Dear Refiner's Fire...

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

Our Response...

GREAT QUESTION AND ONE THAT DESERVES AN INDEPTH RESPONSE! There is no short or easy answer for this, so let's just do a little study:

First, and foremost, NOBODY that we know of, except for Yeshua, has ever gone to heaven (see the Gospels). According to the Bible, ONLY YESHUA is sitting at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). Some would argue that Enoch and Elijah went to heaven (Genesis 5:24, 2 Kings 2:11), but we don't know exactly what that means; we know nothing about their appearance nor what they are doing in "heaven". All we know is that they were resurrected. Furthermore, we know of no other "resurrection" since the day Yeshua died when there was a great earthquake and some dead believers resurrected (Matthew 27:50-53).

By the way, before we go on, we must explain that "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.

Reiterating, according to the Bible, only Yeshua is sitting at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3), which indicates that NO other believers have yet gone to "that part" of heaven. But this will happen after the thousand year reign of Yeshua on earth ... on Judgment Day during a time when YHWH will give us a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13, Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22, Luke 18:30; Revelation 21:1-5). At that time, all the righteous who have ever died will join Yahweh in eternity, and all the unrighteous/unbelievers who have ever died will end up eternally separated from God.

Further explanation:

Yeshua will rule and reign for a thousand years, at which time there will be the resurrection of ALL (those 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 at what is described as Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; 2 Peter 3:10-12).

Those who reject Him will be cast off into nothingness forever. It will be as though they never existed, while believers will live forever with YHWH throughout eternity. Although the wicked will end up in hell for a period, they will suffer consciously for their individual sins so that they may know and ponder what they have brought upon themselves: The eternal death of soul and body; the eternal loss of immortality.

Revelation 20: 12. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is (the book) of life. And the dead were judged from the things written in the books, according to their deeds. 13. And the sea gave up the dead in it; and death and Sheol gave up the dead in them. And they were judged, each one according to his deeds. 14. And death and Sheol were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, (namely,) this lake of fire. 15. And if any one was not found enrolled in the book of life, he was cast into this lake of fire.

Revelation 21: 5. And He who sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new. And he said: Write; because these are the faithful and true Words of Elohim. 6. And he said to me: I am Alap and the Taw, the Beginning and the Completion: to him who thirsts, will I give of the fountain of living water, freely. 7. He that overcomes will inherit these things; and I will be his Elohim, and he will be my son. 8. But to the timid and the unbelieving, and to the sinful and polluted, and to manslayers and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and to all false persons, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

Moving on, Scripture tells us our Spirit returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7)!

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. (CJB)

Isaiah 64: 6 All of us are like someone unclean, all our righteous deeds like menstrual rags; we wither, all of us, like leaves; and our misdeeds blow us away like the wind. (CJB)

Isaiah 64: 9 So are we Jews better off? Not entirely; for I have already made the charge that all people, Jews and Gentiles alike, are controlled by sin. 10 As the Tanakh puts it, "There is no one righteous, not even one! No one understands, 11 no one seeks God, 12 all have turned away and at the same time become useless; there is no one who shows kindness, not a single one! 13 "Their throats are open graves, they use their tongues to deceive. Vipers' venom is under their lips. 14 Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness. 15 "Their feet rush to shed blood, 16 in their ways are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of shalom they do not know. 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (CJB)

Ecclesiastes 12:7 "The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it." (CJB)

QUICK NOTE: Unfortunately, in America, especially, we are into "embalming" - which is designed to preserve our bodies forever - which actually goes against Scripture which mentions that we came from dust and to dust we shall return (Genesis 3:19) - which is another indicator that the "immediate rapture of our bodies" idea taught in Christianity is erroneous.) Regardless, although some scriptures may SEEM to suggest otherwise, common sense dictates that our sinful "earthly bodies" cannot be resurrected!

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. (AENT)

So, as mentioned above, 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. All we can do is to speculate; but the fact remains that we really do NOT know of any other "rapture" since the day Yeshua died when there was a great earthquake and some dead believers were "resurrected". This means none of our loved ones who preceded us are "looking down on, or watching us."

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).

These things are certain: Everyone dies, dead bodies decay, There is no immediate resurrection; and our "forever bodies" will NOT resemble our earthly bodies.

Romans 8: 5. For they who are in the flesh recall to mind the things of the flesh: and they who are of the Spirit do recall to the mind the things of the Spirit. 6. For minding the things of the flesh is death; but minding the things of the Spirit is life and peace. 7. Because minding the things of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim: for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, because it is not possible.

8. And they who are in the flesh cannot please Elohim. 9. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; if the Spirit of Elohim truly dwells in you. And if in anyone there is not the Spirit of Mashiyach, he is none of his. 10. But if Mashiyach is in you, the body is dead in regard to sin; and the Spirit is alive in regard to righteousness. 11. And if the Spirit of Him who raised our Master Y'shua the Mashiyach from the dead dwells in you, he who raised our Master Y'shua the Mashiyach from the dead will also revive your dead bodies because of his Spirit that dwells in you. (AENT)

1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 People born of dust are like the man of dust, and people born from heaven are like the man from heaven; 49 and just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, so also we will bear the image of the man from heaven. 50 Let me say this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot share in the Kingdom of God, nor can something that decays share in what does not decay. 51 Look, I will tell you a secret - not all of us will die! But we will all be changed!

52 It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed. 53 For this material which can decay must be clothed with imperishability, this which is mortal must be clothed with immortality. 54 When what decays puts on imperishability and what is mortal puts on immortality, then this passage in the Tanakh will be fulfilled: "Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 "Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?" 56 The sting of death is sin; and sin draws its power from the Torah; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! (CJB)

Contrary to popular belief, when our bodies die, they cease to be and will decay. Dead tissue does not regenerate. (Could God regenerate us? Certainly! But why would He - a perfectly Holy Spirit Being - want to be in the presence of filthy bodies that have sinned? See Habbakuk 1:12-13. Just because Yeshua died on our behalf doesn't mean our BODIES are totally clean and sinless. Men STILL continue to sin; the only difference is, Believers try their best NOT to....)

Our SPIRITS, however, will return to Him! According to Scripture, they will NOT immediately "go to heaven" because we will ALL have to wait until the next "rapture" which happens upon Yeshua's return when "the dead in Messiah will rise first" and then those believers who are alive - those who knew Yeshua AND kept His Torah (1 Corinthians 15:51-58).

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. (AENT)

Acts 13: 3 36 For David did indeed serve God's purposes in his own generation; but after that, he died, was buried with his fathers and did see decay. (CJB)

For further information, check out 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. What a privilege!

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 us. This promise would be meaningless if we are already with him at death, for then he would not need to come back for us.

In the meantime YHWH, the Father, wants us to take care of our present body before we receive our "glorified, eternal 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.


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 "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,

The good news is, death is NOT the end for those who believe in YHWH and His Divine Messiah, Y'shua. Our earthly bodies will simply die and decay. No big deal, as we will receive new bodies (no one knows what they will look like).

John 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.

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 redeemed us by being our "substitute" and paying the penalty for our PAST sins when he died on the stake, and by his resurrection made possible our resurrection to eternal life. By YHWH's 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.