The American Wisdom Series

Presents Pamphlet #1043KC1THES6

"Or Ever the Silver Cord be Loosed"

Where are our Christian friends and relatives
who have been released from the bondage of the flesh body?

For that matter, where are even the non-Christians who have died?

Is everybody just six feet under?
Have they all ceased to exist or are they still conscious somewhere?

By knowing the answers to these questions directly from the Word of the God
a Christian can give great comfort to someone who has recently lost a loved one.

These six verses (4:13-18) in 1 Thessalonians are of paramount importance!

We know from Paul's letters to the Thessalonians
that there was something lacking in their faith
which Paul wanted to correct [perfect],
so that they would "know perfectly well".

1 Thes. 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you,
for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
[10] Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face,
and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
What were lacking?
It was knowledge which is why Paul will preface his next subject
of "where the dead are" in verse 13 of chapter 4 with
"I would not have you to be ignorant [unknowledgeable],
brethren, concerning those who have died".
1 Thes. 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant,
brethren, concerning them which are asleep...
Remember, it had been 20 years since Jesus was crucified
and some of their friends and loved ones had already died
and Christ had not returned during their life time.

They wondered what would become of them.
Paul will explain this to them (us)
and ease their (our) minds, i.e. comfort them (us).

Paul is going to not only explain where the dead currently are
but also how we will all,
that is all our Christian friends and relatives who have died and gone before us,
and all of us who will be alive in the flesh when Christ returns,
gather back to Christ in our spiritual bodies at the last Trump.

But before Paul gives that explanation
let's seek some background concerning death and bodies from the God's Word.

When a person dies we already know his (or her) body returns to the elements of the earth
from which it was composed, i.e. it de-composes,
whether by slow combustion (Which is what organic decomposition is.
Just stick your hand into the midst of a compost pile sometime and feel the heat.)
or by quick combustion (Which is what cremation is.)
Either way your flesh body is consumed by fire! Got it?

But the person, i.e. the soul,
who dwelt temporarily in that body departs from it
and goes home to his Father who sent him here to "walk under the sun" in the first place.
Here is the scriptural documentation:

Eccles. 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed,
or the golden bowl be broken,
or the pitcher be broken at the fountain,
or the wheel broken at the cistern.
These are all Hebrew figures of speech
which mean when a person dies.

They mean exactly the same thing as when we say a person "Kicked the Bucket"!

I agree with Lancelot Knight from the former web site, King's Chapel.
He says his favorite expression is
"whenever the silver cord is loosed" to describe death
because he can just envision our tender loving Father
tying one of his children into the embryo with a precious little itty bitty silver cord
which He then ties in a bow as He kisses His child goodbye for his journey.
At the time of death those strands of the silver bow are pulled and the child is released to return home.

[7] Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:
and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
It is important to understand that when any of us die,
whether we are good, bad, or ugly we are finished with the flesh body,
a good riddance indeed, and we ALL return home to the Father.
The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man shows us
that we do not all go to the same place in heaven
because there is a gulf, a "clean cut" division,
between those who "made it" and those who didn't!

No one has died the second death yet,
which is the death of the soul in the lake of fire!
That doesn't happen until after the Millennium,
until after the Great White Throne judgment,
until all the host of heaven, i.e. all of His children,
have died the first death, i.e. been born of water
and died (or instantly changed when Christ returns,
which is somewhat analogous to dying in your sleep)!

That is correct!

God has appointed all of His children to pass through the womb of woman before judgment.
So the first death, the death of the flesh, applies to all.

The second death will apply only to those who have not received Christ
by the time of the Great White Throne judgment.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Think about it!
Even Satan himself,
who has already been sentenced to die in the "lake of fire"
is alive and in heaven
as documented by Rev. 12:7-9.

He will soon be cast to this earth at the sound of the 6th Trump
and claim to be the Messiah,
but when Christ returns he will be bound in the pit for the thousand years (Rev. 20:2).

You see, even Satan isn't cast into the lake of fire and destroyed until after the Millennium.
Your documentation is found in Rev. 20:10.

Jesus Christ Himself said in Matthew 22:32
that He is not the God of the dead but God of the living,
like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who are alive and well in heaven right now.
The apostle John saw the Christian martyrs and the elders, etc.,
in heaven when he was taken there in the spirit.

Here are Christ's words:
Matthew 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob?

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Remember also that Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ
unto Peter and James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration?
They were alive, not dead.

1 Pet. 3:19 documents that during the three days and three nights following the crucifixion,
now having paid the price,
Jesus went to those souls "in prison" and preached unto them.

We could go on and on but just remember,
do not let some ignorant [unknowledgeable] religionist tell you that when you die you are dead forever
or you remain dead until Christ returns.
All souls, even Satan, are alive at this time.

To fully understand the rest of 1 Thes. 4
it would also help if we understand about the two bodies.

Did you know you have two bodies?
Let's start with these two questions Paul asks and then answers:

1 Cor. 15:35 But some man will say,
How are the dead raised up?
and with what body do they come?
OK, we know that when a person dies only their flesh dies
and they return home to the Father.
How is that done and what kind of body do they have?
The answers to these questions are extremely important
in order to place what Paul speaks of in 1 Thes. 4:13-18 in proper context.
1 Cor. 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
The first thing is that your flesh body must die first.
It is just like a seed which can sit on the shelf for a long time,
but it will not sprout into a new plant or tree until it is buried in the ground and rots.
And the seed (analogous to the body) which you plant is not what will come out of the ground, right?
You take a little old seed and bury it
and instead of that seed coming up you get a beautiful flower
to "raise-up" out of the ground.
[37] And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be,
but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
Paul goes on to explain in detail that there are different types of bodies
which "arise" from different seeds according to God's perfect design.
One thing is for sure, you will never get a watermelon to grow from a corn seed!
[38] But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

[39] All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men,
another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

So there are different types of flesh in the physical creation.
but, there are also heavenly bodies, i.e. spiritual bodies!
1 Cor. 15:40] There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial:
but the glory of the celestial is one,
and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
You cannot even begin to compare the beauty of the glorious spiritual body
with the crude-by-comparison flesh body
any more than you can compare the beauty of a magnificent flower to its plain blah seed.

Believe this on the analogy Paul is giving us here:
You will not want back in this flesh thing
after you have blossomed into your spiritual body!

[41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon,
and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
Remember, stars are symbolic of God's children
whose garments are made up of their righteous acts,
and so one star differs from another star in glory.
[42] So also is the resurrection of the dead.
It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It should now be easier to understand what happens when a person dies.
They are "raised" into their spiritual bodies!
Here it is spelled out in such simple language that it cannot be misunderstood,
especially after understanding the simple analogies Paul gave us:
1 Cor. 15:44 It is sown a natural body;
it is raised a spiritual body.
There is a natural body,
and there is a spiritual body.
There are two bodies!
A physical flesh one that you are "tied into" until it dies,
and a spiritual one that you receive when the silver cord is parted!

 Would you like to know a secret or a mystery?
The apostle Paul is about to show us one.

1 Cor. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery;
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
 Do you understand what Paul just said?

Why aren't we all going to die?
(Paul is talking about the flesh here!)
We are not all going to die because some of us will be standing here,
alive in our flesh bodies,
when the 7th Trump sounds and Jesus Christ returns
with all the saints Paul said were coming with Him back in chapter 3 verse 13!

Remember? And having already died in the flesh,
we now know that they are already in their spiritual bodies!
He will drive that point home in the remainder of chapter 4.

Well then, what happens to our flesh bodies at that time?
Isn't this fascinating?
Here is Paul's answer
(Pay close attention because we have to think about all the clues in mysteries, right?):

1 Cor. 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:
for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.
First, the moment in time is revealed.
It is at the LAST TRUMP and NOT BEFORE!

Be sure to check out this clue: The Greek word for "last" is eschatos
and it means the VERY LAST EVENT!

eschatos, es'-khat-os, Greek 2078; a superlative probably from Greek 2192 (echo) (in the sense of contiguity); farthest, final (of place or time) :- ends of, last, latter end, lowest, uttermost.
The 7th Trump is the very last event that takes place in this FLESH AGE!

It is the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords
at which time He destroys the crowd who has gathered at Armageddon
along with the army at Hamon-gog* (See Ezek. 38-39)
and establishes the Kingdom of God on this earth!

There shall be NO ONE who will remain ALIVE IN THE FLESH
because as Paul states in 1 Cor. 15:50,
flesh and blood cannot enter into that Kingdom,
which is the Millennial reign of Christ!

So whether they are among the dead carcasses
left in the valley of Hamon-gog at the 7th Trump,
or the spiritually dead, or God's elect, it doesn't matter!

The flesh age ENDS when Yeshua returns with the shout at the sound of the 7th Trump!

So at the sound of the last Trump, the 7th and final one,
"we who are alive and remain (in the flesh) unto the coming of the Lord"
will be INSTANTLY changed from our flesh bodies into our spiritual bodies!

"It is so simple", which is what we often say when a mystery is solved.
"Why didn't I see that before?"

Let's read one more verse in 1 Cor. 15 to complete our background for the remainder of 1 Thes. 4.

1 Cor. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality.
Behold, there are two separate things which occur when Jesus Christ returns at the last trump.

The first, which applies to everyone, both the good and the bad,
is that we are ALL "raised up" or "changed" from flesh bodies to spiritual bodies,
i.e. from corruptible flesh to incorruptible spirit.

AND, the second thing that occurs is called the First Resurrection.
(That is where the saints, both those who died this shadow of death previously, i.e. their flesh bodies died; and those of us who leave our flesh bodies at Christ's return), are now in spiritual bodies and are also "raised", "resurrected" to the status of IMMORTALITY, i.e. eternal life!

If people would just take the time to understand
the difference between the resurrection of the body
and the resurrection of the soul to immortality,
much confusion and "mystery" in the minds of Christians would be made clear and solved!

It is so easy to document that people who do not "make the cut"
at the First Resurrection to eternal life
when Jesus returns
will remain in their spiritual bodies throughout the great time of teaching known as the Millennium
and face the throne of judgment
where they will either receive the same death sentence as Satan
or be resurrected to immortality.

This then is called the Second Resurrection,
or the second time one can receive eternal life.

There are only two times.

However, those who are part of the First Resurrection to eternal life,
which is granted when Christ returns,
will receive greater blessings and since they will now be "holy"
they will NOT be subject to the Great White Throne judgment because the second death,
which is the death of the soul, no longer applies to them.


They already have been resurrected (raised) to immortality!

Rev. 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:
on such the second death hath no power,
but they shall be priests of God and of Christ,
and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Yes, the mystery is solved!
We are not all going to die a natural death.
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trump"
we who are alive and remain shall Bloom instantly into our beautiful spiritual bodies!

 Where are our Christian friends and relatives
who have been released from the bondage of the flesh body?
The answer is that they are now absent (Gone!) from their flesh bodies
and they have already been raised-up, i.e. resurrected in their spiritual bodies,
and they are alive and well and present with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is that not the hope of all Christians?
It was certainly the hope of this same Paul who wrote 1st and 2nd Thessalonians
and later wrote to the Corinthians:
2 Cor. 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: [7] (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
While we are down here "walking under the sun" in these flesh tabernacles
we know we are only temporarily absent from the Lord.
We therefore have great confidence and boldness to teach the truth
and labor fearlessly because we know where we are going when we die!
You see, we know we don't die (cease to exist) at all!
Only our flesh bodies die and we then go to be with Him!
[8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body,
and to be present with the Lord.
What is your hope?
Where would you rather be?
Well, we all look forward to being with Him and in our spiffy spiritual bodies,
but there is work to be done here to help our brothers and sisters
find their way back to loving and obeying their Father
who loves them so much that He gave His only begotten Son
to pay the price for their sins if they will just have a change of heart and repent,
which is His desire for all His children. 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward,
not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance."
[9] Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
Do you think that those who have gone before us are just sitting on Cloud Nine playing harps?
No, our fellowservants who have passed on before us have not ceased from serving Him!
They continue to labor day and night (Rev. 7:15).
Here is one of the former prophets seen working on the job.
He was sent out of the office to go call upon the apostle John,
who was banished on the Isle of Patmos,
to "show His servants the things which must shortly be done." (Rev. 22:6)
Here is what happened:
Rev. 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them.
And when I had heard and seen,
I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
The word angel simply means messenger and we are never bow down to,
nor worship, angels (see next verse).
We are to only worship God! (See also Rev. 19:10)
[9] Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant,
and of thy brethren the prophets,
and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
You can see that our fellowservants
who have returned home to be with the Lord are not "sleeping" at all, are they?
And remember, Paul already told the Thessalonians back in chapter 3
that all those saints are coming back with the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns.
1 Thes. 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God,
even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

So by now you should be able to answer the question,
"Where are the dead?",
especially concerning those who have "died believing in Jesus Christ"
which is what the expression Paul uses, "the dead in Christ", means!

Let us now complete the 4th chapter of 1 Thessalonians beginning in verse 13
where the subject will now be "where are the dead?"
Paul doesn't want us to be ignorant about this!

1 Thes. 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them which are asleep,
that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Who were these "others" who had "no hope"?
They were those influenced by the Sadducees,
who were running around telling people that "when you're dead, you're dead"
and that "there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit (that goeth upward as Eccl. 12:7)".
Acts 23:8 "For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit:
but the Pharisees confess both." They should be called "Saddu-don't-sees".

We Christians on the other hand
DO BELIEVE in the resurrection from the dead
for we believe that Christ was resurrected from His dead body, do we not?
And we already know how the dead are raised up!
Paul completely answered that question:

1 Cor. 15:35 But some man will say,
How are the dead raised up?
and with what body do they come?
Remember the two bodies, etc?
We bloom from our flesh bodies into our spiritual bodies when we die! Hallelu-Yah!
1 Thes. 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.
That certainly makes sense.
If we believe that Jesus died and rose again
then we must also believe that our loved ones who have died,
knowing Jesus,
rose also (were raised into their spiritual bodies) to be with Him,
and so they ARE with Him.

What we now know is that when Jesus comes back
He will bring them with Him
just like Paul said He would here in verse 14 and in chapter 3 verse 13.

*sleep = koimao, koy-mah'-o, Greek 2837; from Greek 2749 (keimai); to put to sleep, i.e. (passive or reflexive) to slumber; figurative to decease :- (be a-, fall a-, fall on) sleep, be dead.
The contrast to "sleeping", i.e. having died,
will be "remaining alive" in the next verse.
So far we have been told TWICE by Paul that when Jesus returns
He will be bringing "all the saints with Him"!

What happens though to those of us who have not died
but are still in the flesh when the 7th Trump sounds?
(Hint: It happens in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye!")

[15] (KJV) 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 them which are asleep.
The Greek word "prevent" is a little vaguely translated in the King James.
Here is Strong's definition:
prevent = phthano, fthan'-o, Greek 5348; apparently a primary verb; to be beforehand, i.e. anticipate or precede; by extension to have arrived at :- (already) attain, come, prevent.
Those saints who are with the Lord have already preceded us
and attained something we haven't!
Here is how Dr. Moffat translates it:
[15] (Moffat) For we tell you, as the Lord has told us, that we the living, who survive till the Lord comes, are by no means to take precedence of those who have fallen asleep.
Take Precedence in WHAT?
Precedence in being resurrected to our spiritual bodies!
The saints who have died are ALREADY in their spiritual bodies!
They have already PRECEDED us in the resurrection to their spiritual bodies
and Paul has explained twice that they are coming back with Jesus Christ
(obviously in their spiritual bodies)!
This is so simple!

The subject here IS NOT "eternal life"
and it IS NOT "escape from tribulation"!

Remember, the Thessalonians were expecting Christ to return
and they were concerned about their deceased friends and relatives
and what would happen to them since they died and Christ hadn't returned!

Again, the answer is so simple:
When they died, they were resurrected, i.e. raised into their spiritual bodies,
and went to be present with the Lord.
And when He returns, they are coming back with Him.
AND, we are now going to discover,
that we are going have a Big Happy Reunion together with them
(as soon as we GET CHANGED at the LAST TRUMP into OUR SPIRITUAL BODIES too!

Let's see how this happens:

[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:
Question? What Trump of God is Paul talking about?
It is the VERY LAST ONE!
Remember "eschatao" in 1 Cor. 15?
The 7th Trump occurs AFTER antichrist appears at the 6th Trump
and has completed his reign on earth as the false Messiah!
Even so, some are not going to quite "get it" when this event happens
(as some any moment rapture theorists do not quite get it now),
so in his next letter to the Thessalonians Paul will "spell out"
in indisputable great detail WHEN this gathering back to Christ occurs and when it won't!

Question? When the Lord descends from heaven,
where will the departed saints be who have already died believing in Him, i.e. the "dead in Christ"?

That is correct!
They are right with Him (following Him on their white horses (Rev. 19:14).
Well then, what does it mean they shall "rise" first?
It simply means they will appear in their spiritual bodies
before we are gathered and changed into ours.
Remember they have preceden the resurrection of the spiritual body!

Now take your Strong's Concordance (if you don't have one, get one)
and check out the Greek word for "rise".
You will find that the word "anistemi" can be used (literal or figurative,
transitive or intransitive) and in this sense it means "to stand-up" as in "to present".
It is kind of like an announcer would say:

"At the sound of the 7th Trump
will all those who already have on their spiritual robes please rise, i.e. stand up!
Now would all those remaining please put on your spiritual robes and join them as a group!"
So the "dead in Christ",
those who have died believing in the Lord,
who are with Him now, will appear, i.e. stand-up first, when Christ returns,
before we are changed and join together with them!

Here's how Paul puts it: [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.

We who are alive in the flesh and all the saints who are coming with the Lord,
are going to gather together as a group (cloud) at the 7th Trump,
which is what the expression "caught up together in the clouds" means.
It is a figure of speech and the expression
"in the clouds" has nothing to do with "clouds"
any more than the expression
"He got into hot water" has to do with "hot water".
The former means "group"
and the latter means "trouble".

(See Heb. 12:1 for the same figurative usage of "clouds"
where Paul says we are going to gather in the clouds and run a foot race.)

Well, if the saints are in their spiritual bodies
and we are still in our flesh bodies,
how shall we be gathered together?

It is the "mystery" of 1 Cor. 15 which we studied earlier.
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye",
at this same last trump we shall be changed into our "breath of life" bodies,
our "air" bodies, which are our spiritual bodies
as we shall see after Christ explains this same event in Matthew 24:29-31.

We pick it up just after He has finished describing the great tribulation of antichrist:

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened,
and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven,
and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming
in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Does it say that when Christ returns (which we know is at the last trump)
that only the elect are going to see Him?
No, it does not!
When Jesus Christ returns with all the saints (remember?)
"all the tribes of the earth"
shall see the Son of man coming!
There is NO secret rapture!
You can either believe some theory of man that says only "the church" sees Him first
or you can believe the words of Jesus Christ.
The choice is yours!

Because at this point the saints "who are alive and remain"
haven't even been gathered!
Christ and the saints appear first,
THEN we are gathered to them!

[31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds,
from one end of heaven to the other.
Paul says exactly the same thing in 1 Thes. 4:17,
"Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught-up
(gathered) together with them in the clouds (in a group, i.e. figuratively in clouds),
to meet the Lord in the "air" (spiritual body, in the spiritual dimension),
and so shall we ever be with the Lord (in our spiffy spiritual bodies).

The Greek word for "air" used here is "aer".
It is used only several times in the New Testament
and you can look it up for yourself (which you should do)
and check out how it is used, but it does not mean the "air" that birds fly in
which is the word is "ouranos" as used in Luke 9:58
"And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes,
and birds of the air have nests;
but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

ouranos, oo-ran-os', Greek 3772; perhaps from the same as Greek 3735 (oros) (through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension heaven (as the abode of God); by implication happiness, power, eternity; specially the Gospel (Christianity) :- air, heaven ([-ly]), sky.
Paul is telling us in 1 Thes. 4:17
that we are going to be "changed" into our "breath of life" bodies,
our "aer" bodies of that spiritual dimension
in order to meet the Lord and the saints who are already in theirs.

One thing is for sure,
we can't imagine how glorious that day will be
but we know that when we see the Lord (and the angels)
we will be instantly changed to appear just like Him!

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see Him as He is.
How wondrous and marvelous is the truth of God's Word.
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free...
free from worry,
free from anxiety,
free from the bondage of the traditions of men,
free from to love and please Him.
1 Thes. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Jesus Christ is returning to the Mount of Olives
and that is where we shall gather together as a group
in our spiritual bodies to be with the Lord Jesus Christ for ever more!

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