LIFE AFTER DEATH?
by Avram Yehoshua
(Endnotes in red. Click on the number to go to endnote. Click the BACK button on your browser to return to the article)
Anyone who has lost a loved one has been overwhelmed by Death. The pain and rage is sheer torture. The misery is inconsolable. There is no relief. In Death we are robbed, cheated and humiliated. Death is not fair. Death severs our relationship.
In these times we realize more fully that one day we too shall die. Many shrug it off, either in avoidance or pride. Some say that there is nothing after we die, so why worry? They won't let Death bother them now. But these are foolish people.
We must let the Tenah be our guide to what we believe. Why? Because the Living God speaks to us through it. He is our Creator and He knows the Beginning from the End. If we really want to understand about Reality, we must find out what He tells us in His Word. In the book of Ecclesiastes (12:7) it says:
WHAT AWAITS US AFTER DEATH?'And the dust returns to the ground as it was, and the life breath returns to God Who bestowed it.'From this we see that our soul returns to God who made us. The great Prophet Isaiah spoke under the anointing of the Spirit of the Holy One of Israel. In Isaiah 25:8-9 we read:'He will destroy death forever. My Lord GOD will wipe the tears away from all faces and will put an end to the reproach of His people over all the earth - For it is the LORD who has spoken.'From Isaiah we can see that one day, the LORD will end the reign of Death. He will wipe away all the pain that is associated with Death. And He will put an end to the reproach of the Jewish people. 'In that day' refers to the Day of the LORD, or the Day of Judgment, when all people will be judged. The sentence continues with people saying that they 'trusted in Him and He delivered us.' This relates to what will happen after Death on Judgment Day.
'In that day they shall say: "This is our God; We trusted in Him and He delivered us. This is the LORD, in whom we trusted; let us rejoice and exult in His deliverance!"'
Those who really trust in the LORD will be saved from eternal wrath and enter into eternal LIFE. It is very important that we understand this. God is emphatic. There is LIFE after death. Consider what the LORD speaks through the prophet Hosea (13:14):'From Sheol 1 itself I will save them, redeem them from very Death. Where, O Death, are your plagues? Your pestilence where, O Sheol?'From these Scriptures we understand that there is LIFE after death. In Isaiah 65:17-19 we see that God is also preparing a new creation for those who trust:'For behold! I am creating a new heaven and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered, they shall never come to mind. Be glad then and rejoice forever in what I am creating.'The pain, the rage, that Death imprint's on all of us will be eclipsed by the LIFE that God is. For in the new Creation we become 'one' with Him. We will be in union with God and know Him who is LIFE.
'For I shall create Jerusalem as a joy, and her people as a delight; and I will rejoice in Jerusalem and delight in her people. Never again shall be heard there the sounds of weeping and wailing.'
Does the fact that we are Jews guarantee us that we will automatically have this LIFE? Isaiah 66:22-24 speaks of a distinction between the righteous and the wicked:'For as the new heaven and the new earth which I will make shall endure by My will,' declares the LORD, 'so shall your Seed and your Name endure. And new moon after new moon, and Sabbath after Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship Me,' says the LORD. 'They shall go out and gaze on the corpses of the men who rebelled against Me: their worms shall not die, nor their fire be quenched; they shall be a horror to all flesh...'God incorporates all humanity, Jew and Gentile, into this new creation. He says that 'all flesh shall come to worship Me.' What awaits the Jew after Death awaits the Gentile also. There is only one God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in them.
The ones who have 'rebelled against' the Holy One will live forever in a horrible way. Not all are resurrected to eternal LIFE. How do we obtain this LIFE? And what does it mean to 'rebel against' the Holy One of Israel?
What must we do in order to be found acceptable to God on the Day of Judgment? The Prophet Amos speaks of God's wrath toward Israel saying:'...Because they have spurned the Teaching of the LORD and have not observed His laws; they are beguiled by the delusions after which their fathers walked...' (Amos 2:4)There are Jewish people who despise the Torah of Mosheh and the God of Israel. They do not follow the laws of our God. They live their life according to how they want to, with no regard for the Holy One who has made them. On the Day of Judgment they shall be eternally consumed by the Fire. For in their heart they deceive themselves by saying that no evil will ever come upon them or that they are not evil.
'Ah, you who wish for the day of the LORD! Why should you want the day of the LORD? It shall be darkness, not light! As if a man should run from a lion and be attacked by a bear; Or if he got indoors, should lean his hand on the wall and be bitten by a snake! Surely the day of the LORD shall not be light, but darkness, blackest night without a glimmer.' (Amos 5:18-20)
'All the sinners of My people shall perish by the sword, who boast, "Never shall the evil overtake us or come near us."' (Amos 9:10)
Then there are also Jewish people who love the God of Israel. They seek to please Him by ordering their lives accordingly. They want to know what His Ways are so that they can walk in them. But trying to keep the Torah does not give us Eternal Life. Nowhere does the Torah declare that those who observe it will gain Eternal Life.
There is only one way for us to have eternal LIFE and that is if God gives it to us! Just as he gave us the promised Land and just as He made a way for us out of a land that meant Death for us; Egypt. He gave us our freedom. What standard or Torah did we keep in Egypt for Him to deliver us? He heard our cries, He felt our pain and He sent Mosheh to free us.
So it is with eternal LIFE. There is no one that could be 'good enough' to earn it. There is only one way for us to be assured that we will be acceptable and that is the LORD's Way. God, speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel declares that He is going to make the way for us Himself again, in which Egypt was a picture. In Ezekiel 36:16-28, He proclaims:'The word of the LORD came to me: O son of Man, when the House of Israel dwelt on their own soil, they defiled it with their ways and their deeds; their ways were in My sight like the uncleanness of a menstrous woman.'The sin that excludes us from eternal LIFE is not our failure to observe Torah but our inability to be one with God, the essence of which is found in the Shema. In order for us to love God with all our heart, soul and strength, we must be in union with Him.
'So I poured out My wrath on them for the blood which they shed upon their Land, and for the fetishes with which they defiled it. I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries: I punished them in accordance with their ways and their deeds.'
'But when they came to those nations, they caused My holy Name to be profaned, in that it was said of them, "These are the people of the LORD, yet they had to leave His land." 'Therefore I am concerned for My holy Name, which the House of Israel have caused to be profaned among the nations to which they have come. Say to the House of Israel:
"Thus says the Lord GOD: Not for your sake will I act, O House of Israel, but for My holy Name, which you have caused to be profaned among the nations to which you have come. I will sanctify My great Name which has been profaned among the nations, among whom you have caused it to be profaned."
"And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD when I manifest My holiness before their eyes through you." "I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you back to your own Land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your fetishes."
"And I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit into you: I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh; and I will put My Spirit into you. Thus I will cause you to follow My Torah and faithfully to observe My rules. Then you shall be My people and I will be your God."
From Adam's fall, we have been separated from God. If we are not in union with Him then '...all our virtues [are] like a filthy rag' (Isaiah 64:5). God doesn't want our love, He wants His love reflected back to Himself as we are in union with Him.
God speaks of a 'new heart' and a 'new Spirit' (His Spirit!), and delivering us from our 'uncleanness' and tells us that He is going to do it for His Name's sake. Just like Passover, when He destroyed the firstborn of Egypt but spared the firstborn of Israel.
Because of our Fathers' ways, we were cast into exile among the nations, where most of us are to this very day. The LORD was angry with our Fathers, even though they said that they worshiped Him. For they also gave their hearts to all the pagan gods around them.
The LORD is bringing back Jews to the Land He gave to us, from the four corners of the earth, just as He said He would. But do you have eternal LIFE? Where is the clean water that He promised that He would sprinkle us with to take away our uncleanness? Where is our new heart and His Spirit that He said that He would put into us? For it is His Spirit that gives us eternal LIFE. It goes on to say that then, we shall be His people.
God has come to set us free from all our sins and our greatest enemy, Death. Deliverance comes by believing or trusting in God. This is the way that we left Egypt, by belief that the blood of the lamb would save us from Death. We come into Eternal LIFE the same way.
The LORD has manifested His Holiness before the eyes of the Gentiles, through us, in sending our Messiah through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and King David. In order for us to be able to stand before the Living God on Judgment Day and obtain eternal LIFE we must be cleansed from our sin.
GOD'S WAY: THE MESSIAH OF ISRAEL
God has done this in sending our Messiah Yeshua (the Hebrew Name for Jesus) to die as the Lamb of God, who takes away our sin. Isaiah 53:3-6, 8, 10-12, speaks of the Messiah of Israel as dying for the sin of Israel; your sin:'He was despised, shunned by men, a man of suffering, familiar with disease. As one who hid his face from us, He was despised, we held him of no account.'Isaiah 53 has been seen as the chapter concerning the Messiah ben Yosafe, the Messiah the Son of Joseph, because like Joseph who was rejected by his brothers, so too the Messiah would be by His brothers Israel. And as Joseph was raised to second in command under Pharaoh, so too would the Messiah be raised by God to second in command under Him. His brothers didn't recognize Joseph as 2nd in command of all Egypt and Yeshua's brothers (Israel) don't recognize Yeshua as second in command to God...yet.
'Yet it was our sickness that he was bearing, our suffering that he endured. We accounted him plagued, smitten and afflicted by God; but he was wounded because of our sins, crushed because of our iniquities.'
'He bore the chastisement that made us whole, and by his bruises we were healed. We all went astray like sheep, each going his own way; and the LORD visited upon him the guilt of all of us....For he was cut off from the land of the living through the sin of my people, who deserved the punishment.'
'But the LORD chose to crush him by disease, that if he made himself an offering for guilt, he might see offspring and have long life, and that through him the LORD's purpose might prosper...My righteous servant makes the many righteous, it is their punishment that he bears; assuredly, I will give him the many as his portion, he shall receive the multitude as his spoil.' 'For he exposed himself to death and was numbered among the sinners, whereas he bore the guilt of the many and made intercession for sinners.'
As Joseph forgave his brothers so too the Messiah will forgive Israel.
The Messiah of Isaiah 53 is also called the Suffering Servant or the Leprous Messiah because He would take upon Himself 'our sickness' and 'our sins' and 'the guilt of all of us.'
Leprosy is symbolic of sin. Just as leprosy eats away at the flesh of a person, so those who sin, walk in a living death, separation from God who is LIFE. The Messiah was crushed or tasted Death for us, that we might be made 'whole' and be 'healed.'
God our Father, loves you. He is a good Father. To live in His Presence, He who is Holy, would destroy us in our sinful condition. For His Fire would torture us. He has overcome our inability to be one with Him by transforming our nature to be like His so we can be in union with Him forever.
He is doing this by the Blood of His Son, our Messiah Yeshua. This Blood of cleansing is applied to our being by the Ruah HaKodesh (Hebrew for the Spirit of the Holy One) that we might be both forgiven of our sin nature and our sins against Him (our rebellions) and be transformed into His Image or Nature.
God wants to share His LIFE with you today...now. You need to enter into a heartfelt belief that He has sent His Messiah to die for you. To believe in Yeshua and be immersed into His Spirit, is to both know that this message is from the God of Israel and to enter into Eternal LIFE now...Ask the God of Israel to reveal His Messiah to you.
A Jew who walked with Yeshua, by the name of Yohanan relates this LIFE (Yeshua) to us:'The Word, which gives LIFE! He existed from the Beginning. We have heard Him, we have seen Him with our eyes, we have watched Him, and we have touched Him with our hands!'Yeshua is our Messiah. This has been proven by Yeshua being raised from the dead by God. He sits at the Right Hand of God until God makes all His enemies His footstool. Psalm 110:1 has King David seeing two Beings:
'The LIFE was made visible, and we have seen Him. We are testifying to Him and announcing Him to you, Eternal LIFE! He was with the Father, and He appeared to us. What we have seen and heard, we are proclaiming to you; so that you too may be in union with us. Our union is with the Father and with His Son, Yeshua the Messiah. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.'
'And this is the message which we have heard from Him and proclaim to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him, none! If we claim to have union with Him while we are walking in the darkness, we are lying and not living out the Truth. But if we are walking in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have union with each other, and the Blood of His Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin.'
'If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, then, since He is Faithful and Just, He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing. If we claim we have not been sinning, we are making Him out to be a liar, and His Word is not in us' (1 Yo. 1:1-10).'The LORD said to my lord, "Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool."''The LORD' is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in them. But King David also speaks of the LORD speaking 'to my lord' who is Yeshua, King Messiah.
The LORD has raised Messiah Yeshua from Death proclaiming to all that belief in Yeshua is the way out of Death, both here on Earth and on Judgment Day. Yeshua's Blood cleanses us from our sin nature. A nature that, try as it might, will always be seen as unholy compared to the Holiness of the God of Israel.
From the passages in Isaiah 53 we read that the Messiah would be despised by us. We Jews, who have long awaited the Messiah, rejected Him when the LORD sent Him! This is not unusual, for Moses, the greatest picture of the Messiah, was rejected continually by us in the wilderness; the very one who saved us from Egyptian bondage!
Isaiah says that the Messiah 'was wounded because of our sins, crushed because of our iniquities. The LORD sent the Messiah to give His Blood, for it is the source of cleansing that Ezekiel speaks about. The Torah speaks of the blood removing sin. Lev. 17:11 states:'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have assigned it to you for making expiation for your lives upon the altar: it is the blood, as life, that effects expiation.'Expiation means to put an end to guilt, to atone or pay the penalty for it. The LORD speaking through Isaiah goes on to say that all of us have gone astray, like sheep, but that He placed our guilt upon the Messiah. We deserve the punishment of death in this lifetime and eternal death or Hell when we stand before the LORD because we have broken His Torah. But God 'chose to crush him,' instead of us.
It was the purpose of God from before Time that the Messiah would become 'an offering for guilt' that we might be declared 'righteous' not because of what we have done, but because of what our God has done for us. This is the great and mighty deed that the Passover-Exodus and entry into the Promised Land picture. In this we see God's Love for us.
The 'intercession' that the Messiah is doing for you right now is seen when we pierced Him to the tree, in our arrogance. While many of us were mocking Him, He cried out, 'Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing.' (Luke 23:24) Forgiveness of sin is why the Messiah came the first time. His Blood pleads for God to forgive our sins.
Yeshua the Messiah has come to shed His Blood for us, that we might have Eternal LIFE now and forever. Yohanan 5:21-26 records Yeshua saying:'Thus, as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone He chooses: for the Father judges no one: He has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son as they honor the Father. Whoever refuses honor to the Son refuses honor to the Father who sent Him.'The Messiah Yeshua has come to give you LIFE. He has given His Blood that you might be redeemed from the curse of the Torah. For the Torah is holy and states that anyone who breaks any of the Commandments of God, will be cursed. Deuteronomy 27:26 says:
'I tell you most solemnly, whoever listens to My words, and believes in the One who sent Me, has eternal life: without being brought to judgment he has passed from death to life. I tell you most solemnly, the hour will come, in fact it is here already, when the dead will hear the Voice of the Son of God and all who hear it will live. For the Father, who is the source of life, has made the Son the source of life.''Cursed be he who will not uphold the terms of this Torah and observe them...'and then through the rest of Dt. 28: 16-69, God speaks one curse upon another for those who break His Torah. Messiah Yeshua has taken our punishment, He was 'cursed' for us. This is the love of God, that while we were yet in rebellion to Him, He sent His Messiah to die (take our just punishment) for us. In the Brit Hadasha (Jewish New Covenant), Shaul (Paul) says:'The Messiah redeemed us from the curse pronounced in the Torah by becoming cursed on our behalf: for the Tanah says, "Everyone who hangs from a stake comes under a curse."'It's the Spirit of God that Ezekiel speaks about that will cleanse us from our sin, from our uncleanness. It's the Spirit of the Holy One that applies the Blood of Yeshua over our hearts, to transform our very nature into His. The Jew, Kayfa (Hebrew for Peter) who knew Yeshua, spoke this when the Promise was given:
'Yeshua the Messiah did this so that in union with Him the Gentiles might receive the blessing announced to Avraham, so that through trusting and being faithful, we might receive what was promised, namely, the Spirit.' (Galatians 3:13-14)'Men of Israel! Listen to this! Yeshua from Natzeret was a man demonstrated to you to have been from God by the powerful works, miracles and signs that God performed through him in your presence. You yourselves know this. This man was arrested in accordance with God's predetermined plan and foreknowledge: and, through the agency of persons not bound by the Torah, you nailed him up on a stake and killed him! But God has raised him up and freed him from the suffering of death: it was impossible that death could keep its hold on him. For David says this about him:We Jews have walked in ignorance of our Messiah for 1900 years. The rest of the world acclaims our Messiah but we have been blind to what our God has done for us. How could this be? To show us who were at one time the only people to believe in the one True God, that that privilege is not hereditary.
"I saw Adonai always before me, for He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. For this reason, my heart was glad: and my tongue rejoiced: and now my body too will live on in the certain hope that You will not abandon me to Sheol or let Your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the way of LIFE: You will fill me with joy by Your Presence." (from Psalm 16:8-11)
'Brothers, I know I can say to you frankly that our Father David died and was buried, his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that one of his seed would sit on his throne, he was speaking in advance about the resurrection of the Messiah, that it was He who was not abandoned in Sheol and whose flesh did not see decay. God raised up this Yeshua! We are all witnesses of it!'
'Moreover, He has been exalted to the Right Hand of God: has received from the Father what He promised, namely, the Ruah HaKodesh (the Spirit of the Holy One): and has poured out this Gift, which you are both seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into Heaven. But he says, "Adonai said to my Lord, 'Sit at My Right Hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet'" Therefore, let the whole House of Israel know beyond doubt that God has made Him both Lord and Messiah, this Yeshua, whom you executed on a stake!'
'On hearing this, they were stung in their hearts: and they said to Kayfa and the others who had walked with Yeshua, "Brothers, what should we do?" Kayfa answered them, "Turn from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the Gift of the Ruah HaKodesh!"'
'For the promise is for you, for your children, and for those far away, as many as Adonai our God may call!' He pressed his case with many other arguments and kept pleading with them, 'Save yourselves from this perverse generation!' So those who accepted what he said were immersed, and there were added to the group that day about three thousand (Jewish) people.' (Acts 2:22-41)
We too must believe what our God has done for us and for all the world. The prophets speak to us of a Messiah who would suffer for us: who would take our guilt upon Himself. Are we so foolish to think that because we were born Jewish, that that is all the LORD requires of us to enter into His Presence forevermore? That all we have to do is 'be good.' Or try and observe the Torah in all our fragmented ways? The Torah was given to show us our (sin-full) need for Messiah.
The Living God has seen our perverse condition and has made a way for us where no way existed before. Yeshua stands before you saying:'I am the resurrection and the Life! Whoever puts his trust in Me will live, even if he dies.' (Yohanan 11:25)There is LIFE after death and Yeshua our Messiah is the One who gives it to you. By believing that the LORD sent Yeshua to atone for your sins, you enter into a relationship with Papa God through the Messiah of Israel. You come to know Him by His Spirit.
You can turn to the Messiah now by telling Him that you have sinned, that you have failed to observe all the Torah of Mosheh. And that you are grateful that He has come to cover you with His Blood. Ask Him to immerse you in His Spirit and wait upon Him until you experience His Spirit immersing you for the forgiveness of sin. You will feel the 'cleanness' that Ezekiel spoke of when the Spirit of the Holy One comes upon you.
Shaul writes in 1st Cor. 15:6, 20-23, about the fact that Yeshua was raised from the dead and how that effects us:'...and afterwards He was seen by more than five hundred brothers at one time...'The Word of God is very plain. There is coming a Day when all peoples will be judged. Those who walk with Yeshua will go on to Eternal LIFE. And those who do not will go to Eternal damnation. The difference is the Blood of the Lamb. As it was in Egypt, so it is now. We Jews must be covered by the Blood to escape the Destroying Plague of Death. We must come to our Messiah Yeshua. The LORD says this to you today:
'But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have died. For since Death came through a man, also the resurrection of the dead has come through a man. For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive. But each in his own order: the Messiah is the first fruits: then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of His (2nd) Coming...''Hear Oh Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is One.'Tikvat Israel consists of Jews and Gentiles who believe that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel, that He died for our sin and was resurrected by Adonai. Any who believe this, will come into a personal relationship with the God of Israel. We assemble on Shabat and observe the Torah in the Spirit of Messiah Yeshua.
'How long and how often I have desired to hold and to love you. But you would not have Me. You turned away from the Author of LIFE to the Author of Death...the gods of this world.'
'Your hearts are far from Me, only turned unto yourself and what will benefit you. Is this My Torah? You do not even know My Torah, My Word of Instruction. You cast it away as a filthy rag that is of no use anymore.'
'You wonder why life is so full of tzuris: pain and bitterness. It is because you have not chosen LIFE! You do not receive My written Torah, nor do you now receive My Living Torah that has come in Fleshly form. What am I to do with you My Children? Unruly, rebellious and stubborn as you are, I have loved you with an Everlasting Love that has no Beginning and no Ending.'
'I have ought with you for you've trampled My Love under your feet, as if it did not exist. You say in your heart, how can I love you if I 'allow all these terrible things to happen in the world.' I have not allowed these things...you have. I gave you the world to have dominion over when I gave it to Adam. Adam listened to another who now rules and reigns in this world through those who are not totally committed to Me.'
'I sent Another who came from My Side. I sent My Son who was tempted too, to listen to another, but He did not. He walked in total obedience to My Torah...My Will. He restores LIFE to all who will receive Him.'
'Many Jews who heard Him say these things trusted in Him. So Yeshua said to the Jews who had trusted Him, "If you obey what I say, then you are really my students; you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."' (Yohanan 8:30-32)
Are you tired of the vanity and darkness enough to want to know Him? He wants to reveal Himself to you. E mail me and I'll share with you about our Messiah King Yeshua.
Scripture from Tanah taken from Tanakh, (c) 1985 by The Jewish Publication Society. All other Scripture taken from The Jewish New Testament, by Dr. David Stern, (c) 1991, Jewish New Testament Pub.
- Sheol (Hades in the Septuagint and New Covenant), is conceptually, death. It is referred to as the devourer of men, i.e. the grave.
Email Avram — firstname.lastname@example.org
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