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Bible Study 2 Corinthians 5:8 - Immortal soul or resurrection body?

guibox

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
1,255
This verse (one of oh, say, three) that is constantly being referred to in defense of the 'my soul goes to heaven at death', is 2 Corinthians 5:8

"To be absent from the body and present with the Lord"

At first glance, it might seem to some that Paul is talking about the soul going to heaven right at death. However, two problems are encountered right off the bat:

1) Nowhere is an 'immortal soul' mentioned here
2) if you look at the other verses preceding it (2 Corinthians 4:11-18; 5:2-4,) and refer back to 1 Corinthians 15, we actually see that Paul speaks about resurrection body and not an immortal soul.

You see, most people merely look at verse 6 and/or 8 and build their theology around it (while ignoring Paul's own words elsewhere that contradict it), instead of looking at the context and use cross-referencing to further explain what is, at best, an ambiguous verse on the afterlife.


Let's take a look at the verses preceding it, shall we?:

Quote:
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. so then death worketh in us, but life in you....Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus and shall present us with you...While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the thitgs which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal - 2 Corinthians 4:11,14,18


We see that Paul is saying two things:

1) We look beyond to things we know will be, that which is eternal
2) That we, like Christ will be resurrected (see also 1 Thessalonians 4:14)

Paul is looking forward to this. Notice that he continues this thought right into Chapter 5

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens - verse 1

This 'house' is talking about a body. Not a body of this earth, but a body not made with hands, that of eternal quality.

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven - vs 2

Paul's desire is to put on this 'house' to be clothed with this immortality (are you noticing the references here to 1 Corinthians 15:51,51?)

If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked vs 3

Paul doesn't want to be found naked. This is talking about the intermediate period of death.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened not for that we would be unclothed but clothed upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life - vs 4

So we see that Paul's desire is that we are not left 'naked' but clothed in immortality. Now the language used here points to a resurrection body, not an ethereal substance. Notice also that immortality must be 'put on' and not something inherently automatic in itself, or in us.

We must go to 1 Corinthians 15 now before we continue:

But some will say, how are the dead raised up and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die...But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body...So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption...It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. - vs 35,36,42

We see that the earthly house must be abandoned and to be accepted into heaven, we must put on the spiritual house

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inheret the kingdom of God. Neither doth corruption inherit incorruption - vs 50

Our sinful bodies cannot go to heaven. We must put it off for a new body.

In the last moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. for the last trump shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.- vs 52,53

Now lets go back to 2 Corinthians 5

Therefore we are always confident that knowing that while we are home in the body, we are absent from the Lord - vs 6

Paul is saying that as long as we have this body of flesh, this earthly tabernacle, we cannot be with the Lord. According to verse2, Paul groans that we be 'clothed with that which is in heaven. that 'mortality be swallowed up in life'. This is the resurrection he is talking about here!

We are confident, I say and willing to be absent for the body and to be present with the Lord - vs 8

Notice that Paul doesn't say WHEN this will occur, but merely the fact that it will. The manner is clearly spelled out in the verses previous in link with 1 Corinthians 15: Paul desires that we put off this flesh and receive our new bodies that we not be 'left naked' or remain in the grave.

not that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life - vs 2

Directly linked to 2 Corinthians 5:6,8. What is Paul talking about? Notice the direct link to the resurrection!

So when this mortal puts on immortality and this corruption puts on inocorruption, then shall be brought to pass the saying, 'death is swallowed up in victory! - 1 Corinthians 15:54

Paul states quite frankly in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 when this "unclothed" state is done away with and immortality is assured. (see also 2nd Timothy 4:6-8 where Paul speaks about his departure being at hand and then says that it will occur at the last day for all people which cross references to 1 Corinthians 15:23 and John 6:40)

This verse is talking about the promise of the resurrection where we receive spiritual bodies, not an immortal, ethereal substance that survives death. We are talking about tangible bodies. You cannot read an immortal soul going into heaven into this text for a number of reasons:

1) Paul continually speaks of a 'body'
2) Nowhere is the word 'soul' or 'spirit' used or mentioned
3) Nowhere does it state WHEN all of this would occur. It is automatically assumed that to be 'absent from the body' is to be IMMEDIATELY present with the Lord
4) Nowhere else is an immortal soul directly supported in the NT (Philippians 1:21 and the 'souls under the altar' of Revelation are as ambiguous and easy to explain as this text)
5) The surrounding verses correspond and use the exact same language with other Pauline texts emphasising the resurrection of the body to eternal life

You must look at all the other verses surrounding the text at hand to help understand.
 
L

Lyric's Dad

Guest
You want to complicate a very clear scripture. We are absent from the body and therefore present with the Lord.

The Lord also told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him that day in paradise. So, is Jesus just sitting in the grave waiting the resurrection and had the thief come there with Him? Or is it that Jesus was lying? I say neither.
 
C

cj

Guest
Lyric's Dad said:
You want to complicate a very clear scripture. We are absent from the body and therefore present with the Lord.

The Lord also told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him that day in paradise. So, is Jesus just sitting in the grave waiting the resurrection and had the thief come there with Him? Or is it that Jesus was lying? I say neither.
Jesus also declared that He is with us as we live here on this earth.

Nowhere in scripture is Paradise considered a grave in the sense you suggest.

Jesus is the resurrected One, and is seated on the throne in heaven, a throne on which we are also seated with and in Him....... even as we are still on this earth.

How so?

In love,
cj
 
C

chanson

Guest
Lyric's Dad said:
You want to complicate a very clear scripture. We are absent from the body and therefore present with the Lord.

The Lord also told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him that day in paradise. So, is Jesus just sitting in the grave waiting the resurrection and had the thief come there with Him? Or is it that Jesus was lying? I say neither.

Good post! Lyricsdad.




Perusing the other thread on this same themes, it seems that mots of the pertinent Scriptures have been cited.


One Scripture comes to mind in Hebrews 12:22 where the writer makes clear reference to the 'spirits' of the departed being an integral part of Heavenly life in the New Covenant.




"....you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly jerusalem, the city of the living God, to thousands upon thousand of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn . . . , to God the judge of all men , to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, . . . to the spirnkled blood. . . "




Part of what Jesus won for us in the resurrection & ascention is that we will follow Him when we die and our spirit-man will leave our mortal body and enter into the presence of the Lord.



-



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guibox

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
1,255
Lyric's Dad said:
You want to complicate a very clear scripture. We are absent from the body and therefore present with the Lord.
I think I have shown very much so that the chapter is not 'clear scripture'. The very surrounding verses around verse 8 show that this is not talking about a 'soul' that goes to heaven at death. Rather you have to ASSUME that this verse speaks of the soul because you are left with no alternative...but wait...you ARE! Look at the rest of the verses, link it with the same language of the resurrection elswhere and the bible explains itself!

It is taking one verse and putting your own interpretation on it that makes it 'clear scripture' to you. However, one must let the bible interpret itself. In this case, you will find resurrection, not immortality

If course, it is much easier to believe what you want instead of actually 'searching the scriptures' for the truth.

Lyric's Dad said:
The Lord also told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him that day in paradise. So, is Jesus just sitting in the grave waiting the resurrection and had the thief come there with Him? Or is it that Jesus was lying? I say neither.
Jesus didn't go to heaven at death but resurrected in body as was necessary as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15. In the Greek there was no puncuation. THe comma should have been placed after today instead of before it. When you do this, you have language of emphasis used constantly throughout scripture, "I say unto you today.." "Verily I say today..."

Notice that the thief asked Christ to REMEMBER him, when?...When you COME into thy kingdom." He wasn't talking about immediate rewards at death. This happens at the second coming of Christ. Martha knew about it to when Lazarus died, "Lord I know he will rise again at the resurrection'
 
A

Abiyah

Guest
I Corinthians 15:35-58

Hi There !

First let me say, that I realize this post is a bit long; however, I can not make a valid point without going into some detail with regards to the felsh body and the spiritual body and the mortal soul and the immortal soul.

Proverbs 3:13
" Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that GETTETH UNDERSTANDING. "


In I Corinthians 15:35-58, we learn that we have two bodies, a "Terrestrial body"- meaning the flesh and/or Earthly body, and an "Celestrial body"- meaning the Spiritual and/ or Heavenly body. God tells us through Paul that one body is sown in "corruption"- meaning a perishable body, it gets old, it aches, and eventually dies and the other body is RAISED in incorruption- meaning a body that does NOT perish with disease & sickness, and never gets old. Our Heavenly Father explains to us that this body that we are in now, is sown a natural body, He continues to explain through Paul that when the natrual body dies, that it is RAISED a spiritual body. As it is written...

I Corinthians 15:36
" Thou fool, that which thou SOWEST IS NOT QUICKENED
[Quickened=meaning made alive] , EXCEPT IT DIE.

I Corinthians 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. "


When someone dies, their soul goes back to be with the Father, Whom gave it. But the flesh body, that natural body, the corruptible body, that body dies and returns to the earth from which it was made.

II Corinthians 5:8
" We are CONFIDENT, I say, and WILLING RATHER TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY
[ The natural body, the corruptible body, the flesh body] , IS TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD. "

II Ecclestiastes 12:7
" Then shall the dust retuen to the earth as it was; AND THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN UNTO GOD WHO GAVE IT."


Everyone must return to God for Judgement, just because we have a "spiritual body", does NOT mean that we have an "immortal soul". Your soul is simply, yourself, who you are inside. Your spirit is the intellect of your soul. You can have an evil spirit and fill your mind with the corruptions of this world and eventually PERISH, or you can feed your mind with the Word of God [ Amos 8:11] and be filled with the Holy Spirit and live in the eternity in that spiritual body.

I Corinthians 15:50
" Now I say, brethren, that flesh and blood CANNOT inherit the Kingdon of God; NEITHER doth corruption inherit incorruption. "


Paul continues to explain to us that we shall not all die in the flesh but shall be changed into our spiritual body, in a twinkling of an eye, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. Therefore, when Jesus returns at the second advent, everyone living in their flesh bodies shall be changed into their spiritual bodies; remember ? to be absent from the flesh is to be present with the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:51-52
" Behold, I shew you a mystery; WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP
[sleep=meaning die; a flesh death] , BUT WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMP [ there are 7 Trumps], for the trumpet shall sound, AND THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED IN INCORRUPTIBLE [ I Corinthians 15:42] , and we SHALL be changed."


Paul also explains that even though we are in spiritual bodies, that the souls MUST put on "immortality". That even though we are in an incorruptible body, meaning a spiritual body we must also put on immortality. The immortal soul= meaning not liable to die; The mortal soul = meaning liable to die. Therefore the souls MUST go from mortal to immortal. The immortal souls will take no part in the second death, which is the death of the soul.

I Corinthians 15:53
" For this corruptible MUST PUT ON incorruption
[ I Corinthians 15:42], AND THIS MORTAL [ mortal= meaning the soul which is liable to die, liable to perish] MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY [ immortality= meaning not liable to die, an everlasting soul, John 3:16 & Luke 4:4] "

There are many who are "spiritually dead", and it is written that many mortal souls, the souls which are liable to die will choose death over eternal life, they will choose satan over Jesus Christ. [ Revelation 20:14-15] There are mortal souls and there are immortal souls, just like there are flesh bodies and spiritual bodies. Remember that which Christ has told us.

Matthew 10:28
" And FEAR NOT them which kill the body
[ meaning the flesh body, the natural body, the corruptible body], but are NOT able to kill the soul; BUT RATHER FEAR HIM WHICH IS ABLE TO DESTROY [ destroy in the Lake of Fire] BOTH SOUL [ the mortal souls] AND BODY [ the spiritual body, the incorruptible body that never got sick or old] IN HELL [ that being the Lake of Fire.] "

We have two bodies, the flesh body and the spiritual body, and we have one soul, your soul is either mortal or immortal, it is either liable to perish, or it is everlasting, the choice is yours.. " For God so Loved the World, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him SHALL NOT PERISH [ Perish in the Lake of Fire], but have everlasting life [these that have everlasting life have immortal souls]".

Abiyah
 
S

SputnikBoy

Guest
Here we go again. We’re letting Paul appear to support a cherished but false mainstream Christian doctrine that the dead (at death) either go to heaven or hell. Why is it that the scriptures PRIOR to those of Paul, those that absolutely and unequivocally ESTABLISH the definition of death as 'sleep', are totally ignored by most? These scriptures are not only totally ignored but they are also considered 'false' should anyone bring them to everyone's attention. I just can’t get my head around this kind of reasoning.

Maybe I'm among the few on this forum who seems to be in possession of a 'false Bible' ...maybe a special SDA printing. Must be, because in my Bible I see death referred to as 'sleep' (even though used in a metaphorical sense) all over the place. Others of you seem to have those particular texts missing from your Bibles because they are not being addressed in regard to this issue. All I seem to see on this thread is Paul said this, Paul said that, etc. So, I don't know.

Paul was an excellent minister to the Gentiles. Are we to believe that he was also given, a. the divine authority to rid us of God’s laws, and, b. the divine ability to change God’s natural order of life and death? I don’t think so. Such confusion over the scriptures was surely not his intention anyway, even though a number of his writings are extremely ambiguous in content…especially so when other related scriptures are either misunderstood or otherwise ignored by Christians.

With this in mind, Paul cannot be held accountable for those who distort his sometimes difficult to understand epistles (2 Peter 3:16). The Bible seems to assume that the writings of Paul will be of value to those who ALREADY possess a competent knowledge of ALL scripture and can therefore compare and contrast them. In other words, we are advised not to make the writings of Paul 'contradict' or to say something contrary to other former scriptures that pertain to the same issue/s.

Paul was well aware that the present dead in Christ are ‘sleeping in their graves’ awaiting the resurrection. Of himself, Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure (reference to his approaching death). I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day (the day of Jesus’ coming when He will raise Paul from the dead) – and not only me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.†This text clearly demonstrates that Paul knew he would remain in his grave until Jesus’ return.

Why is it that there are some who are at such odds to believe for themselves and to teach others that the present dead are in their graves awaiting the resurrection? I guess I DO know why, come to think of it. It all comes back to denomination and one's loyalty to their church. We mustn't rock the boat and shatter a popular myth. We need to, however, as long as it isn't scriptural.
 
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noblej6

Guest
Hi Sputnik,

Maybe I'm among the few on this forum who seems to be in possession of a 'false Bible' ...maybe a special SDA printing. Must be, because in my Bible I see death referred to as 'sleep' (even though used in a metaphorical sense) all over the place. Others of you seem to have those particular texts missing from your Bibles because they are not being addressed in regard to this issue. All I seem to see on this thread is Paul said this, Paul said that, etc. So, I don't know.
Death is refferred to as sleep hee,,Daniel 12:1-3 and here 1Thess 4:13-18 and here 1Cor 15:51.

The sleeping part ends at the last trumpet. Now as you piece all that together , what do you get? Remember every last verse in the bible has to agree with one another.

John
 

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