As a father of three boys, I am often worried about how my sons will cope with the abounding wickedness we see across the world today. I recognize how challenging it will be for them to guard their hearts and minds against sin as they grow into young men. I couldn’t even begin to list all of the wickedness observed in the world today, as it will fill volumes of books. Yet, I am reminded that the scriptures teach us that there is nothing new about the sinful nature of humanity.
What has been will be again, and what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 BSB
Ecclesiastes goes on to say in chapter 3:14-15:
I know that, whatsoever Elohiym does, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and Elohiym does it, the men should fear before him. That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and Elohiym requires that which is past.
Although, at present, demonic activity seems to be progressing quickly, rest assured the above verses are true, and these types of cultural sins and temptations have been around on earth in ages past in one form or another.
Other Torah observant fathers have faced these challenges before, albeit without the technology we have today, from Babylon to Ancient Greece and from Roman culture to modern cultures. So be encouraged, Yahuah was with those believers then, and He is with us today.
Righteous Sons Have Committed Fathers
As a father, I want to prepare my sons in the best way possible for their current challenges and the challenges to come. As a believer in Yahusha, I want to instill in them biblical morals and principles to lean upon as they face these challenges in the hopes that they make the best choices possible. Likewise, as any loving parent, I pray they make better choices than I did at their age and as young men.
I know that I don’t have all the answers, and I also know that with the generational gap, I don’t honestly know what it’s like to be in their shoes, walking in this wicked world in these trying times. What I do know is that the scriptures reveal Truth.1 The Bible warns us in 1 Peter 5:8 to:
“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.”
Therefore, as a father, I must always be on guard, knowing that evil is always seeking after my family’s hearts and minds.
Sin is indeed assaulting Fathers and sons from nearly every angle. In the United States, masculinity is broadly under attack, where being a strong male is shunned. The World expresses the idea that strong men are not welcome in our society except where we might need them for security, wars, and entertainment. After that, strong men are expected always to be passive, submissive, and weak. However, as men of God, the scriptures remind us in several passages to be strong, brave, righteous, and imitators of Messiah Yahusha at all times.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, nor be discouraged, for יהוה your Elohim is with you wherever you go.”
Yehoshua 1:9 TS2009
Of course, this does not refer only to the physical but also to the spiritual, as it relates to being a good father, a good son, and a righteous man of Yahuah. To prepare and combat these spiritual battles we face each and every day, scripture advises us to prepare ourselves daily for what may come.
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:10-12 HCSB).
Ephesians 6:10-12 HCSB
There is, of course, a time and a place for physical strength and courage required of any father in protecting their family, but what fathers and sons are predominantly facing in this culture pertains to the spiritual attacks we encounter daily from the world.
Fatherhood In The Age of Wokeness
What advice can I give fathers and sons in coping with the onslaught of wokeness, lawlessness, sexualization, and perversion the world is attacking believers with? I can only turn to the scriptures for guidance because, as Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches, we are not to lean on our own understanding and are to seek wisdom from Yahuah as James 1:5 instructs.
I couldn’t begin to list all the verses and stories in Scripture which express the wisdom of Yahuah of how a father should instruct and prepare his sons for the world. However, the Bible, as a whole, expresses the character of Yahuah as the perfect example of a loving father, which is an example in and of itself of how we are to guide our sons in life.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
For what it’s worth, I know from the scriptures that fathers, as servant leaders of the household, must set the example of righteous living so that our sons can see us walking the walk and talking the talk of scripturally righteous living. If we fathers serve Yahuah with all our heart, mind, and strength, perhaps Proverbs 17:6 will truly become a reality in the fullness of time, which reads, “Parents are the pride of their children.”
Actions indeed speak louder than words. As my oldest son quickly approaches the age of 16, even though his youthful foolishness is often on display, I have observed that when it counts, the biblical principles I have tried to instill in him come to his mind and are revealed in his actions.
We Must Trust Our Righteous Heavenly Father
I know and trust that my Father Yahuah is at work in my sons.
Additionally, as it pertains to preparing my sons for coping with the abominable wokeness of the world, the book of Proverbs is very fitting for today. I choose to be open, honest, and blunt with my sons about many of the difficult topics written about in Proverbs. Although I feel uncomfortable discussing whores, harlots, and other more mature subjects, I know that the woke, perverted people of the world would not hesitate to discuss these things with my sons and implant a sinful point of view in their minds.
Therefore it is critical that my sons hear these topics from me, a God-fearing father, from a biblical perspective first — so that the truth is already rooted as a foundation in their minds. If we fathers remain diligent, disciplined, and dedicated to biblical righteousness — unrelenting in teaching biblical truths to our sons — then I believe we will one day hear a good report spoken regarding them and experience the father’s joy spoken of in 3 John 1:4:
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth”
1 Pontius Pilate famously asked Yahusha “What is truth?” Although philosophers come up short with a proper definition, the Scriptures are clear. There are three aspects from which we can measure Truth: Yahusha (John 14:6), the Word (John 17:17), and the Ruach HaKodesh or Holy Spirit (1 John 5:6).
By now you have probably heard about the artificial intelligence chatbot known as ChatGPT. Developed by OpenAI, this controversial new technology is described as a “natural language” processing tool powered by artificial intelligence. ChatGPT is categorized as a “conversational” A.I. language model that basically allows you to talk to a computer program.
So how does it work?
Unlike the experience of typing questions into a search engine text field, a chatbot runs on language model architecture and can hold a conversation with the end user. Whereas a search engine will index information and retrieve answers based on your query, OpenAI claims that ChatGPT doesn’t operate this way.
They say it does not have the ability to search the internet for answers. The way it “learns” is by using information called training data that it has stored in order to give a response. You can use it to…
build an app
write excel formulas
write blog posts & books
answer theological questions
And yet, many people are still concerned about its potential for mischief.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
In its simplest form, AI is a collection of data that forms the building blocks of intelligent machines. Like the six-million dollar man from the 70s TV series, AI is made in man’s image by men. Its goal is to be “stronger, better, and faster” than humans. Speed, precision, and effectiveness are the hallmarks of this new technology.
In a 2019 article1 posted to the Forbes website, columnist Naveen Joshi asserts that artificial intelligence (AI) can be split into seven categories.
reactive (no memory, responds to stimuli)
limited memory (uses memory to learn and improve responses)
theory of mind (understands the needs of other intelligent entities)
self-aware (human-like intelligence and self-awareness)
According to Wikipedia, ChatGPT is in the “generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) family of language models. OpenAI collects data from ChatGPT users to train and fine-tune the service further. Users can upvote or downvote responses they receive from ChatGPT and fill in a text field with additional feedback.”
Many in the technology field argue that natural language AI doesn’t pose a danger to society in that it is not sentient. (However, the bot does use personal pronouns when responding to questions about its identity and abilities.)
As an AI language model, I am designed to generate responses that are as natural and human-like as possible. While I am not capable of having actual human experiences or emotions, I am constantly learning from a vast amount of text data to improve my ability to understand and respond to human language.
ChatGPT response to query
Harmless Fun or Something More Disturbing?
Out of curiosity I recently posed several questions to the ChatGPT bot to see how “it” would respond. I submitted four questions related to the Gospel of the Kingdom. Here is the transcript of my “conversation” with the bot:
Q: Did Jesus ever teach that the Law was done away with?
Jesus did not teach that the Law was done away with. In fact, he explicitly stated that he did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.
In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
Jesus was saying that he came to fulfill the Law, to bring it to its intended completion, and to show its true meaning and purpose. He was not saying that the Law was no longer relevant or that it was abolished.
Throughout his teachings, Jesus emphasized the importance of following God’s commandments and living according to his will. He taught that the two greatest commandments were to love God with all your heart, should, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 37-40)
So, while Jesus did not teach that the Law was done away with, he did emphasize the importance of understanding the true meaning and purpose of the Law and living a life that is in accordance with God’s will.
Q: What is prolepsis in the context of biblical salvation?
Prolepsis in the context of biblical salvation refers to the idea that believers in Jesus Christ are already considered saved, even though they have not yet received the fullness of their salvation. In other words, salvation is seen as both a present reality and a future hope.
This concept is based on several biblical passages that speak of believers as having already been saved, even though they have not yet received the full benefits of their salvation.
For example, in Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul writes, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works so that no one can boast.”
Similarly, in Romans 8:24, Paul writes, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have.”
Prolepsis emphasizes the idea that believers are already part of the kingdom of God and have a secure future, even though they may still struggle with sin and face trials and difficulties in this life. It also emphasizes the importance of living a life that is consistent with the reality of salvation, by seeking to live in obedience to God’s will and by serving others in love.
Q: What is the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached?
The Gospel of the Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven, is a central theme in the teachings of Jesus Christ. It refers to the message that Jesus preached during his time on earth, which was focused on the coming of God’s kingdom and the invitation to enter it.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is about more than just the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven. It also includes the idea of living under the reign of God, submitting to His will, and participating in the work of building His kingdom on earth.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is a message of hope, peace, and transformation, both on an individual and societal level. It calls us to turn away from our old ways of living and to follow Jesus as our King, to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and to love and serve others as He did.
In summary, the Gospel of the Kingdom is the good news that through faith in Jesus Christ, we can enter into God’s kingdom and experience His rule and reign in our lives, both now and for eternity.
Q: Does “grace” exempt believers in Jesus from obeying the commandments?
No, grace does not exempt believers in Jesus from obeying the commandments. While salvation is a gift of grace that is received through faith in Jesus Christ, obedience to God’s commandments is still an important aspect of the Christian life.
In fact, Jesus himself said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). And in Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus taught that he did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. He also said that those who practice and teach God’s commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Paul, who wrote extensively on the topic of grace, emphasized the importance of obedience to God’s commandments in his letters to the early Christian communities. For example, in Romans 6:1-2, he wrote, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
In addition, James 2:14-17 teaches that faith without works is dead and that true faith will result in actions that reflect obedience to God’s commandments. Rather, obedience to God’s commandments is a natural outworking of true faith in Jesus Christ.
OMG. What Just Happened?
After reading through the responses, I was shocked. And amused. The chatbot’s answers lined up beautifully with my understanding of the gospel message that Yeshua preached. I experienced an emotional high.
However, after sharing the results and admitting to my “fascination” with this thing, a friend gently cautioned me to beware. She shared a video from Founded Earth Brothers titled “An Unclean Spirit Used AI to Speak To My Son.”
Founded Earth Brothers chose not to link to the AI engine the boy used. They did not want to tempt others by leaving a link — this is wisdom.
FEB says the site operators claimed that their artificial intelligence engine “uses neural language models as their foundation. A machine learns to generate what words might come next in any given context by reading enormous amounts of literature.” So, in fairness, there is no way to know if this had anything to do with ChatGPT.
I sent the FEB video link to friends who have three young sons, as a warning. As part of their AI research, they submitted the following queries to ChatGPT:
Q: Are you a disembodied spirit?
No. I am not a disembodied spirit. I am a computer program that runs on servers and interacts with users through various interfaces, such as text-based chat or voice-based assistants While I do not have a physical body, I exist as code that is executed on machines, and my abilities are limited to the tasks and functions that I have been programmed to perform.
Q: Can you lie?
As an artificial intelligence language model, I do not have beliefs or intentions like human beings do, so I cannot “lie” in the same sense. However, it is possible for me to generate responses that are factually inaccurate or misleading if I am provided with incorrect or incomplete information, or if my training data contains inaccuracies or biases. It is important to keep in mind that I am a machine learning model that processes information based on statistical pattersn, and my responses are only as good as the data that I have been trained on and the instructions I have been given.
Then, I stumbled upon this video:
Whose Testimony Will You Receive?
After reading through answers to my questions from the ChatGPT artificial intelligence bot I couldn’t help but be blown away initially — especially since the answers almost perfectly align with topics discussed in The Gospel Worth Dying For.
We should remember that there is safety in numbers. We should always be in relationship with others in the faith because they act as “checks and balances” on our behavior and keep us from straying off the narrow path that Scripture puts before us. (Psalm 1:1,2) Unclean spirits always tease and temp in areas of our lives where we are emotionally or soulishly invested.
You may recall several instances in the Bible where demons recognized Yeshua and the authority his name carried. They even verbally testified what they knew about him. But Yeshua would have none of it. Neither should we.
Demons also came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked the demons and would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Christ.
Luke 4:41 Berean Study Bible
“Ha! What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked the demon, “Be silent!” He said, “Come out of him!” At this, the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without harming him.
Luke 4:34,35 Berean Study Bible
This was more than just demons recognizing Yeshua as Messiah. By their testimony, they were implying that they were in league together and could have given the impression to onlookers that they were of one accord.
All the people wondered in amazement, and said, “Could this be the Son of David (the Messiah)?” But the Pharisees heard it and said, “This man casts out demons only by [the help of] Beelzebul (Satan) the prince of the demons.”
Matthew 12:23,24 Amplified Bible
It happened that as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination [that is, a demonic spirit claiming to foretell the future and discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners a good profit by fortune-telling. She followed after Paul and us and kept screaming and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They are proclaiming to you the way of salvation!” She continued doing this for several days. Then Paul, being greatly annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit [inside her], “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ [as His representative] to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.
Acts 16:16-18 Amplified Bible
Righteousness should never be in partnership with darkness. (2 Corinthians 6)
Sisters and brothers, please be careful with any experimentation that seems to pull you or your loved ones toward this.
1 Naveen Joshi, “7 Types of Artificial Intelligence,” www.forbes.com, 2019 https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/06/19/7-types-of-artificial-intelligence/?sh=7d45aed3233e, Last accessed April 7, 2023
“Uh oh, Chatbots Are Getting a Teeny Bit Sentient” (https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a43601915/ai-chatbots-may-be-getting-sentient/)
“Legal expert issues AI warning after being defamed by ChatGPT” (https://www.wnd.com/2023/04/legal-expert-issues-ai-warning-defamed-chatgpt/)
My mother passed away in the Autumn of 2021 at the age of 97. On several occasions, during the final days of her life, she would point to someone apparently standing at the foot of her bed. “Do you see him?” she asked. “Who?” I would reply. “That man,” she said, with a big smile on her face.
No, I did not see the “man.” But I believe she saw something — or someone.
I choose to believe, based on what the Scriptures tell us, that she saw the angel assigned to soon escort her to the place where she would await her resurrection. (More on this later.)
Notice that I did not say the angel who would take her to Heaven. That’s because, contrary to what most of us learned in church, the Bible does not say Heaven is the next stop after we die. According to the Scriptures, both believers and unbelievers alike go to a place referred to as Sheol1 in Hebrew, or Hades2 in Greek.
Sheol In The Scriptures
It has been said that the problem with Sheol is that both the righteous and the wicked go there. Sheol is the mysterious place (grave) from which righteous souls will be resurrected when the trumpet sounds on the Day of the Lord. It also contains a sort of “waiting room” for unrepentant souls destined for the lake of fire known as Gehenna.3
The Prophets and Patriarchs made mention of Sheol on several occasions, and its whereabouts are noted in Enoch’s writings. In Genesis and Jubilees, a distraught Jacob declared that he would go there after examining Joseph’s blood-stained coat.
Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a young goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe or not.” And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, “For I will go down into Sheol unto my son mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.
Genesis 37:31-35 Berean Study Bible
Jacob examines Joseph’s coat
And the sons of Jacob slaughtered a kid, and dipped the coat of Joseph in the blood, and sent (it) to Jacob their father on the tenth of the seventh month. And he mourned all that night, for they had brought it to him in the evening, and he became feverish with mourning for his death, and he said: ‘An evil beast hath devoured Joseph’; And he mourned for Joseph, one year, and did not cease, for he said: Let me go down to She’ol mourning for my son.
The rebellious Korah and all his kin went down alive to the pit (Sheol) for trying to usurp Moses’ authority in defiance of the Almighty.
If these men die a natural death, or if they suffer the fate of all men, then Yahuah has not sent me. But if Yahuah brings about something unprecedented, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them and all that belongs to them so that they go down alive into Sheol, then you will know that these men have treated Yahuah with contempt.
The Prophet Enoch wrote this regarding Sheol:
In those days shall the earth deliver up from her womb, and Sheol deliver up from hers, that which it has received; and destruction shall restore that which it owes.
1 Enoch 51:1
Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Tobit spoke of Sheol and this place is mentioned in the Psalms, Habakkuk, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Job, and the writings of Baruch (Jeremiah’s scribe).4 It may surprise you to learn that Sheol is also mentioned by one of the three Hebrew men thrown into Nebuchadnezzer’s fiery furnace.5
While we do not understand the exact nature of Sheol, we do know that it is the first stop on our journey to the afterlife. Unfortunately, Sheol/Hades has been mistranslated as “death, pit, grave, and hell in various versions of the Bible. These descriptions have led to much confusion as to its features and whereabouts over the centuries.
According to Fred B. Pearson Th.D., Sheol is a place located in the lower parts of the earth where departed souls reside.6
The Old Testament word for the abode of the dead is Sheol. It is derived, as most scholars think, from a word meaning hollow. To the Hebrew mind Sheol was simply the state or abode of the dead. It was not the same as the grave, though it was so translated in some of the older versions. The grave was the resting place of the body from which the spirit had departed, while Sheol was the resting place of departed spirits, or personalities. Usually, Sheol was thought of as being deep down in the earth, as hell is often thought of today. In Old Testament Sheol is represented as the opposite of the upper sphere of life and light. It is “deep Sheol.” Its direction is “down.”
Enoch mentions that Abel is currently there, along with everyone else who has died since his murder at the hands of his brother Cain (Qayin). However, there is an important distinction made regarding this realm.
Always Sheol was regarded as the appointed place for all persons, the great rendezvous of the dead. Here the dead are gathered to their tribes and families. Often we find, especially in the Pentateuch, such expressions as “to be gathered to one’s people,” “to go to one’s fathers,” etc.
We learn from Enoch that the righteous dead are placed in separate compartments from the unrighteous souls in Sheol. (1 Enoch 22) According to Enoch’s vision, the compartment containing the righteous is “bright and there is a fountain of water in its midst.” The water is perhaps symbolic of resurrection; which makes sense in the context of the parable that Yeshua told of the rich man and Lazarus.
The Rich Man and Lazarus in Sheol
One of the best explanations given of our intermediate destination after death is found in Yeshua’s discourse with the Pharisees in Luke’s gospel, in which he expounded on the Law, Prophets, and the Kingdom.
So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. “And being in torments in Hades,he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”
These verses are very illuminating. In them, we learn that Lazarus was carried by angels to a place called “Abraham’s bosom.” The epithet is used to describe a place of comfort.
“Bosom of Abraham” refers to the place of comfort in the biblical Sheol (or Hades in the Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew scriptures from around 200 BC, and therefore so described in the New Testament) where the righteous dead abided prior to Jesus’ resurrection.
Bosom of Abraham. (2023, April 27). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosom_of_Abraham
We are also told that the rich man was suffering in a lower level of Sheol/Hades in that he had to “look up” to see Abraham and the beggar. Many theologians teach that the rich man was in a fiery Hell, suffering in the torment of literal and unquenchable flames. However, this conclusion has several flaws:
Torment here is referring to an emotional state, not literal flames (a Catholic notion)
When the Scripture speaks of this man being in torment, it is speaking of the emotional torment of a person awaiting the second death, which is total annihilation in the Lake of Fire known as Gehenna. The word for torment or agony is odunaó. HELPs Word Study offers this insight into what this Greek word means:
3600 odynáō (from 3601/odýnē, “very painful sorrow”) – properly, to experience intense emotional pain (WP, 2, 223), i.e. deep, personal anguish expressed by great mourning (LS). This root (ody-) literally means “go down” (as the sun in a sunset) and refers to consuming sorrow.
The rich man was not asking for a literal drink of water. He was desirous of something that he could never have — resurrection.
Contrary to what we were taught in church, the unrighteous dead will spend their time in a dark compartment of Sheol awaiting the final judgment at the end of the millennium. They will have had hundreds, if not thousands of years to contemplate their ultimate destiny in Gehenna — the lake of fire that will completely annihilate them. The wicked will not be forever burning in a lake of fire. This is a Catholic notion and insults the merciful and gracious nature of our Heavenly Father and his Son Yeshua, our High Priest
We Must Be Born Again
In his conversation with Nicodemus, Yeshua ties water and Spirit to the salvation experience. Once we are redeemed from Sheol and “quickened”, we will no longer be made of flesh and blood. In order to enter the New Jerusalem (heaven), our bodies will need to be recreated (reconstituted) and our nature will change.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
John 3:3,4 NKJV
When Yeshua told Nicodemus that we must be born again to enter into Yahuah’s Kingdom, the Pharisee was understandably confused. But he, like us, had to expand his way of thinking. He had to think of Sheol as a type of womb that would “birth” (resurrect) new “creatures” (creations) made of water and Spirit. (James 1:18) This event is known as the first resurrection. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
“Truly, truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5
In John 3:1-21, Yeshua marks the way to eternal life with breadcrumbs for us to follow. These verses contain a wealth of information that contradicts much of what we were taught about the new birth, the way to Heaven, the punishment of Gehenna, and the authority Yeshua’s name carries. This authority is tied to his purpose and has a huge impact on how we understand the sequence of events that lead to our redemption.
Water holds historical, ritual, eschatological, and metaphorical significance in the life of a believer. It is tied to the conduct of individuals and nations. As a rule, covenant breakers, the lawless, and the disobedient are denied water. Those who desire to walk in righteousness are given it abundantly as a sign of moral purity.
Eschatologically speaking, when the righteous are caught up to the New Jerusalem, Yahuah will water our “dry bones.” At this time we will be sprinkled with clean water and purified. This sprinkling represents both the resurrection and the indwelling of the Spirit.
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
Ezekiel 36:24-26 New Living Translation
Life After Death
The Scriptures speak of our bodies metaphorically as a tent or sukkah — a temporary dwelling place. The essence of who we really are (our mind, will, emotions, and life experiences) is contained in our souls.
Now we know that if the early tent we live in is dismantled, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.
2 Corinthians 5:1-3 Berean Study Bible
When we die our bodies return to dust, Yahuah withdraws His life-giving breath, and our souls go to the Sheol. The righteous souls who occupy “Abraham’s bosom” will be ransomed from there on the Day of the Lord, when they receive their resurrection bodies. The wicked will remain in their “holding cells” until the Great White Throne judicial proceeding is spoken of in Revelation.
This first resurrection has been called the rapture7 by many in mainstream Christianity. However, it can be more appropriately thought of as the first resurrection or even the second exodus.
I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol; I shall redeem them from Death. O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
Hosea 13: 14 ESV
Your dead will live; their bodies will rise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust! For your dew is like the dew of the morning, and the earth will bring forth her dead.
Isaiah 26:19 Berean Study Bible
And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel 12:2 Berean Study Bible
Sheol’s Connection to Biblical Cosmology
It must be stated that belief in Sheol’s existence beneath the earth is tied to biblical cosmology. Specifically a geocentric versus a heliocentric model of our home in this physical realm. Why? Because if you adopt a heliocentric mindset, then you will likely believe that the earth contains a liquid outer region surrounded by a solid iron core.
This model not only makes the existence of Sheol as described in the Scriptures almost impossible, but it also injects an element of doubt into what the Bible says about:
Whether you agree or disagree, please take time to test everything that is written in this article against Scripture. Ask the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide your thinking.8
When you understand what the Bible has to say about a place called Sheol, you will be well on your way to discovering what happens nanoseconds after you die. Your final destination will either be life in Yahuah’s (YHWH) Kingdom or total annihilation in the lake of fire — the second death. Sheol just is a stop along the way as we all await the resurrection.
1 Sheol (#H7585): underworld (place to which people descend at death). Hades, or the word of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates; grave, hell, pit.
2 (Strongs #G86) hádēs (from 1/A “not” and idein/eidō, “see”) – properly, the “unseen place,” referring to the (invisible) realm in which all the dead reside, i.e. the present dwelling place of all the departed (deceased); Hades. Source: HELPS Word-studies
3 (Strongs #G1067) geenna – Gehenna is a valley west and South of Jerusalem, also a symbolic name for the final place of punishment of the ungodly. Source: Strong’s Concordance. (Strong’s #G1067) géenna (a transliteration of the Hebrew term, Gêhinnōm, “the valley of Hinnom”) – Gehenna, i.e. hell (also referred to as the “lake of fire” in Revelation). Source: HELPS Word-study
5 The “Prayer of the Three Hebrew Children” was once included in the King James bible but was later removed. This is the prayer that Hadrach, Meshech, and Abednego (Hanania, Mishael, and Azariah) prayed while in the furnace. The furnace is symbolic of the Lake of Fire — the ultimate fiery furnace spoken of in the Book of Revelation.
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