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► What is the Intermediate State? This refers to the state of the dead between death and the resurrection of the body. After the body goes back to dust at physical death (Gen. 3:19; Eccl. 3:19-21 Jas. 2:26), it remains dead (separated from the inner man) until the future resurrection day when the body will be made immortal (1Cor. 15:35-54). The soul and spirit (inner-man) remain alive, being immortal either in heaven or hell, until the resurrection day when the body will be made immortal. ► Where do believers go upon death? At physical death body goes to dust (decayed) but the inner-man (soul + spirit) leaves the body (Jas. 2:26) goes to heaven immediately at death to await the resurrection of the body (Lk. 20:38; Jn. 11:25-26 2Cor. 5:8; Eph. 3:15; 4:8-10 Php. 1:21-24 Heb. 12:22-23 Rev. 6:9-11). ► Where do sinners (wicked) go upon death? If he is a sinner, his body goes to grave (decayed), his spirit goes to the Lord according to Eccl. 3:19-22 but the "soul" goes to hell at death to await the resurrection of the body (Isa. 14:9 Lk. 16:19-31 2Pet. 2:9; Rev. 20:11-15). Please note that three are 3 different locations. ► It's appointed to everyone once to die and then the judgement. There is no second chance. Both the saved and the unsaved will be judged, but they are different judgements at different times. ► Believers, At the rapture, the believers bodies are resurrected and reconnect with the inner-man (soul + spirit). Believers are judged at the Judgement Seat of Christ - not for sin, but for works for the purpose or reward. ► The non-believers are also resurrected at the end of the Millennium (1000 year reign of Christ) and are judged at the Great White Throne Judgement. Everyone there is unsaved, will be judged for their sin and cast into the Lake of Fire - the final and ultimate place of punishment, that was actually meant for the devil and his angels, not for man. But for those who reject Christ, that will be their fate. At the time of resurrection, one comes up in a spiritual body.(I Corinthians 15:44), What will be the nature of our bodies when resurrected? (a) Incorruptible; 1 Corinthians 15:42. (b) Glorious; 1 Corinthians 15:43, (c) Powerful; 1 Corinthians 15:43. (d) A spiritual body; 1 Corinthians 15:44. (e) It is like the body of the second man, the Lord from heaven; 1 Corinthians 15:45-50. But for those who reject Christ, that will be their fate. ►►► A Special NOTE to all my Beloved Roman Catholic Friends, Please be warned that there is NO such place called purgatory, an another intermediate stage between hell and Heaven. Catholics believe that everyone (both believer and non believer) will goto Purgatory immediately after death and wait. It is NOT biblical as it does NOT exist! It is AMAZING, that to this very day, precious Roman Catholics donate money (millions $$$) for Mass Cards, so that a Priest can offer a Catholic Mass for the dead souls in Purgatory. When they offer such prayers for the dead, they believe their soils rest in peace. The Bible clearly says you cannot change destiny of the dead soul by offering such purgatory prayers! It purely depends on HOW he or she lived a life on earth. Offering such prayers for the dead is waste of time and efforts... It is INCREDIBLE that so many people can STILL be deceived by this FALSE teaching. Spiritual Deception is SUPERNATURAL, because there IS FALSE POWER behind it, that is GENERATED by the DEVIL himself! Purgatory is TRULY DEMONIC teaching! I pray that those who beleive the purgatory doctrine be LIBERATED!
In 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 became a living soul." So God's breath + the body = soul. Death is creation in reverse. It never said that Adam had a soul it clearly said that he became a living soul. In Genesis 3:4"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:" that was the first sermon preached on the immortality of the soul. Not once does the bible say that the soul is immortal. Ezekiel 18:4 says "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." In verse 20 of the same chapter reiterates the same thing. Isn't it funny that Martha doesn't mention it when Lazarus is ressurected, or any person who was ressurected ever mentions it? Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 states"Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 KJV  For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." So the dead are not conscious. There are many more texts that support the unconsciousness in death. Even Jesus himself referred to Lazarus as being asleep (unconscious). The doctrine of immortality of the soul came from the pagans and walked into the Catholic Church mainly through tertouli and others, and Catholicism has passed it on to Protestantism. Do your homework. Isaiah 28:9,10 states" 9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:" The bible must be studied comparitvely and contextually. Find out what the whole bible says about the subject then and only then will you find the truth of what the bible says.
There is no intermediate state. One is either alive or dead, and if dead then the next stop is the resurrection to life or judgement. If it is to judgement then the end result is destruction, burned up in the lake of fire. That is the plain truth from the scriptures. The traditions of men tell a different story but they are what they are only traditions that have been unfortunately accepted by a large segment of Christendom.
After study on this subject, I am personally convinced that, the moment we die, we are outside of time. There is no "intermediate state", because there will no longer be time in which that state can occur. Christians will be immediately in God's presence in eternity in their resurrected and glorified bodies, along with all other believers from eternity past to eternity future. To those whom those Christians leave behind, their bodies will still appear to be lifeless here on earth, but that is because those they leave behind are still "trapped in time". A full exposition of this subject, along with Biblical references and support for every point discussed, is contained in the e-book "Journey Out of Time" by Arthur C. Custance. (When I first encountered this book, I had questions about Bible passages that seemed to present problems with its position on this subject, but Dr. Custance addressed all those points in a thorough, Biblical manner.)
There is no in between state.Lazarus went to the place of bliss after death after being carried by the angels while the rich man went to Hades and he had a physical form. Even Abraham has physical form. During the dialogue between Abraham and the rich person we find the rich person spoke of body parts like eyes, finger, tongue, and he could see Luke 16:23-25. Our Lord told the repentant thief that he would be with him the same day in paradise. And in response to the Sadducees' belief that there is no resurrection The Lord told to God every one lives? "He is the God of living." See Luke 20:27-38. Moses and Elijah appeared to The Lord Jesus in bodily form and spoke with Him as we find in Mark9:1-4. In the light of 2 Cor. 5:1-4 we get our celestial body soon after our physical death in earth and remain with The Lord if we are saved. If not our place would be a state of conscious pain like the rich man of Luke 16:23. So then what happens in resurrection -this means we simply reappear in earth with our celestial bodies. After our death He sees us no more until we return with The Lord Jesus, forming a part of cloud that accompany Him from heaven, 1Thess:13-17. Please recall that after resurrection The Lord appeared to those who were fore-ordained for this as per Acts 10:41. Jesus Himself said that when calls Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He actually says these patriarchs of faith are living, and God is not the God of the dead, but God of the living, and to Him every one lives as per Luke 20:37&38. Thus everyone lives to Him either in heaven or in Hades, like the rich man (whose name is not mentioned) of Luke 16:23. Surely the earthly body we return to the earth will not come back again because per Genesis 3:19, the body of dust would go back to dust. But we in glorified bodies, which God has prepared in heaven (2 Cor. 5:1)would reappear in the earth. Also in 1 John 3:2, our bodies would be like Christ's glorified bodies. In the light of the above scriptures, resurrection as a concept has relevance to earth, not to heaven. Also note that per 2 Peter 3:10 our earthly bodies, which have disintegrated, would be totally dissolved. Thus the celestial body would either be with The Lord to be with Him forever or go to the lake of fire, which is the second death, for being tormented forever along with the devil and his angels and the Anti Christ and the False Prophet. Let us remember it is appointed for men once to die and after that the judgement. Believe in The Lord Jesus Christ and you will have no condemnation Romans 8:1. Do not trust in intermediary state or purgatory.
Death is not complete annihilation; it is only a state of temporary unconsciousness while the person awaits the resurrection. The Bible repeatedly calls this intermediate state a sleep. Referring to their deaths, the Old Testament describes David, Solomon, and the other kings of Israel and Judah as sleeping with their forefathers (1 Kings 2:10; 11:43; 14:20, 31; 15:8; 2 Chron. 21:1; 26:23; etc.). Job called death a sleep (Job 14:10-12), as did David (Ps. 13:3), Jeremiah (Jer. 51:39, 57), and Daniel (Dan. 12:2). The New Testament uses the same imagery. In describing the condition of Jairus' daughter, who was dead, Christ said that she was sleeping (Matt. 9:24; Mark 5:39). He referred to the deceased Lazarus in a similar manner (John 11:11-14). Matthew wrote that many "saints who had fallen asleep were raised" after Christ's resurrection (Matt. 27:52), and in recording Stephen's martyrdom, Luke wrote that "he fell asleep" (Acts 7:60). Both Paul and Peter also called death a sleep (1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Peter 3:4). The Biblical representation of death as a sleep clearly fits its nature, as the following comparisons demonstrate: 1. Those who sleep are unconscious. "The dead know nothing" (Eccl. 9:5). 2. In sleep conscious thinking ceases. "His breath goeth forth,... in that very day his thoughts perish" (Ps. 146:4, KJV). 3. Sleep brings an end to all the days activities. "There is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going" (Eccl. 9:10). 4. Sleep disassociates us from those who are awake, and from their activities. "Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun" (verse 6). 5. Normal sleep renders the emotions inactive. "Their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished" (verse 6). 6. In sleep men do not praise God. "The dead do not praise the Lord" (Ps. 115:17). 7. Sleep presupposes an awakening. "'The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth'" (John 5:28, 29).3 The Person Returns to Dust. To understand what happens to a person at death, one must understand what makes up his or her nature. The Bible portrays a person as an organic unity (see chapter 7 of this book). At times it uses the word soul to refer to the whole person, and at other times to the affections and emotions. But it does not teach that man comprises two separate parts. Body and soul only exist together; they form an indivisible union. At humanity's creation, the union of the dust of the ground (earth's elements) and the breath of life produced a living being or soul. Adam did not receive a soul as a separate entity; he became a living soul (Gen. 2:7: see also chapter 7 of this book). At death the inverse takes place: the dust of the ground minus the breath of life yields a dead person or dead soul without any consciousness (Ps. 146:4). The elements that made up the body return to the earth from which they came (Gen. 3:19).
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