Why God? Why Haiti? What Happens When You die?

Where is God in the mist of pain and suffering? Where is God in the mist of severe tragedy and lost? God Why? These are the questions that are echoing throughout Haiti, the US and the world. My mind go back to the story of Lazarus found in the book of John. Key to the answers.

John 11

3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Jesus calls Death a “SLEEP”

When a person dies they do not go to heaven of hell. They wait in their graves for the resurrection. Jn 5:24-29 speaks of two resurrections.

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

What Happens when a person dies?

The Nature of Man – How was man created?

Gen 2:7
7     And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
(KJV)

Notice that at creation God created a body and added to it the Spirit or Breath of life. Soul = Body + Spirit

The Hebrew word translated as “soul” is nephesh. As you can see in the Strong’s definition below and the verses from Genesis below it, the same word – nephesh – is used to describe all living beings. The word is translated elsewhere as life, creature, being, person, body, etc.

5315 nephesh (neh’-fesh);
from 5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):
Gen 1:20-24
20     Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures , and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”
21     And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
22     And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
23     And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
24     Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.
(NAS)

What happens at death?

Eccl 12:5-7
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.
(NAS)

Ps 146:3-4
3     Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
4     His spirit departs, he returns to the earth ; in that very day his thoughts perish.
(NAS)

Death is just the reverse of creation. Take away either the body or the breath and the soul ceases to exist. It is like light. Light (soul) comes from applying electricity (breath) to a light bulb (body). If you take away the bulb or turn off the electricity, what happens to the light? – The light ceases to exist.

Do the dead know more than the living? Are they bestowed with special knowledge and understanding?

Ps 146:3-4
3     Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
4     His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish .
(NAS)

Eccl 9:5-10
5     For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything , nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.
6     Indeed their love, their hate, and their zeal have already perished , and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.
7     Go {then,} eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.
8     Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.
9     Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life, and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.
10     Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do {it} with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going .

Ps 115:17
17     The dead do not praise the LORD, nor {do} any who go down into silence ;

Ps 6:4-5
4     Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
5     For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?
(NKJ)

Is the soul immortal?

1 Tim 6:14-16
14     that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing,
15     which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords ,
16     who alone has immortality , dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
(NKJ)

Ezek 18:4
4     “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die .

Rom 6:23
23     For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord .

John 3:16
16     “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life .

The word ‘mortal’ means subject to death. As living souls, we are mortal. The bible says that only God possesses immortality. It also states that the soul that sins will die. The gift of Jesus to those that follow Him is the gift of eternal life.

What does Jesus call death?


11     This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awaken him out of sleep .”
12     The disciples therefore said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
13     Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep .
14     Then Jesus therefore said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead ,

The bible calls death a sleep over 50 times. The idea is that at death, we sleep in the grave reserved for judgement until the resurrection. Surely King David was a righteous man, but did he go to heaven when he died? See what the bible says about David in the book of Acts, written long after the death and resurrection of Christ.

Acts 2:29-34
29     “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day .
30     “And so, because he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat {one} of his descendants upon his throne,
31     he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.
32     “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
33     “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.
34     “For it was not David who ascended into heaven , but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,

What will eventually happen to the dead that are sleeping in the grave? When will this happen?

1Thes 4:13-18
13     But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep , that you may 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 .
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, shall 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 shall rise first.
17     Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air , and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
18     Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Cor 15:51-55
51     Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed ,
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 shall be changed .
53     For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54     But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.
55     “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

1 Cor 15:20-26
20     But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep .
21     For since by a man {came} death, by a man also {came} the resurrection of the dead.
22     For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive .
23     But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming ,
24     then {comes} the end , when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
25     For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
26     The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

John 6:39-40
39     “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
40     “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

At the resurrection, the souls are given life back. We already discussed that a soul is a body plus the Breath of Life (ie. The Holy Spirit that sustains the life of all). If we are given back the Breath of Life, and we are made alive again as souls, what will our bodies be like?

1 Cor 15:35-44
35     But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?”
36     You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;
37     and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.
38     But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.
39     All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one {flesh} of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.
40     There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the {glory} of the earthly is another.
41     There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
42     So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable {body} it is raised an imperishable {body}
43     it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
44     it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual {body.}

Phil 3:20-21
20     For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ ;
21     who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory , by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

We will have bodies like unto Christ’s glorified body. We see examples of Christ in glorification on the Mount of Transfiguration, and also as He appeared to His disciples after His death and Resurrection.

Note that the Mount of Transfiguration is a miniature representation of Heaven. There is Jesus glorified, and Moses – a representative of those who died and were resurrected – and Enoch – a representative of those who were alive at Jesus return and who were translated without tasting death. The bible teaches that Moses died but has already been resurrected, and that Enoch never died, but was translated and taken up to heaven. The bible only talks about two who have been translated, Enoch and Elijah.

Luke 9:28-31
28     And some eight days after these sayings, it came about that He took along Peter and John and James, and went up to the mountain to pray.
29     And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing {became} white {and} gleaming .
30     And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah,
31     who, appearing in glory , were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

Luke 24:36-43
36     And while they were telling these things, He [Jesus] Himself stood in their midst.
37     But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.
38     And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39     “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have .”
40     [And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.]
41     And while they still could not believe {it} for joy and were marveling, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat ?”
42     And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish;
43
and
He took it and ate {it} before them.

The bible speaks about two resurrections – the resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the wicked.

John 5:28-29
28     “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice,
29     and shall come forth; those who did the good {deeds} to a resurrection of life , those who committed the evil {deeds} to a resurrection of judgment .

Dan 12:1-2
1     “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands {guard} over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
2     “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace {and} everlasting contempt .

The book of Revelation adds further detail to this idea of two resurrections. It says that the two resurrections occur 1000 years apart. The sequence is that the righteous dead are resurrected and the righteous living are translated and caught up together at Christ’s return. The wicked dead stay dead at that time, and the wicked living are slain by the brightness of Christ’s return. The righteous reign with Christ for 1000 years in heaven are allowed time to verify the validity of God’s judgements for themselves. Think of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, as an example of why this would be necessary. At Jesus’ return, Stephen and Paul will both be resurrected. When Stephen sees Paul, whom he knows only as Saul of Tarsus – the one who helped put him to death – Stephen is going to instantly think that God made a mistake. God in His mercy will allow us 1000 years to validate His judgements for ourselves, before He executes the final death sentence upon the wicked. After the millennium, The wicked will be resurrected (the second resurrection) and will be sentenced to eternal death. See below how Revelation 19 & 20 describe the return of Jesus, the first resurrection, the millennial investigative judgement, the second resurrection, and the second death.

Note: See also the study sheets on “The Investigative Judgement” and “The Great Controversy”

Rev 19:9-20:15
9     And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb .'” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”
10     And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
11     And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it {is} called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war .
12     And His eyes {are} a flame of fire, and upon His head {are} many diadems; and He has a name written {upon Him} which no one knows except Himself.
13     And {He is} clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.
14     And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white {and} clean, were following Him on white horses.
15     And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
16     And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
17     And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God;
18     in order that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”
19     And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.
20     And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
21     And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse , and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
CHAPTER 20
1     And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
2     And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years ,
3     and threw him into the abyss, and shut {it} and sealed {it} over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
4     And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I {saw} the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years .
5     The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed . This is the first resurrection.
6     Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years .
7     And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison ,
8     and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
9     And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
10     And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11     And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
12     And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is {the book} of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds .
13     And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one {of them} according to their deeds.
14     And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire .
15     And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire .

Matt 10:28
28     “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [The Lake of Fire] .


What was Satan’s first lie to man?

Gen 3:1-4
1     Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2     And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
3     “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”
4     Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die .

Satan has repeated this lie throughout history. There are thousands of people today who take guidance in their lives from what they believe to be the spirits of their departed loved ones. Millions of devout Catholics, including the Pope himself, take guidance in their lives from apparitions of Mary. These apparitions are not the spirits of dead relatives and saints. THESE SPIRITS ARE DEMONS – SATAN’S EVIL ANGELS – AND APPEAR IN ORDER TO LEAD PEOPLE TO DAMNATION .

What strong warning does God give about consulting mediums and spirits?

Deut 18:9-11
9     “When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.
10     “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer ,
11     or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead .

Isa 8:19-20
19 And when they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? {Should they} {consult} the dead on behalf of the living?
20
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.





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