Letters to the Editor
I am confused about what happens to the human soul after
death. Richard Watson, on page 405 in "Theological Institutes" states: "That
the soul is naturally immortal is contradicted by Scripture, which makes our
immortality dependant on the will of the giver". How does this correlate with
the following? Ecclesiastes 9:5 "For the living know they shall die, but the
dead know not anything" and Psalm 146:4 "His breath goeth forth, he
returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" and Ecclesiastes 9:6
"Also their love and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished" with
Luke 23:43 "And Jesus replied, Today you will be with me in paradise. This is
a solemn promise". Be assured, I am in no way into theology, and as it is
impossible for God to contradict Himself, I would very much appreciate your
comments on the above....God Bless Allister Hull Zimbabwe
Very good question! As I am not a theologian myself, I have
passed your letter onto Barry for his comments. Very interesting topic isn't
it? One little extra snippet I will throw into the equation is the Hebrew word
'Lev', which is used when discussing the 'heart of man' in Scripture. It
is spirit and soul together, inseparable in the Jewish way of thinking. Ed.
When studying this subject, we always commence by reading
1 Thessalonians 5:23. Keep in mind the body is world conscious, the soul is self
conscious (made up of the mind, will and emotions), and the spirit is God
conscious. The Bible clearly teaches that we are made in the image of God, who
Himself is a spirit (John 4:24). It is the spirit of man which is reconnected to
the spirit of God at the moment that person is born again. Romans 8:16 "The
spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God".
Secondly, at death, the soul leaves the body, which is very clearly demonstrated
as you view the remaining 'shell' of a departed loved one. This soul goes
back to the Lord and is held in a 'transparent like body' until the
resurrection at the rapture. 1 Thessalonians 1:23 "And the very God of peace
sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit soul and body be preserved
blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Also 2 Corinthians 5:8 "We
are confident, I say and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be
present with the Lord". At the rapture, this transparency body (as experienced
by many who have died and by God's grace have been revived), is exchanged for
a real body of flesh and bones (see Luke 24:39 Jesus in His resurrection body,
is now minus the blood, which is the life here on earth -– He is now powered by
Witnesses to the temporary transparent body include a).
Doctor Richard Eby -– his book is entitled "Return From Tomorrow" b). Ian
McCormack, a New Zealander whose video testimony is available on video "A
Glimpse Of Eternity" (available from Assembly Of God, Victoria Street,
Hamilton) c). My wife May, who was very close to death a few years ago. The body
goes to the grave at the point of death and 'knows nothing'. Ecclesiastes 9:5
"...but the dead know not anything..." and Psalm 146:6 "His breath
goeth forth, he returneth to his earth: in that very day, his thoughts perish".
As we lay a dead persons body into the ground, it has ceased to breathe and live
as a functioning human being. Of course, this is from 'man's side of the
veil', from our viewpoint...the deceased can no longer think, commune or
receive or offer advise. However, from God's point of view all is different.
"In God's sight, there is no death". The soul is immortal, together with
the spirit, they return to God who is also immortal. Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then
shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto
God who gave it". Barry Smith
Since Christmas 1999, God has been talking to me about this
Santa Claus thing. I honestly believe it is wrong to include Santa in Christmas.
After all, it is Jesus birthday, and Jesus who will save us from hell, and Jesus
who is coming back to judge the world -– not Santa. Jesus is the truth and
Santa is a lie. Doesn't God tell us not to lie? I am married with 4 children
between 2 1/2 and 14 ½. The older three haven't believed in Santa for a long
time and my 2 ½ can't stand him. She screams with fear at the mention of his
name, and I'm proud to say she loves Jesus very much...all 4 of our daughters
would rather celebrate Jesus birthday than have anything to do with Santa. We
started a new tradition this year, we had a birthday cake for Jesus and sung
happy birthday to Him before we opened our presents. I found the following
leaflet inspiring and thought you might too. God Bless You Leanne Culph Victoria
"SANTA -– FRIEND OR FOE"
Who is Santa??
Santa is portrayed as the Father of Christmas. He is an
eternal being who once a year leaves his wife and home in magicland to visit
every house in the world, in one night, a seemingly impossible task which he
somehow accomplishes. He visits while we sleep and leaves gifts for children. He
is a busy, jolly man but hard to get to know. His elves work hard all year long
for Santa's one night of glory. He has no children of his own, but is THE
father of all children of the world, the epitome of what is 'best' in a
father. Recently, Santa began to visit people in the build up to 'Santa mass'
(the celebration of Santa), to have them sit on his knee and tell him what they
want from him. Children love Santa because he brings them what they want, if
they are good. Santamas eve is full of wonder and excitement as to what Santa
will bring. Songs are sung in of this generous, jolly, Father of all fathers -–
a man who overeats and drinks to excess.
Who Is Jesus??
Jesus is the Son of the only true God, the Father of all. He
is an eternal God and each year we remember when Jesus set aside His throne in
Heaven, a place of happiness, became like us, and showed us how to live. Jesus
spent 33 years with us. He did not visit like a thief in the night but as a
shepherd, a friend, a real person. The account of His life is in the Bible.
Everything about Jesus is up front. Jesus is God's greatest gift -– through
believing in Him comes eternal life. Jesus suffered because of this love. He is
not married but has many children. He loves children, he loves us all, but never
forces anyone to believe in Him. His continual gifts of love, food, air...are
free, even his greatest gift of friendship and forgiveness is free -– no
conditions of good behaviour are attached. Songs are sung in praise to Jesus,
our Lord and saviour, a man who proved His love through His birth, death and
resurrection. Celebrate the son
Thank you for your letter and thoughts. I have included them
in this edition of Omega Times for our readers. I personally have a problem with
this type of comparison -– ie. between Jesus and Santa... and yet I know we
agree with each other in principle. I can not acknowledge any parallel's
between Jesus and Santa. It is obvious to me that 'secular' people are
wanting to get rid of references to Jesus from Christmas altogether. I agree
with the 'Who is Jesus' section whole heartedly. As mentioned in my article,
I personally do not have a problem with Santa -– he remains nothing more than a
man made component of a festive season, for anybody who chooses to include him.
Some struggle with this and some don't. Let each person be persuaded in their
own mind. Jesus is the emphasis in our home, and should be in every Christian
home around the world. I should mention here that 'anything, anyone or any
institution which takes the place of Christ Jesus in an individuals life even in
the name of religion, becomes part of an 'anti-Christ spirit'. The term anti
Christ does not mean 'against Christ', it means 'in the place of Christ'.
If people raise Santa to this degree (or their motor vehicle or even their
favourite pastor or priest -– this is not healthy). Jesus does not share His
Lordship with anyone else. I thank you for the spirit in which you wrote your
letter, we must speak what we believe. Ed