LUKE 16:22Ã¢â‚¬â€œ28 Because this passage so obviously supports the idea of conscious existence after deathÃ¢â‚¬â€as well as conscious suffering for the wicked following deathÃ¢â‚¬â€the JehovahÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Witnesses, 7th day adventist and other cults go to great lengths to reinterpret it. They argue that Ã¢â‚¬Å“the rich man represents the religious leaders who are favored with spiritual privileges and opportunities, and Lazarus pictures the common people who hunger for spiritual nourishment.Ã¢â‚¬Â They say that Ã¢â‚¬Å“since the rich man and Lazarus are not literal persons but symbolize classes of people, logically their deaths are also symbolic.Ã¢â‚¬Â Their Ã¢â‚¬Å“deathsÃ¢â‚¬Â symbolize dying to their former circumstances. In GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s program, the Ã¢â‚¬Å“repentant Lazarus class dies to their former spiritually deprived condition and come into a position of divine favor.Ã¢â‚¬Â By contrast, Ã¢â‚¬Å“those who make up the rich-man class come under divine disfavor because of persistently refusing to accept the kingdom message taught by Jesus.Ã¢â‚¬Â The Ã¢â‚¬Å“tormentÃ¢â‚¬Â referred to in this passage is the pain caused on evil people by the righteous message of Jesus and his disciples. If people at death simply lapse into a state of unconsciousness, then JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ comments in this passage lose their meaning. The elaborate reinterpretation offered by the Watchtower Society and other cukts completely crosses the boundary of credulity. Scholars have noted that whenever Jesus taught, he provided examples from real-life situations. For example, he spoke of a treasure buried in a field, a wedding feast, a man working in a vineyard, a woman sweeping her house, a shepherd watching his sheep, and a son returning home after squandering money. Jesus never illustrated a teaching with a falsehood. This being the case, we must conclude that in Luke 16 Jesus is giving a teaching based on a Ã¢â‚¬Å“real-lifeÃ¢â‚¬Â situationÃ¢â‚¬â€involving conscious existence after death. Certainly the verse is in perfect harmony with other verses that teach conscious existence in the afterlife (see Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59; 2 Cor. 5:6Ã¢â‚¬â€œ8; Phil. 1:21Ã¢â‚¬â€œ23; 1 Thess. 4:13Ã¢â‚¬â€œ17; Rev. 6:9Ã¢â‚¬â€œ10). Jesus never calls this real story aÃ¢â‚¬Å“parable,Ã¢â‚¬Â and unlike parables, which never use real names, Jesus used a real name (Lazarus) of a person. Any Comments and I will gladly accept Amens.