the Mashiyach will first arise; 17. and then we who survive and are alive will be caught up together with them to the clouds to meet our Master (Y'shua) in the air; and so will we be ever with our Master.

There were three "raptures" in the Bible that we know of, Enoch and Elijah(Genesis 5:24, 2 Kings 2:11) and the "dead in Messiah" who rose from their graves when Y'shua died (Matthew 27:51-53). Whether they "went to heaven" is debatable, because we don't know WHERE they ended up. The fact is, "heaven" is a complex term that we really don't know much about. Shemayim (heaven) is a plural form, as is "Elohim" - which means there is more than just one aspect to "heaven." The "third heaven" for instance, is a reference to the future judgment hall or throne of the "Ancient of Days" as mentioned in Daniel 7. According to the Scriptures, ONLY YESHUA is sitting at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3).

We know of no other "rapture" since the day Yeshua died when there was a great earthquake and some dead believers were "resurrected".

Matthew 27: 50. Then again Y'shua cried out with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51. And immediately, the curtains at the door of the temple were torn in two from the top to the bottom. And the earth was shaken and the rocks were split. 52. And the tombs were opened and many bodies of the Set Apart believers who were asleep arose, 53. And went out. And after his resurrection, they entered into the Set Apart city and were seen by many. 54. And the centurion, and those with him who were watching Y'shua, when they saw the earthquake and those things that had occurred, they were very afraid and said, "Truly this was the Son of Elohim."

Although the word "rapture" is found nowhere in the Scriptures, we are told there will be a "catching up" of believers only upon Yeshua's Second Coming (1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17); not of the unbelievers who will only be called up before God on Judgment Day at the end of the Millennium. This "catching up" will be when Yeshua returns to Earth; not before. It will occur at the end of that seven year period which will begin when the Antichrist makes a seven year peace treaty with Israel.

Yeshua will rule and reign for a thousand years, at which time there will be the resurrection of ALL (the people who became believers during the Millennium, and all the DEAD unbelievers since the beginning of time who had heretofore remained in their graves). (See Isaiah 13:6,9; Jeremiah 46:10; Joel 1:15; 2:11; Amos 5:18; Obadiah 1:15, Revelation 20:1-15 and Acts 24:15). This will happen after what the Bible describes as very tough times; "Jacob's Trouble" (Jeremiah 30:4-7, Daniel 12:1, Matthew 24:15-22).

Whether or not we'll actually get to look like our old selves is debatable, and we'll know when that time comes.

Genesis 3: 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

Notice in Genesis 3:19 above, it said we came from dust and will return to dust; this is one reason why we will NOT immediately go to heaven when we die; we will ALL have to wait until the "rapture" which happens upon Yeshua's return and "the dead in Messiah will rise first" and then those believers who are alive - those who knew Yeshua AND kept His Torah:

Revelation 12: 17. And the dragon was enraged against the woman; and he went to make war upon the remnant of her seed who keep the Commandments of Elohim and have the testimony of Y'shua.

Revelation 14: 12. Here is the patience of the Set Apart believers who keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Y'shua.

The thing is, if "the dead in Messiah shall rise first" (I Thess 4:16) and the rest immediately thereafter, then the dead can't have gone to heaven immediately after death.

The ONLY grave that was ever empty immediately (after three days) was Yeshua's. Dig up any grave today, and people are still there. It would seem that our old fleshly bodies will remain here to completely decay, while our spirits wait "somewhere" until the next "rapture" which will happen upon Y'shua's return.

1 Corinthians 15: 51. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52. Suddenly, as in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar, when it will sound; and the dead will arise, without corruption; and we will be changed. 53. For this which is corruptible, is to put on incorruption; and that which dies, will put on immortality. 54. And when that which is corruptible, will put on incorruption, and that which dies, immortality; then will take place the Word that is written, "Death is absorbed in victory." 55. Where is thy sting, O death? And where is thy victory, O Sheol? 56. Now the sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is Torah. 57. But thanks be to Elohim that gives us the victory, through our Master Y'shua the Mashiyach. 58. Wherefore, my Brothers and my beloved, be steadfast, and not weak willed; but be at all times generous in the work of Master YHWH; seeing you know that your labor is not in vain in Master YHWH.

Acts 13: 36. For Dawid served the will of Elohim in his generation, and slept and was added to his fathers and saw corruption. 37. But this (man) whom Elohim raised did not see corruption.

For further information, check out these Bible verses about life after death and also, read the whole chapters of 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 21 and 22.

It would seem that once we receive our "eternal" bodies, there will be no more need for sex and other "human" needs, and our lives will be forever centered around God. We will surely recognize each other, but our relationship will be changed because it will no longer be "about us" but about YHWH.

So, what happens when we die? Let's dig a little more:

As shown above, we don't automatically go to heaven when we die (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). That is why Y'shua promised in John 14:1-3 that He is going to prepare a place for you, and then He will return so that you and He can then be together forever. This promise would be meaningless if we are already with Him at death, for then He would not need to come back for us (because we're already there, if that were true).

We will have a physical body, just as it was before sin when YHWH created mankind. The Bible says we will have a body just like Y'shua's body when He was raised from the dead. Doubting Thomas touched His hands and feet, and Y'shua ate with the disciples after His resurrection. Our "new" bodies will be perfect, untouched by sin.

In the meantime God wants us to take care of our present body before we receive our glorified body, because He wants us to have an abundant life. We cannot have an abundant life if we abuse our body with drugs or alcohol or with deliberate sinful behavior of any kind. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit cannot and will not reside in a purposely defiled body.

Now, back to what happens when we die.

When we were created, YHWH formed man from the dust of the ground, then breathed into man the breath of life, and man BECAME a living soul.

Genesis 2:7 Then ADONAI, God, formed a person [Hebrew: adam] from the dust of the ground [Hebrew: adamah] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being.

Please notice that God did not GIVE man a soul ... he BECAME a soul. The word (in the original language) that is translated into our English word "soul" is "nephesh" and means "living creature". Also, the word for "breath of life" is translated from the Hebrew word "ruach", which means "wind, breath, spirit". It does not mean "soul" or some immortal immaterial ghost of the person.

SOUL = BODY + BREATH OF LIFE. Think of a light bulb. LIGHT = BULB + ELECTRICITY.

Death is creation in reverse. Again the light bulb, when "death" happens, the power returns to the battery and the bulb is lifeless, and the light ceases to exist. The same is true with the soul as it is with the light. The power of life returns to God who gave it, and the soul ceases to exist; the body is lifeless.

Genesis 3:19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your forehead till you return to the ground - for you were taken out of it: you are dust, and you will return to dust."

Ecclesiastes 12:7 the dust returns to earth, as it was, and the spirit returns to God, who gave it!

At creation, we become a living soul. At death, we don't have a soul that departs from the body and goes to heaven or hell or anywhere. The breath of life (the power of life, the spirit) returns to God, and the body returns to dust. Creation in reverse.

The soul perishes. "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)

There is no consciousness in death.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; there is no longer any reward for them, because all memory of them is lost. 6 What they loved, what they hated and what they envied all disappeared long ago, and they no longer have a share in anything done under the sun.

Psalm 146:4 When they breathe their last, they return to dust; on that very day all their plans are gone.

Lazarus was dead four days, yet he gave no report of any "life after death" experience. (John 11:39)

The Bible calls death a sleep.

John 11:11 Y'shua said these things and afterwards said to them, Our friend Lazar sleeps but I will go to wake him.

Psalm 13:3 Look, and answer me, ADONAI my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death.

Acts 7:59. And they were stoning Stephen while he prayed, and he said, "Our Master Y'shua receive my spirit." 60. And after he kneeled down, he cried out in a loud voice and said, "Our Master do not cause this sin to stand against them!" And after he had said this, he lied down.

2 Peter 3:4 and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, since our fathers fell asleep,

But death is not the end for those who believe in Y'shua.

Y'shua said in Revelation 1:17: And when I saw him, I fell at his feet like one dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, and said, fear not: I am the First and the Last; 18. and who lives and was dead; and behold, I am alive for ever and ever. Amen. And I have the keys of death and of the unseen world.

Y'shua said in John 11:25 Y'shua said to her, I am the resurrection and the Life. 26 He who believes yet in me will never die!

YHWH will raise His people from the dead, to live with Him forever.

Isaiah 26:19 Your dead will live, my corpses will rise; awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the morning dew, and the earth will bring the ghosts to life.

Daniel 12:2 Many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and abhorrence.

There will be 2 more resurrections: The resurrection of life, and the resurrection of condemnation. (In the resurrection of condemnation, the wicked will be judged and then receive their final punishment, which is eternal death.)

John 5:29 And those who have done good things will go forth to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil things to the resurrection of judgment.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 gives us the hope of the resurrection of life!

1 Thessalonians 4:13 And I wish you to know, my Brothers, that you should not mourn over them who have fallen asleep, like other people who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Y'shua died and rose again, even so them who sleep, will Elohim, by Y'shua, bring with him. 15. And this we say to you by the word of our Master (Y'shua), that we who may survive and be alive at the coming of our Master (Y'shua), will not precede them who have slept. 16. Because our Master (Y'shua) will himself descend from heaven with the mandate and with the voice of the chief Messenger and with the Qarna of Elohim; and the dead who are in the Mashiyach will first arise; 17. and then we who survive and are alive will be caught up together with them to the clouds to meet our Master (Y'shua) in the air; and so will we be ever with our Master. 18. And so, comfort you one another with these words.

Y'shua is the ONLY way to eternal life! He paid the penalty for all of our sins when He died on the stake and by His resurrection made possible our resurrection to eternal life. By His indwelling Spirit, we can live a righteous life and forsake our former life of sin. All we have to do is ask!

We don't have to fear death, but we must be ready for it:

Hebrews 9:27 And, as it is appointed to men that they must once die, and after their death is the judgment; 28. so also the Mashiyach was once offered; and, by himself, he burned away the sins of many: and a second time, without sins, will he appear for the life of them who expect him.