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I assume you are speaking of a disembodied believer, one who has not been resurrected. To what degree one such believer comprehends time as we experience it is not clear in my opinion. Let's take a look at Revelation 6:9-11. " And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." These in my opinion are martyred victims of the great tribulation. 1. They are conscious. 2. They can speak and ask questions. 3. They have a desire for justice, retribution. 4. They must have a comprehension of time by asking "How long O Lord......"? 5. The Lord responded ".... rest yet for a little season.....".
Time is associated with mankind because God has put limits on mankinds life span twice in the word of God. In Noah's time it was about a thousand years. Methuselah Noah's son recorded time span was 969 years. Then God saw how evil man was becoming so he shortened it to 120 years. Thank God! Moses lived to be 120 years old according to scripture. Time will have no relavance in heaven. You will be totally self aware. Understanding this we take on a new form of a spirit only form until the resurrection of our bodies is completed at the time of the rapture of the church. Then like Jesus we will not be hindered by time or space. I am sure we will be able to communicate both physically and mentally eat or not eat. When the kingdom of God comes to earth, their will be a reminant of mankind that survived the tribulation that did not take the mark of the beast. Their are always survivors God always sees to that his directives are maintained. Humanity will always be are part of the kingdom of heaven on earth. But that kingdom will be ruled by Christ's righteousness and Satan is now bound. So angels, ressurected saints, humanity and all of God's creation from heaven and on earth will abide together here on earth. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on both heaven and earth is our heavenly Father end game plan for humanity. The book of revelations is the best book to get a clearer understanding of God's plan for humanity after the tribulation. The many different conversations of JESUS also hint of whats coming, so by God's grace alone we will not miss out on the Father's great plan for humanity. Imagine being able to eat or not eat. That the elements would have no effect on a resurrected body. Being able to comunicate mentally and physically depending on who you might be comunicating with angels, resurrected saints or a non resurrected man, woman or child here on planet earth. Where all threats have been eliminated and complete order has been restored. No more greed, covetousness, jealousy, uncontrol anger, lies, lust, or dictators or politicians driven by self-interest or decieved by evolution and humanistic wordly deceit that dinies the exsistance of our Lord and God. Wow! Don't miss out on that it will be amazing.
The soul and spirit are not the same thing. The ancient Hebrews texts are very clear about this, and NT writing confirms it. Paul discusses it most clearly in Rom 7 where he speaks of having two minds about sinning or keeping God's law. However, the pagan view was very strong in Judaism after the Babylonian exile, and was the official view point of the priests. This is part of why the priests, most of whom were Sadducees, did not believe in the resurrection (Mt 22:23, Mk 12:18, Lk 20:27, Acts 23:6, 8). As Paul discussed in Rom 7 and other places, both the soul and spirit have a consciousness, but most people never learn to distinguish between the thinking of these two separate parts of our total consciousness. The OT tells us over and over that the soul is in the blood, but it is usually translated as life in those texts. Lev 17:11-14 and Dt 12:23 is where this is stated most clearly but Gen 9:4,5 also speak of it. Once the difference between soul and spirit is understood it is easy to reconcile the constant argument between those teaching soul sleep vs full consciousness of the spirit when it returns to God. Both groups rely on certain texts while ignoring others, but both can be true and in scripture at the same time. The soul sleeps in the ground, where the blood is to be poured out from any dead animal eaten or sacrificed (Dt 12:16, 24, 15:23). It is from the ground that Samuel's soul rose to speak to Saul (1Sa 28:13). While there is no verse that explicitly states the soul sleeps, the concept is very common in scripture, including the teachings of Jesus. Someone sleeping has little concept of time, but is still bound by it. And contrary to the common teaching of the soul sleep believers, a person usually wakes with some awareness of the passage of time. Eccl 12:7 says the spirit returns to God. The spirit has consciousness; the creation story uses the word neshamah for spirit (breath of life) in Gen 2:7. Neshamah means breath, spirit and intellect. This means the spirit must have a consciousness, and that returns to God. The Bible is rather quiet concerning any other matter dealing with the state of the dead, so we can only speculate as to whether the spirit is subject to time when it returns to God. The most interesting speculation I have seen regarding this is that our spirit is also our guardian angel, which has experienced time from the beginning and is able to enter the cosmos at various times through the ages. There is nothing wrong with speculation so long as we do not start teaching it as fact, and I am inclined to believe this particular bit of speculation.
I believe that, at death, the Christian is, indeed, immediately outside of time. However, this has implications for the body, as well as the soul. If time no longer exists, there is no interval in which the eternal soul can exist as a separate entity or in a disembodied state apart from the body prior to the resurrection at Christ's return at the close of the age. Therefore, the deceased Christian will find himself immediately in his resurrected, glorified body at Christ's return, when earthly time will no longer exist. To those the Christian leaves behind on earth, his body will appear to be lifeless and subject to decay, but that is because those left behind are still "trapped in time".
The breath of life return to God at death - not the soul. A soul is a living being - a combination of body + God's breath. A soul cannot exist unless body and breath are combined. God's Word teaches that we are souls: “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” (Genesis 2:7 KJV). God did not give man a soul – He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” The spirit that returns to God at death is nothing else but the breath of life (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Nowhere in the Bible does the "spirit" have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. It is the "breath of life" and nothing more. According to God's Word, souls are not immortal, souls do die (Ezekiel 18:20). We are souls, and we die. Man is mortal (Job 4:17). Only God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:15, 16). The concept of an undying, immortal soul is not Biblical. Souls are subject to death. At death, people go to their graves into a dreamless sleep to await the resurrection day (Psalm 13:3; John 5:28, 29; 1 Kings 2:10; Acts 2:29, 34; Job 17:13; 2 Peter 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). The dead know nothing, they do not have any brain activity, any knowledge, they do not praise the Lord or do any work (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10; Psalms 115:17; Psalm 146:4).
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