DO WE LIVE AFTER DEATH?
by Tony Alamo
“If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). The prophets in the Old Testament didn’t speak and write of immortality as much as Jesus and the apostles did in the New Testament. The Old Testament men of God were more led by God not to contrast so vividly today’s life or the present life with our lives or futures, but to contrast the difference between the chosen people of God and the Gentile heathen nations of the world. It was the life of the nation of Israel, not the life of the individual, which took predominance. But the fact is that eternal life is written about and spoken greatly of in the Old Testament.1 Almost all the Jews (except the Sadducees) believed in human immortality, and when Jesus came, this belief was far from being denied.2 There is much evidence showing that this was believed in the Old Testament history. For example, the common expression such as, “He was gathered to his people,”3 and God’s law forbidding communication with the dead,4 clearly show us the common and popular Hebrew Law of God and belief included an eternal, continual, conscious existence after death, beyond the grave. The explicit mention of passages in the Old Testament are not nearly as many as in the New Testament, which affirm eternal life. Still, the fact of life after death is taken for granted. The Old Testament scriptures plainly show God saying, “Let Us make [create] man in Our image” (Gen. 1:26), in the image of God and His likeness. So man, therefore, is a creature whose number one existence is spiritual, and man’s life is not ended or obliterated by the death of his body.5
God’s highest goodness is perpetually in His Word, and is shown in His desire to favor us with His fellowship. Everything that is considered to be good in this life (our temporal life) is totally insignificant in comparison to this. “The prosperity of the wicked” (Psa. 73:3) is not to be envied because at the end of their lives they will be lost, and we will be in Him (Jesus) who is our sanctuary (we are now sitting with Him in heavenly places [Eph. 2:6]), and He is in us on earth, who are His sanctuary, the temple of God.6 This is the clear, holy light (illumination) of the prospect (the promise and the condition) of those who are righteous. David said, “I am continually with Thee [in heavenly places]: Thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou wilt guide me, with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psa. 73:23-24).
The entire Word of God is inspired to turn our faith, our thoughts, and our minds from earthliness today and to the heavenly today and future. This is plainly written in many other Old and New Testament scriptures where God speaks of our future life. Read the 16th Psalm which vividly gives us the prayer regarding foreverness. “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psa. 16:11). It is confirmed here: “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance” (Acts 2:28). David “fell [to] sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and [his body] saw corruption” (Acts 13:36). God raised Jesus from the dead; His body did not see corruption.7 “Because Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption” (Acts 2:27). “Wherefore He saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption” (Acts 13:35).
David speaks of his immortality: “As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness” (Psa. 17:15). Isaiah 26:19 says, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Daniel 12:2-3 says, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
In the New Testament (II Tim. 1:10), the Apostle Paul speaks of Jesus, “Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” In this verse, the words “brought…to light” shows that He has “illuminated” or brought this fact to “light.” This doesn’t mean that immortality wasn’t heard of: it was commonly known of by all, even among the Gentiles and the Jews. But the gospel illuminates and discloses the original, true nature of life and immortality for our eyes to see.
Some of the Jews, primarily the Sadducees, threw away the belief and hope of life after death. False philosophy and corruption had destroyed the faith of many, just as the evil people of the world have done today. Christ’s purpose was to not only speak of immortality, but to demonstrate it by His perfect life, His sufferings, His death, His resurrection and ascension into Heaven, making it possible for us to attain an immortality that would be blessed.8
Christ gave explicit words in a multitude of scriptures regarding eternal life. He contended with the Sadducees against their doubts, and His contention is well understood, demonstrating not only His own firm belief in a future deathless life, but also the facts regarding the same truths found in the Old Testament (Luke 20:27, 38). Jesus’ doctrine was plain and easy to understand (Matt. 5:12, 8:11-12, 12:32, 13:36, 43, 18:8-9, 22:11-13, 25:1-13, 31-46, Mark 8:35-37, Luke 12:4-5, 13:24-29, 16:19-31, 18:29-30, John 3:16, 5:39-40, 6:47-58, 10:28, 11:25, 14:1-6, and many more). Christ speaks of eternity not only for the righteous, but also for the wicked.9 Jesus teaches of a blessed immortality as being attainable only through Himself.10 The teachings of the apostles have the same explicit meaning as the words of Christ. The world is obligated to the gospel of the cross for the knowledge of eternal life. It is impossible to overrate the blessing of the Lord’s truth.
Our Dead Bodies Shall
Live Again Too
Most theologians think of immortality as the survival of the spirit part of our being after the death of our physical bodies, but we must keep it clear in our mind that eternal life is not merely our existence after we die. The death of our bodies does not end our human life, whether we be saved or lost. In other words, the soul is not the only part of the saved that is immortal. The Bible (the Word of God) teaches that immortality is a deathlessness of the entire person, the body without a doubt being united to the soul and spirit. So immortality refers also to the body, which is the part of man that was God’s temple, where He with us did His work.11 Immortality affects the entire man, including his soul and spirit. So immortality is not simply a conscious condition of floating around in eternity for eternity, but is a state of deliverance.12 It is eternal bliss and ecstasy because of redemption and the possession of a glorified body united to the soul and spirit.13 Immortality includes resurrection with a perfected life in our body, soul, and spirit. Immortality and eternal life are not the same. Eternal life is a gift bestowed upon everyone who believes in Christ and obeys Him.14
Believers and doubters all suffer death.15 The believer who is alive in the Spirit with Christ in Heavenly places and at Christ’s coming never dies, but will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and his or her body will be instantaneously changed. It will be a glorified human body.
In First Corinthians 15:51-53, Paul says by the Holy Spirit, “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [meaning our mortal bodies will not all die and decay], but we [some of us, born-again saints] shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised [their human bodies] incorruptible [glorified], and we shall be changed. For this corruptible [body] must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:51-58).
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thes. 4:13-17).
Having eternal life guarantees a future immortal body, but only if we continue in the faith till the end, if we continue denying ourselves, walking in a crucified life, keeping ourselves holy, keeping the commandments. If this be so, we shall either be translated or resurrected. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:22-23). “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from Heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit” (II Cor. 5:1-5).
All who continue desiring eternal life are given future immortality of the body, as well as the soul and spirit. They are receiving resurrection of their bodies unto life, or translation unto glory. Whichever is the case, the result will be the same, which is an immortal glorified body. Our bodies will be always young, be deathless, painless, and of course, sinless. Sinless must be the case in this world—we must be without spot or blemish!!16 “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).
This sinless person becomes immortal. Those who are lost, unsaved, do not have eternal life. Their human body will not ever be immortal in Heaven, but eternal in Hell. Their soul and spirit will go on in torment forever.17 Their body will suffer. This is the second death at the sinner’s Great White Throne judgment. “And death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire” (Rev. 20:14-15). They will not be annihilated. This is an eternal consciousness of horror, pain, suffering, and torment in fire. It is not merely separation from God, but it includes separation from God. Only those of us who believe on Christ (the whole Word of God) and prove it from our heart by doing all that He commands “have immortality in Heaven, in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see” (I Tim. 6:16). We are able to obtain the same immortality as Christ, as the first fruit, secured by His death and resurrection. Immortality, then, is brought “to light through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:10).
The unrepentant sinners, those who are lost, have many concepts of immortal life, but their ideas are not biblical. Christ alone is the only one who has an immortal body. Christ alone did not see corruption (Psa. 16:10, Acts 2:31), and is the glorified Son of Man in Heaven. He put on immortality over a mortal body, which is His body which died on the cross.18 By His redemptive work on the cross and His resurrection, He “brought life and immortality to light [and reality] through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:10).
The cross of Christ guarantees the glorification of the human body, whether by translation or resurrection, for those who have faith, obedience, and fidelity.19 Doubters and unbelievers do not have this hope. Of course, if the Christian dies, his body will be corrupted just as the sinners’, but only the believer in Christ, the faithful, is able to look forward to an immortal body joined to a deathless soul and spirit. Christ extends to the entire person. This is no shadow, like a disembodied existence. It is a full and complete deliverance. We shall be like Him.20 Christ didn’t suffer for people who believe they can still sin21 or not show good works, as He commands.22 Many billions of people will be shocked and disappointed. We must conform to Jesus to be transformed to an eternal life, body, soul, and spirit.
Philippians 3:21 says, “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is even able to subdue all things unto Himself.” Our bodies will be made suitable for citizenship in Heaven (Phlp. 3:20). Immortality cannot be of the soul only. It must also be of the incorruptibility of the body because it affects the whole man. The destiny of the believing saint is to be transformed “into conformity with the body of His glory” (Phlp. 3:21). This body of ours will be perfect for Heaven, “For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phlp. 3:20).
The Apostle Paul stated in Second Corinthians 5:4, “For we that are in this tabernacle [body] do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” All other Christians will see corruption or death (that is, the separation of the body from the soul and spirit). They will, however, receive immortality or be clothed with immortality with resurrection. Resurrection may be defined as the reunion of the soul and spirit with the body, which will then be in its glorified state—youthful, deathless, painless, and fatigueless. To get to this state, we must be sinless. We must be born again.23 Do so by this prayer to God:
My Lord and my God, have mercy upon my soul, a sinner. 1 I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. 2 I believe that He died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. 3 I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit 4 and that He sits on the right hand of God at this moment, hearing my confession of sin and this prayer. 5 I open up the door of my heart and I invite You into my heart, Lord Jesus. 6 Wash all of my filthy sins away in the precious blood that You shed in my place on the cross at Calvary. 7 You will not turn me away, Lord Jesus, You will forgive my sins and save my soul. I know because Your Word, the Bible says so. 8 Your Word says that You will turn no one away, and that includes me. 9 Therefore, I know that You have heard me, and I know that You have answered me, and I know that I am saved. 10 And I thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving my soul, and I will show my thankfulness by doing as You command and sin no more. 11
You've just completed the first step in a series of five steps which are necessary to receive salvation. Your second step is to deny yourself and take up the cross daily for the purpose of mortifying yourself, that is, for putting to death your own will, your soulful self, and the world with all of its lusts. All these must be baptized into the death of Christ.
Step three is your resurrection from the satanic life of Adam unto the sinless life of Christ. Step four is your ascension into a position of authority to reign for God on earth, and the fifth step is to reign for God on earth to the end for the purpose of bringing about the kingdom of Heaven on earth. You must learn the Word of God, then submit yourself and do what the Word says, so that the Church and the world may see evidence of your submission to God's Word, His order, and His authority in and by you.
Praise the Lord. May God reward you abundantly.
Pastor Tony Alamo
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Do We Live After Death? footnotes:
2. Matt. 3:10-12, 8:11-12, 10:27-28, 13:24-50, 19:16-29, 22:1-14, 23-32, 25:14-46, Mark 3:29, 9:43-48, Luke 12:16-36, 13:24-28, 14:12-14, 16:19-31, 21:34-36, John 3:14-16, 4:7-14, 5:21-29, 6:27, 39-58, 11:23-27, 12:25, 17:2-3 return
5. Luke 12:15-31, 16:19-31, Acts 2:22-39, Rom. 2:5-10, 8:6, 10-25, I Cor. 6:14, 15:12-58, II Cor. 4:14, 5:1-5, Gal. 6:7-8, Phlp. 3:10-11, 18-21, Col. 3:1-6, I Thes. 4:13-18, II Thes. 1:4-9, I Tim. 4:8, II Tim. 1:10, Titus 1:2-3, Heb. 6:1-2, 11:17-19, 13:12-14, II Pet. 2:12-17, I John 2:15-17, 5:11-13, Jude 5-7, Rev. 1:18, 14:9-11, 19:20, 20:10-15, 21:8 return
6. Ezek. 36:27, John 14:15-20, 23, 26, 15:1-7, 26, 16:7-14, 17:21-23, 26, Rom. 8:10-11, 26-28, I Cor. 3:9, 16-17, 6:19-20, 15:10, II Cor. 6:16-18, Gal. 2:20, Eph. 2:18-22, 3:16-21, Phlp. 2:12-13, Col. 1:27-29, 2:9-10, II Tim. 1:14, I John 3:24, 4:4 return
8. Psa. 22:13-18, Isa. 50:5-7, 52:14, 53:2-12, Matt. 4:1-11, 8:16-17, 27:27-54, 28:16-20, John 10:11-18, 12:32-33, Acts 1:1-3, 9-11, II Cor. 4:10-14, Heb. 2:9-10, 14-18, 4:15, 5:8-9, 7:26-28, 9:11-28, 12:2-3, I Pet. 2:21-25 return
14. Psa. 125:1, Matt. 19:16-29, 22:1-14, 24:30-31, 44-51, 25:14-30, Luke 12:29-40, John 1:12, 3:14-18, 36, 5:21-29, 6:40, 47-51, 10:10, 27-28, 11:25-26, Acts 13:38-39, 48, 16:31, Rom. 1:16-17, 2:5-10, Gal. 6:7-8, Col. 1:21-23, 3:1-6, II Tim. 4:7-8, Heb. 5:8-9, 10:38-39, 11:6-10, I Pet. 1:3-9, I John 2:15-17, 5:4-5, 11-13, Jude 5-7 return
16. Deut. 18:13, I Kings 8:61, Psa. 119:1-3, Matt. 5:48, II Cor. 13:11, Eph. 4:11-13, 5:25-27, Phlp. 2:15, 3:12-15, Col. 1:21-22, I Tim. 6:14, II Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 13:20-21, James 1:4, II Pet. 3:13-14, I John 3:6-10 return
21. Deut. 18:13, I Kings 8:61, Psa. 119:1-3, Matt. 5:48, II Cor. 13:11, Eph. 4:11-13, 5:25-27, Phlp. 2:15, 3:12-15, Col. 1:21-22, I Tim. 6:14, II Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 13:20-21, James 1:4, II Pet. 3:13-14, I John 3:6-10 return
1. Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:10-12, 23 return
2. Matt. 26:63-64, 27:54, Luke 1:30-33, John 9:35-37, Rom. 1:3-4 return
3. Acts 4:12, 20:28, Rom. 3:25, I John 1:7, Rev. 5:9 return
4. Psa. 16:9-10, Matt. 28:5-7, Mark 16:9, 12, 14, John 2:19, 21, 10:17-18, 11:25, Acts 2:24, 3:15, Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:3-7 return
5. Luke 22:69, Acts 2:25-36, Heb. 10:12-13 return
6. I Cor. 3:16, Rev. 3:20 return
7. Eph. 2:13-22, Heb. 9:22, 13:12, 20-21, I John 1:7, Rev. 1:5, 7:14 return
8. Matt. 26:28, Acts 2:21, 4:12, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 return
9. Matt. 21:22, John 6:35, 37-40, Rom. 10:13 return
10. Heb. 11:6 return
11. John 5:14, 8:11, Rom. 6:4, I Cor. 15:10, Rev. 7:14, 22:14 return