Welcome to the Web site of the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries. I’m pleased to report that the Work of God is making good progress in reaching out to several others via our Internet Web site. We appreciate your interest in learning more about the Truths found in God’s Word. A lot of people, thousands it seems, are making contact and requesting articles, audio sermons and DVD s. Of course, all of our materials are free of charge, paid for by others who want to support this Work as co-workers. I believe God is going to do a great Work through us if we are faithful to Him and I am very thankful to be a part of this group of God’s true Church.
Personally, I’ve been with the Church of God for many years (over 42 years) and I’ve seen lot’s of changes occur over these years. I began when it was known as the Radio Church of God This became the Worldwide Church of God, which grew into quite a large group through a television program called the “World Tomorrow” and a wonderfully informative magazine, “The Plain Truth”, under the directorship of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. After his death, several felt the Church was taking a different direction and it greatly diminished in size and scope. I left because of these “changes” in 1993. I moved to another fellowship of the Church of God, where I was ordained a Local Elder. After serving there for about five years as an Elder, I was dismissed by the Local Pastor, over a difference of opinion in a doctrinal issue. (More of that later) I then moved to the Intercontinental Church of God, headed up by Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong. After Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong’s death this re-grouped as the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries. Then some problems developed in that ministry. Certainly this is nothing new! Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” So now, hopefully having those problems solved, I am continuing under that corporate name, Church of God, Worldwide Ministries, Sevierville, Tennessee and directed by Mr. George Trent. I truly believe this is where God wants me at this time! (Certainly that makes me nothing more than any other member!) I Corinthians 12:18 “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.”
After this very long introduction, I want to present to you the subject matter that I really haven‘t heard discussed before, from the perspective I have been thinking about. In one Church of God group I was in and the one which had ordained me as an Elder, I strongly took issue with the pastor of that fellowship, when he made a statement in a Church Bible Study: “There is nothing in the grave and nothing comes out of the grave.” When I confronted him with what I felt was an erroneous doctrinal teaching, (privately and respectively), it eventually led to my being dismissed as far as my ministerial duties were concerned. So this is what I want to talk to you about today.
This sermon-article is entitled: “There is something in the grave.” (audio sermons part 1 and 2 can be found HERE)
I will be referring to several sources in proving my statement above. First of all, we’ll begin by going to God’s Word in Genesis 1:1” In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heaven and the earth.” (This was the original creative event that took place perhaps billions and billions of years ago - nobody really knows for sure.) 2. “And the earth was (“became”, same Hebrew word as in chap. 2:7) without form, and void (Hebrew-“tohu and bohu); and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters.” Verse 2 is of a different time frame than verse 1. The earth had undergone tremendous cataclysmic destruction between these two verses because of an attempted coup on the part of Satan the devil, to overthrow the very Government of God. So God was in the process of recreating this earth’s surface, about six thousand years ago, to get it ready for the creation of man and his habitation. Psalms 104:1 “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with honor and majesty. 5. Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever. 6. Thou coverest it as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. 30. Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.” (Exactly what we read in the recreation chapter of Genesis 1:2). Also we find in Isaiah 45:18 “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain (not in tohu and bohu - or in a chaotic condition), He formed it to be inhabited: (for human beings and their environment) I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
Now to continue our study about man: What is he? What is he made of? What is his purpose? And ,what happens to him when he dies? The real answers lie in the Bible, if we are only willing to believe what it says. Returning to Genesis 1:20 “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and the fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, -- --and God saw that it was good.” Ver.24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, and cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: And it was so.” In these three verses, the words translated “moving creature” and “living creature” are from the Hebrew word, “nephesh”. It merely means “life of animals” or “physical life”. This is a very important point: It does not refer to spirit! Keep this in mind as we move into Verse 26 “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness (after our kind): and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image if God created he him; male and female created he them.” So God created mankind in His image or after His Kind. But man was created a physical being, not a spirit being! This phase of man’s creation was only the first stage. As we learned in the beginning of this sermon, God uses duality in creating. (We saw the re-creating of the earth’s surface shown in Verse 1 and 2 of this chapter.) Moving on to:
Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (mortal) and man became a living soul.” (This is a reiteration of chapter 1:27.) Notice carefully; it does not say that man has a soul, but that heecame a living soul. I learned this wonderful truth from my early days in the Worldwide Church of God, from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, along with many other valuable teachings. (The leaders of most of today’s “Christian” organizations do not understand this at all!) So then, the NEPHESH, which can mean, the body, the creature, the SOUL or the MAN, is PHYSICAL, not SPIRIT! Don’t forget this, as we continue in our study! So God made MAN of MATTER, of the DUST of the GROUND! Satan, in his cleverness, has convinced mankind in general, that human beings have a soul, even an immortal soul! The very first and major lie that Satan told, is found in Genesis 3:4 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” i.e. You have an immortal soul. Man has continued to believe this colossal, Satanic lie ever since. Jesus Christ said: John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (In fact, many other erroneous doctrines are based on this belief, such as an ever burning hell fire, but that is another subject.) God had told the first human couple: Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof you shall surely die.” No, man was not yet immortal nor did he have an immortal soul. God and His Son, Jesus Christ, are the only ones who have immortality at this time. “---, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.”:(I Timothy 6:15,16).
Again, reiterating the statement that God uses duality in creating, man was created for a marvelous purpose. Ultimately, he is to restore the Government of God, that Satan failed to establish and carry out, when he was placed on this earth. (You may want to read about this in Jude 6 “And the angels (now demons) which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Also in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, God uses Satan, as a type of a man, who attempted to overthrow the throne of God.) But before man can qualify to rule with Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom of God, he has to first develop God’s holy, righteous character. If he fails to do this, in this flesh, in this mortal state, he can be destroyed! That’s why God tells us: Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Yes, we are offered immortality, through Christ, but we do not have that immortality YET! We are mortal human beings, made from the dust of the ground, and we all have an appointment with death. Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Now comes the big questions in many peoples minds: What happens to human beings when they die? Where do they go? What about their “souls”? I hope I have proven to you, from the Scriptures, that man does not have a soul, but that he is a soul. He is a mortal, physical nephesh. You may ask: “But doesn’t the Bible say in Ecclesiastes 12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”? Most certainly, as you see, it does. The body does go into a grave and the “spirit” goes back to God who gave it. What is this “spirit”? IT IS NOT A “SOUL”! It is vital that we understand this. We need to read in the Bible, what God says about this “spirit“: I Corinthians 2:11 “For what things knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” Ver.14 “But the natural man (with only the human spirit) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (by God’s Spirit).” Yes, God’s Spirit, coupled with our human spirit, gives us understanding of spiritual matters. Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind (one with only the spirit of man) is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 9. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (If you do not have The Holy Spirit of God in you, you are not a true Christian!) 16. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Our spirit agrees with God’s Holy Spirit after conversion.
Let’s see what we find in the Old Testament as well: Job 32:8 “But there is a spirit in man: And the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding.”
At this time I want to give you a direct quote from a book I received as a free gift from the Worldwide Church of God, copyrighted , 1985, written by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, First Edition. From the chapter on “The Mystery of Man”, pg. 87:
“Did you ever wonder about the vast difference between human mind and animal brain? This, incidentally, is another PROOF of the falsity of the theory of evolution!
The physical brain of the higher vertebrates in the animal kingdom is essentially the same in physical form, design, constituency, as human brain. The brains of whales, elephants, dolphins are larger--and chimps almost as large. Yet the output of the human brain is indescribably greater. Few indeed know why!
Many passages in Scripture show that there is a spirit in man. Spirit is not matter, and man is matter. To distinguish it from God’s Holy Spirit, I designate it as the “human” spirit. Nevertheless, it is spirit and not matter.
This “human” spirit imparts the power of intellect to the human physical brain. The spirit cannot see, hear, taste, smell or feel. The brain sees through the eye, hears through the ear, etc. The “human” spirit cannot of itself think. The physical brain thinks.
What then is the function of this “human” spirit? It is NOT a “soul”. But, 1) it imparts the power of intellect--of thinking, and of MIND power, to the human brain; and 2) it is the very means God has instilled, making possible a personal relationship between human MAN and divine God.” Continuing on in quoting Mr. Armstrong on pg. 90:
“The soul is merely the breathing animal. All animals are biblically called “souls”--in Hebrew, nephesh. Therefore, if man is a soul as in Genesis 2:7, so also are the dumb animals. But there is human spirit in the human soul.
This human spirit does not impart human life. Human life, like that of all vertebrates, comes from blood circulation, oxidized by the breath of air. But God reveals there is a spirit within every human. This spirit is not present in animals. The human spirit empowers the human brain with intellect--with ability to acquire knowledge, to think, reason, make decisions, produce attitudes of good or evil.
Human and animal brain are alike. Human mind superiority comes not from superior brain, but from the presence of human spirit within the human brain. Animal brain is supplied with instinct, not intellect.” (End of quote.)
This, to me, is the plainest, simplest and most straight forward explanation one could ever find about the human spirit.
So now, you can more readily understand what we read Ecclesiastes 12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.”
Of course! The body (nephesh) returns back to the dust, because it is physical. And it decays and decomposes until there may be nothing left, after a long period of time. Some bodies have been buried at sea, where some sea creature has devoured them and left them on the ocean floor. Others may have been cremated and their ashes scattered over vast areas of the earth or sea.. Some were completely obliterated, decomposed, disintegrated, atomized or whatever word you would use, in an atomic blast at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What about these dead human beings? How will God ever identify them? WHERE ARE THEIR GRAVES And what about their “spirit” that returns to God in heaven? These are marvelous, deep and mysterious questions that many have pondered over. But I believe THERE ARE ANSWERS!
First off, let’s deal with “the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Is it rejoicing up there and praising God? Is it wafting or rolling around on a cloud -- perhaps playing on a golden harp for all eternity? Are these human spirits looking down on earth from their heavenly home and anguishing over the conduct of their former loved ones and hoping for their “salvation”? Or worse still, maybe seeing some of them burning, suffering, tormenting in an ever burning hell?!!
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS?
We can begin by turning to Scriptural passages in this very same Book, just quoted from:
Ecclesiastes 3:18 “I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, that they might see they themselves are beasts.” (i.e. Their life was only physical, temporary animal life, as was a beast.) 19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they all have one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Yes, the brute animal and man have the same breath, which is the same source of life. They both die the same death. But man, made in the form and shape of God, has the human spirit added to his brain. (Quoting again from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong in his book, “Mystery of the Ages“, pg. 91:) “Human life is animal existence but with human spirit empowering the brain with intellect. The human spirit in man makes possible the union with the Holy Spirit and mind and immortality of God. When mortal man dies, the body reverts to dust, and the spirit returns to God.
The departed human spirit at death is in fact a spiritual mold, of itself unconscious, yet in the resurrection bringing into the resurrected body all the memory, knowledge and character as well as form and shape of the person before death. The human spirit of itself cannot see, hear, think or know. The only real LIFE, inherent and self-containing, lies in the Holy Spirit of God, united with the human spirit. The value of human life lies in the human spirit and it’s potential of being united with God’s Spirit--which is God-mind and God-life.” (End of quote.)
We’ll continue now in: Ecclesiastes 9:4 “For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 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. 10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with your might; for there is no work , nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Psalms 115:17 “The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.” Psalms 146:3 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. 4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” God’s Word is absolutely clear on this! When a person dies, he becomes totally oblivious to anything that is happening around him. He is in a deep sleep, as we’ll read later, in other Scriptures. The “spirit” that goes back to God who gave it is dormant! It has no recognition of anything, the passage of time, anything ! It’s memory (process) is forgotten, as we read. But it will be reunited to a body, in a future resurrection, where that mind, that character, that personality will again begin to function. Then, there will be recognition , an awareness of events, going on around them, as it was before their death. (We believe the first or better resurrection is very near, which occurs at the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, to establish His Kingdom on this earth!) So also is the Holy Spirit, returned to a resurrected body, that God may have given to a true Christian. It is inactive when a person is dead, but it makes a great difference in WHICH RESURRECTION they are to come up in! Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Of course this includes the living at that time, being changed into immortality, at the return of Jesus Chris, as well. Hebrews 11:35 “---that they might obtain a better resurrection.” (There are three resurrections that are scheduled to occur at different times, but that is a different subject that will have to be covered in another sermon.) I Thessalonians 4:14 “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. 15 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 (precede) them which are asleep. 16 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. 17 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.”
This is when the “spirit” is reunited with a body, that emerges from it’s PLACE OF BURIAL! It may be from a sepulcher, grave, the sea, the place where it may have been atomized, as we spoke of earlier, from the ashes of a cremation, WHEREVER! My point being: God knows every human being that has ever lived on this earth! He tells us that He knows every hair on our head; He knows every “sparrow that falls”! Do you believe that this Invincible, Perfect, All Wise and All Knowing God does not know where every human is, that died, and can not recall them in a resurrection? I am still appalled, amazed, incredulous that a man, purporting to be a minister of Jesus Christ, would make the statement: “There is nothing in the grave and nothing comes out of the grave”! Of course, this is denying the very resurrection, of which the Bible plainly teaches. The following Scripture is commonly referred to as the “resurrection” chapter, written by the Apostle Paul. I Corinthians 15:3 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that He was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Moving on to Ver.12 “Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection from of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection from the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” Ver.20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 23 But ever man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” (I want to interject something here that is very important! If you believe that you go immediately to your reward when you die,(heaven, in most cases, if you claim to be a Christian) you are denying the resurrection! Why have a resurrection, if you are already in heaven?) Let’s continue in this resurrection chapter:
I Corinthians 15:35 “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, (foolish one) that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but with bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.” Reading on down to Ver.49 “And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 behold I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: (not at death) for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Notice that the dead are asleep in a grave of sorts, whether in a watery one or a tomb, as is Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, the Patriarchs, king David and others. Notice what it says in Acts 2:29 “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us today.” Again, I ask, why maintain a tomb, if there is nothing in it? Let’s read in Revelation 20:4- 6 These 3 verses describe the ones in the first resurrection, where they have the privilege of ruling on this earth with Jesus Christ for one thousand years.
Now the second resurrection is shown in Ver.11 “And I saw a great white throne, ----- 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the Books (of the Bible) were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the Books, (again, of the Bible) according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (meaning the grave from the Greek word, “Hades”) delivered up the dead which were in them:”. These verses demand a resurrection! And of course, there is something (someone) in those graves, that will come forth, just as Christ said they would. John 5:28 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life (speaking of true Christians, who will attain immortality in the first resurrection); and they have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
Note: There are two different thoughts about this later “resurrection of damnation“.
From “The Companion Bible”, by Bullinger, I found the word “damnation” equals “judgment”, from the Greek, “krisis”, as in verse 22. So, it seems to me, that the “resurrection of judgment”, could be referring to the second resurrection or what is called “the great white throne” judgment period, that we read about in Revelation 20:11,12. (Ver.14,15 is about the third resurrection, which is the “second death in the “lake of fire”.) This could be speaking about the third or final resurrection or condemnation to hell (Gr. Gehenna or Geenna ) fire, to be burned up into ashes: (Malachi 4:1--3) It could be talking about the second OR the third resurrection. I don’t think this is a “salvational issue”, but we believe and teach the three resurrections of the Bible. We should be striving for the better or first one, if we are true Christians.
Now I want to discuss the second or great white throne judgment period that I just alluded to. I think this is important, because the main bulk of humanity will be in this resurrection.
Why do I say this? Because God is not calling everyone to salvation at this time, as many believe. We’ll investigate a few Scriptures to see the Truth about this. John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” God is not on a crusade to try to “save” the world at this time. This is not the only day of salvation. He has a time table and a plan in place. This may seem strange to your understanding, but read on. Matthew 13:10 “And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
Read all of this account, as well as Mark 4:11 “And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without (without a calling from God), ll these things are done in parables.” Christ was deliberately clouding or hiding these mysteries from the masses! Verse 12 “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” He was not opening their understanding to the hidden mysteries of God’s Word at this time. The majority of mankind, including nominal “Christianity”, can see and hear the words of the Bible, but they do not understand it. I Corinthians 1:26 “For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many, wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things (ones) of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things(ones) of the world to confound the things(ones) which are mighty.” Romans 11:7 “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election ( those whom God has elected to call at this time) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”
God refers to the true Church as a small group of people: Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
I wanted to point this out to demonstrate the vast numbers that will be resurrected in that second resurrection for their first opportunity for salvation by a Great loving God. I did this primarily to demonstrate how God resurrects these people back to mortal life, once again. Go to
Ezekiel 37:1 thru 14: We’ll need to read these verses and highlight or emphasize some of them for maximum understanding. This is about all twelve tribes of Israel being brought back to life in a physical resurrection, not just Judah or the Jews being returned to their homeland, as some have erroneously presumed. Just believe what it plainly says! They return to life again by emerging from their graves, as the long dead bones begin to re-attach themselves; skin and sinews begin to cover them; breath comes into them and these dead corpses come to life! This is an amazing story that God has preserved for us. Some highlights: “valley was full of bones”: Ver.1; “they were very dry”, been dead a long time: Ver.2; they were “an exceeding great army”, (probably billions upon billions. I’ve heard estimates that there may have been upwards of fifty to sixty billion persons born on this earth since Adam.): Ver.10; They represented “the whole house of Israel”( all twelve tribes) and thought “our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off from our parts.” (from being saved and having no inheritance in the Kingdom of God.), Ver.11; They had their graves opened “to cause you “to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.”, Ver.12; They are now, for the first time, offered an opportunity to know Christ: “And ye shall know that I am the LORD, WHEN I have opened your graves (in a new physical life) :Ver.13; They will have the Holy Spirit given to them upon repentance, Ver.14.,(just as Christians are able to do, as recorded in Acts 2:38.)
Now, after a long digression, let’s return to our major subject: “There is something in the grave.“ I’ll ask the question again: WAS THERE SOMETHING IN THE GRAVE? THERE CERTAINLY WAS! SO, HOW DID GOD FIND THESE BILLIONS OF DEAD HUMAN BEINGS IN THEIR GRAVES?
First of all, we must believe that an Almighty, All Powerful, All Wise, All Knowing, Creator God, that created all things that exist (the entire universe) and all life forms, including MANKIND IN HIS OWN IMAGE is PERFECT! Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Do not let your limited, human mind, try to set limits on the Power of God! This means exactly what it says! Isaiah 45:5 “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands. 12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their hosts have I commanded.”
Now, after reading these verses, we would not necessarily have to go to any of man’s acquired scientific knowledge, to know that God is perfectly capable of finding the graves of the dead and resurrecting them back to life. But, I would like to give you some of my thoughts about the method He might use, in achieving this. Actually, another minister in the Church, activated some of these ideas in a recent sermon he gave. Mr. David Smith gave a very thought provoking topic on “The DNA of God”. I strongly urge you to listen to this sermon. I have, I guess, four or five times. I get more out of it each time I do. In it, he brings out a relatively new understanding about the structures of cells. of which all living matter, including mankind, is composed. He stresses the Great creative mind of God and the utter impossibility of the evolutionary theory that man has accepted. He does a marvelous coverage on the subject of DNA of how and when the scientific research took place. I believe the discovery of the DNA component was about fifty years ago. It is one of the most important discoveries of modern times and plays a very important part in identifying human beings, among other things. I’ll have to confess, some of it is a little over my head in understanding, but I could readily see the Hand and Mind of God in it. I urge you to listen to Mr. Smith’s sermon whenever it becomes available to you.
Now, I was able to download some material from the Internet about DNA, that might prove helpful in understanding this difficult subject. I don’t want to bore you with a lot of scientific jargon, but give a “thumbnail” description of it: It is called: “BLAIR DNA Project”. I’ll quote just a few excerpts from the article: “DNA 101 is an attempt to take the extremely complex and confusing subject of Genetics and DNA and simplify it into layman’s terms” “Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the chemical inside the nucleus of all cells that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms. A DNA molecule consists of two strands that wrap around each other to resemble a twisted ladder.----Each strand is composed of one sugar molecule, one phosphate molecule, and a base. Four different bases are present in DNA.----the DNA sequence: the DNA sequence specifies the exact genetic instructions required to create a particular organism with it’s own unique traits.” i.e. Each human being would be unique, totally different from any other human being! (In many criminal cases today, criminologists are using scientific means involving DNA to establish guilt or innocence of certain individuals. People are using it in paternity cases. Some have established their hereditary root using DNA. I even read where the Jews are trying to use it to certify the Levitical priesthood, in case they ever get the opportunity to rebuild the Temple!) Then the article discusses the X an Y chromosomes: “Human sex is determined by the X and Y chromosomes. A female has 2 X chromosomes and a male has an X and a Y chromosome. When a child is conceived it gets one chromosome from its mother and one chromosome from its father. The chromosome from the mother will always be an X, but the chromosome from the father may be either X or Y. If the child gets the X, she will be a girl; if the child gets the Y, he will be a boy.”
Now, what I’m trying to show here is that there is great design and reativity from the Great mind of the creator God! A fine watch, superb performing auto or aircraft, or a nuclear powered submarine, did not just come together by chance! It takes a certain amount of human ingenuity, intelligence and planning in producing these things! And if you really believe there is a Creator God, it demands that you believe that He designed human beings, with their genetic cells, DNA, chromosomes and various physical and life sustaining systems. You cannot believe in this Great God and evolution at the same time! YOU must make the choice!
I do not profess to be an “Einstein”, a nuclear physicist or a scientific genius, but God gives His people special understanding of Spiritual things. (The small bit of information I’ve given on DNA is readily available from various sources: news papers, magazines, the Internet or public libraries. So without boring you with endless information about this “extremely complex and confusing subject of genetics”, as the article itself stated, I’ll let you take up the task, as it suits you.)
What our goal and purpose is, is to point you to this God of Creation who ultimately wants you to be a divine member of His Family. We began this article by showing how that God does things in duality in His creative process. He created the heavens and the earth in their original perfection and then, after the destruction caused by Satan’s rebellion, He renewed this earth to accommodate this present world’s inhabitants and environment, especially human beings. But this was only the first stage. The second stage of the duality of His Plan and purpose is to have literal sons born into His Kingdom, into His very Family. where we will have become immortal brothers of Jesus Christ: Romans 8:29 “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”; I Corinthians 15:20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” Mankind, of and by himself, cannot grasp this incredible Truth at all! It must be revealed to him through the Power of the Holy Spirit. This is the only way that I have been able to present this subject matter to you and the only way you will be able to understand what I’ve stated to you. It hinges upon whether you would be willing to submit yourself to the calling of God, if indeed He is calling you, humble yourself in deep, contrite repentance of your sins, (which is the transgression of His Holy Laws: I John3:4) accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and be begotten as child of God in this life. If you endure and overcome to the end, you can be assured of being in that first resurrection, as an immortal being in that glorious Kingdom of God.
Yes, even though you may die and be in a grave, God will not forget you! He knows where you are, dead or alive. And as we read in Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.”
We also read in Ezekiel 37, where those who have not been called at this time, will be resurrected back to mortal life. Jesus Christ said “-- the hour is coming , in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth----”: John 5:28,29. Will you believe your own Savior? Or will you believe some misinformed individual who would tell you, “There is nothing in the grave and nothing comes out of the grave.”?
Again, I am not trying to aggrandize myself. Only by the Spirit of God do I have understanding of spiritual things. As we come to the close of this article, I want to state this:
I do not positively know whether God will use DNA to identify each individual in their burial place or grave. He is the One who created it and certainly it is His prerogative to use this method! But this is not doctrine!
Remember, near the beginning of this article, we read in I Corinthians 2:10 “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God. 11 For what knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
So if any good, if any understanding has been given to the recipients of this message, give thanks to God! Glorify Him! I would like to give you one final Scripture: Romans 11:33 “O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!