What Is Life? And What Is Death?
Before I talk about the subject of Salvation, I want to clarify and illustrate a truer definition of the words "life" and "death." Merriam-Webster reveals what most people believe about these two ideas, defining "life" as: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body ... and "death" as: a permanent cessation of all vital functions: the end of life.
You'll notice that the Merriam-Webster definitions are focusing narrowly and only on the state of the human body and, although the definitions are accurate ones, they miss the Father's truth by a thousand miles! And I don't know about you, but I am much more interested in what the Father says about the world we live in than I am in mankind's limited understanding of things.
Having been indoctrinated into thinking only in terms of the physical body, the world generally thinks of life and death as though it were a light switch on the wall - it's either on or off ... a person is either alive or dead; existant or non-existant. And in terms of the physical body, in and of itself, this is an accurate understanding.
However, when you look more deeply into what the Word has to say about life and death, you very quickly realize that the definition given by man (as Merriam-Webster reveals) is absolutely mistaken; incorrect; blunderous; confusing, and wrong! Wrong, because you and I are quite a bit more than just flesh and bone!
According to the Father's Word, no one ever ceases to exist; everyone will exist forever ... it's just a matter of where - in Paradise or in The Outer Darkness.
Regarding Life: Some important points from the Word:
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth wake up, some to everlasting hai, and some to reproaches, everlasting abhorrence.
Note: "hai" = "life"
Dani'el (Daniel) 12:2 - HS
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting hai.
MattithYahu (Matthew) 25:46 - HS
It's quite obvious, from the above references to Dani'el (Daniel) and MattithYahu (Matthew), that no one ever ceases to exist ... and, further, that "hai" is something more than physical life; something more than "the vital physical functions of a body."
Further, if life was like a light switch, either on or off, we would either have it or we wouldn't; we wouldn't be able to have it more abundantly, right? But, in Yohanan (John) 10:10, Yahshua says He came that we might have life beyond measure! ... and if that is so (and it most definitely is), then "hai" surely means more than just being alive.
I have come that they might possess hai, and that they might possess it beyond measure.
Yohanan (John) 10:10 - HS
Hai is: Being "born from above;" receiving the Father's indwelling Ruach; being filled with happiness, prosperity, well-being, and joy.
Regarding Death: Some important points from the Word:
For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Ruach is hai and peace.
Note: "Ruach" = "Spirit" ... "hai" = "life"
Romiyim (Romans) 8:6 - HS
That is why He says, "Wake up, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Mashiah shall shine on you."
Eph'siyim (Ephesians) 5:14 - HS
But she who is living in luxury is dead while she lives.
Timotiyos 1 (1 Timothy) 5:6 - HS
For this reason the Good News was also brought to those who are dead, so that, whereas they are judged according to men in the flesh, they might live according to Elohim in the spirit.
Kepha 1 (1 Peter) 4:6 - HS
I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
Hazon (Revelation) 3:1 - HS
From Eph'siyim (Ephesians), above, we see that some are sleep-walking ... still dwelling in darkness, without being born from above; not having His indwelling Ruach and, therefore, dead. Not buried ... but dead, nonetheless, as is pointed out in the quotes from Romiyim (Romans), Timotiyos 1 (1 Timothy), Ya'aqob (James), and Hazon (Revelation).
Next, take a look at the quote below from Tas'loniqim 1 (1 Thessalonians) and you can see that there will be some people who will never know what it is like to experience a physical death at all! Ever!
Because the Adon Himself shall come down from the shamayim with a shout, with the voice of a chief messenger, and with the trumpet of Elohim, and the dead in Mashiah shall rise first. Then we, the living who are left over, shall be caught away with them in the clouds to meet the Adon in the air - and so we shall always be with the Adon.
Note: "Adon" = "Master" ... "shamayim" = "heavens" ... "caught away" = "netchatef; kidnapped!"
Tas'loniqim 1 (1 Thessalonians) 4:16-17 - HS
There are different kinds of death. There is the Spiritual death that came to all of mankind through Adam, where all of us are without the Father's indwelling Ruach (see "Regarding the Spirit" below) ... there is a soul-death, where the soul (life experience) can be full of darkness ... and, as we are all well aware of, there is a physical death as well.
Death is: Existing without the Father's indwelling Ruach; being separated from our Creator; lacking joy and well-being, being angry and unhappy.
Therefore, you see, death is much more than a physical burial and you and I are much more than a physical body ... we are triune beings, with a soul and a spirit as well as a body.
Soul & Spirit: What's the Difference?
I've often wondered, as I'm sure you have, what the difference is between the soul and the spirit. In hearing phrases like "you can lose your soul," I use to find myself confused and bewildered, pondering what that might mean.
Merriam-Webster defines "soul" as:
The immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.
Further, Merriam-Webster defines "spirit" as:
An animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms.
See what I mean? Can you see any distinction at all between those two definitions? I can't!
Regarding the Soul: An important point is made in the book of Marqos (Mark):
Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his staff, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for the sake of Me and the Good News, he shall save it. For what shall it profit a man if he gains all the world, and loses his own hai?
Marqos (Mark) 8:34-37 - HS
Notice how Yahshua refers to "life" and to "hai" (see bolded, above - where the HS says "hai," most all other English translations say "soul") as one and the same? I believe a good definition of the word "hai" would be: Your living experience. This is why I bolded the words "deny himself" and "take up his staff," in the Scriptural quote above - because these two phrases say a lot, regarding what "hai" is all about: Your experience in life. With hai, your living experience is full of understanding, peace, and happiness, because His Ruach is active in you and is guiding you ... as opposed to life, where your living experience is full of confusion, anxiety, and unhappiness, because His Ruach is absent in you and you are being guided by darkness itself; the world's ways and reasonings.
Our living experience is eternally effected by these two paths: We either deny the ways and practices of the world and follow Yahshua, seeking a relationship with the Father ... or we embrace the ways and practices of the world, following the passions of the flesh. One way or the other, each path has its effect on our living experience now, as well as in our eternal future. Remember: People may die in the physical sense, but no one ever ceases to exist!
So the Soul is Hai: One's living experience ... now, as well as in eternity.
Regarding the Spirit: A most important point is made in the book of Genesis:
And Yahweh Elohim commanded the man, saying, "Eat of every tree of the garden, but do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it you shall certainly die."
Genesis 2:16-17 - HS
Now, we know that Adam did eat of it ... but did he die? Yes ... and no.
Yes: He did die a Spiritual death that very day - he lost the Father's indwelling Ruach!
No: He did not die a physical death that day - he continued living on the earth for many years.
The point is that Adam died Spiritually; he lost the Father's indwelling Ruach ... the breath and mind of the Father; he lost the direct communication that he had known with the Father.
Note: In Aramaic/Hebrew or in Greek, the words for "spirit" are the same words for "breath" or "mind."
So the Ruach is: The Qodesh (dedicated) Spirit (the breath and mind) of the Father, active and alive in us; it means having direct communication with our Creator.
Consequently, everyone born after Adam is spiritually dead and full of sin ... and the word "sin," by the way, comes from the Greek word, hamartia (say "hah-mar-tee-ah") ... an archery term, meaning to miss the mark; anything short of a "bullseye" is a sin.
Synopsis: Life & Death | Soul & Spirit
Life: A person can be living (having life) and yet not experiencing hai. The true definition of "hai" is: The experience of having a personal and eternal connection with our Creator; the experience of having our eyes, our ears and our hearts (our understanding) opened; the experience of knowing joy and the peace which surpasses all understanding.
Death: Everyone exists forever; there is no such thing as non-existance. The true definition of "death" is: Being alive but separated from our Creator; having our eyes, our ears and our hearts (our understanding) closed; experiencing the absense of joy, the absence of peace, and experiencing confusion and misery.
Soul or Hai: Refers to one's living experience ... not only in the present, but throughout all eternity. And what we do with our life in the present, will bring untold rewards and/or lack of rewards - permanently - throughout eternity.
Spirit or Ruach: The Father's indwelling Ruach brings a direct connection and an intimate communication between us and our Creator. Adam's fall, in the Garden of Eden, caused a separation from the Father and a condition of sinfulness - an inability to "hit the mark" - in all of mankind. Today, everyone on earth falls into one of two categories regarding the Spirit: They are either Born from above or they are spiritually dead.
Yahshua has paid Adam's price and has restored the ability for us to receive the Father's indwelling Ruach ... a gift that is available to anyone who has a strong desire to receive it. Without the Ruach, a person is incapable of receiving the things of the Father; incapable of understanding the great mysteries that are in His Word - they see the written Word, but not the Living Word! - and are incapable of communing with their Creator. This, naturally, leads us to the subject of Salvation: The Fix.
Salvation: Past, Present & Future
Salvation Past = Salvation of the Spirit
We Are Justified & Separated from the Penalty of Sin
We Receive the Father's Indwelling Ruach & We Are Declared Righteous
Salvation first occurs when someone asks for the Father's free gift and becomes born from above. It has nothing to do with personal works and everything to do with belief. No one can add to or take away anything from it because it is solely dependent on the Work of Yahshua. This is Salvation of the Spirit; receipt of the Father's indwelling Ruach; a reconnection with our Creator which is aquired by simply praying to the Father and asking Him for His free gift:
Here's How - Click Here.
It is "Salvation Past" because it was achieved 2,000 years ago by Yahshua ... and it is "Salvation of the Spirit" because the Spiritual death of Adam carried forth to all his bloodlines and required restoration. It is here that our spirit is restored; we become justified by Yahshua's blood, declared as righteous and separated from death; the penalty of sin.
Before a person accepts the free gift of Salvation through Yahshua, they can read the written Word, but they are incapable of receiving the living Word (the revealed messages in His Word) because they are Spiritually dead and these deeper messages of the Word can only be discerned by having Father's indwelling Ruach.
Once someone answers the Father's call, they become born from above; they are marked with the Seal of the Father and are guaranteed eternal life; the Father's Ruach indwells them and the Spiritual Death that came through Adam becomes reversed into Spiritual Hai.
Now they are capable, for the first time, of receiving the things of the Father ... but, you may ask, how do they receive the things of the Father? And the answer is: By getting into His Living Word! By activating a daily prayer life, and developing a true relationship with Him. But how many professed believers really do this? And how many do not? This is where Salvation Present comes into play!
Salvation Present = Salvation of the Soul
We Are Sanctified & Separated from the Power of Sin
We Receive the Filling of the Ruach & We Are Made Righteous
Here is "Salvation Present." So called because, after being born from above (Salvation Past), another work begins - in the here and now. It is called "Salvation of the Soul" because it has everything to do with works (one's living experience) ... not the works of the flesh but, rather, the works that are done through the Father's indwelling Ruach!
As we spend more time studying His Word and understanding what the Father's Plan is and what He wants from us ... as we begin developing a relationship with His indwelling Ruach through a daily prayer life - beginning in the morning as the first part of your day and continuing through out the day - we begin to see changes in our life. Changes that we know are supernatural; changes that come from within and not from our own efforts; changes that are being done in us by His indwelling Ruach. We discover that we have a greater peace about us ... a greater joy ... and a greater level of self-control! Scriptures in the Word begin to jump out at us; we are suddenly seeing messages in His Word that we've never quite noticed before.
Further, it is here that we are separated from the power of sin ... we discover that sin is still all around us and even in us, but that it has less and less power over us ... we are being sanctified ... made righteous, in direct proportion to the filling of the Father's Ruach ... which is in direct proportion to the amount of attention we are giving Him each day.
We Express Our Love For the Father Through Obedience to His Word
During this time in our lives ... now; today ... we are in the phase that Sha'ul (Paul) often refers to as running the race for the great prize!
Do you not know that those who run in a race indeed all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to obtain it.
Qorin'tiyim 1 (1 Corinthians) 9:24 - HS
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Mashiah Yahshua.
Pilipiyim (Philippians) 3:14 - HS
Note: There are those who have been born from above (Salvation Past), but never pursue a relationship with the Father any further (Salvation Present). The belief of such believers will be noticably weak and they will be found lacking in the Gifts, as well as the Fruit, of the Ruach because they are not receiving the filling of the Father's Ruach; they are not pursuing the relationship they began when they called out to Him and asked to receive His free gift.
Some such persons are even seen as pastors, priests, healers and teachers of the Word - these would be those who say to Yahshua, "Have we not nabu (prophesied) in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?" ... to whom Yahshua will reply, "I never knew you, depart from me, you who work lawlessness." - see MattithYahu (Matthew) 7:22-23. They may have had works, even honorable works, but works of their own doing; works of the flesh, not works of the Ruach.
Salvation Future = Salvation of the Body
We Are Glorified & Separated from the Presence of Sin
We Receive Eternal Hai & We Are One With Righteousness Himself!
Salvation Future occurs at the Netchatef; aka Harpazo; aka Rapture ... it has everything to do with belief and works combined.
Before the Great Tribulation, believers will be "caught up" ... kidnapped! ... to meet Yahshua in the air and to escape the Day of His Wrath on the earth. They will face the Judgement Seat of Mashiah, where they will be rewarded for their good works and not rewarded for their lack of good works. Their bodies will be glorified, as Yahshua's was when He rose from the dead ... they will be in the shamayim ... separated from the presence of sin ... at one with Righteousness; Elohim - the Father and the Son and the Ruach ... and will be, throughout all eternity, separated from sin and darkness!
Even the messengers in the shamayim are unaware of exactly what the Father is doing with these "Called Out Ones;" the Ecclesia (say "ek-lah-see-yah") ... they long to look into what He is doing with us.
... those who brought the Good News to you by the Ruach ha'Qodesh sent from shamayim - into which messengers long to look into.
Kepha 1 (1 Peter) 1:12b - HS
We are children of Elohim. And it has not yet been revealed what we shall be ..."
1 Yohanan (John) 3:2 - HS
Note: All true, qodesh (dedicated) believers in Yahshua will be netchatef (taken up) ... but not all who are taken up will be the Bride of Mashiah. I discovered a very, very significant passage that reveals what I'm saying here.
If you look at Philippians 3:10-11 - in all English translations except HalleluYah Scriptures - you'll see two occurances of the word "resurrection" ... one in verse 10 and one, erroneously, in verse 11. Sha'ul (Paul) is once again talking about winning the Great Prize, as he writes in verse 10: to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death ... and continuing in verse 11: if somehow I might attain to the resurrection out from the dead.
Pilipiyim (Philippians) 3:10-11 - HS
The first occurance of "resurrection," in verse 10, is accurately translated from the Greek word "anastasia" ... however, in verse 11 - in all English translations except HalleluYah Scriptures - you'll see resurrection again - which is incorrect; the original Greek word in verse 11, is "exanastasia" ... which means "out of the resurrection" and paints quite a different picture!
Rather than Sha'ul (Paul) saying that he so greatly desires the possibility of attaining a place in the Netchatef; aka Harpazo; aka Rapture; aka resurrection, he's actually talking about attaining a place among those who are selected out of those who are netchatef (caught up). I believe he is referring to a difference between the Body of Mashiach and the Bride of Mashiach; the Body being all those who are netchatef (caught up) ... and the Bride being those who are selected out of all those who are netchatef.
At any rate, this future event happens in the shamayim and can only truly be described or explained in terms with which we have no real reference, at present. It speaks of Glorification ... and the only ones who ever saw a glorified body were those who saw Yahshua risen, some 2,000 years ago. It speaks of being separated from sin and darkness ... and who can even imagine such a thing, at present, where sin and darkness rules the world in which we live? It speaks of eternity; being outside of time ... can you even begin to grasp the idea of timelessness? I can't! And it speaks of being one with the Father and the Son and the Ruach ... who among us can describe such an experience!?
But there will come a Day when we will be able to ... and that depends, first, on Salvation Past; have you prayed to Him? - Click Here ... and, second, on Salvation Present; the only time we have is now - and that is fast running out.
Get to know your Father ... call out to the One who created all things ... study His Word ... pray to Him daily ... ask Him to reveal Himself to you ... and just watch and see the wonderful changes that take place inside yourself and everything around you!
May Abba Yahweh barak you and keep you ... may He shine the Light of His Countenance upon you and be gracious to you ... may He turn His Face toward you and give you His Shalom - in Yahshua's Name, Ahmein!