Biblical Proof of Awareness after Death
Why would this topic even need to be addressed? Why is this topic relevant to a section concerning Reincarnation? It turns out that despite the fact that almost all Christian sects teach that reincarnation is heresy, they don't all teach it for the same reasons. Some Christian sects teach that the after death there is no awareness. Because reincarnation requires souls be aware after death and to chose to reincarnate, believing there is no awareness after death by default also precludes against believing in reincarnation. Also, to reincarnate means to be aware in another body. These Christian sects believe that at death that awareness ceases until the resurrection. This belief fundamentally changes the theology around heaven, hell as well as reincarnation. The biblical authority quoted to support the belief is rather slim. In fact there is really only one scripture quoted. It is in Ecclesiastes 9:5
For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. (KJV)
You can't get plainer than that. The Dead know nothing. End of story. However, there are plenty of scriptures in both the old and New Testament that show that the dead are aware after death. Is this an example of Biblical contradiction? Not really. this statement wasn't made by a prophet of God nor was is it a quote from God through an angel or prophet. It is the musings of King Solomon while being depressed. It is a rhetorical remark made by a man who cried "vanities of vanities all is vanities." He admits to drinking in excess, having a thousand wives and concubines and having every luxury imaginable yet ultimately found his life unfulfilling. He even concludes at the end of his writings...
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. NIV.
Yet is recorded elsewhere that before he died he took up idolatry to please some of his wives. Yes, his writings are in the Bible, but his simple statement that the dead know nothing is not strong enough to counter other scriptures that make it plain that after death, the soul is aware. Certainly King Solomon's writings cannot over turn a the teachings of Christ which proved awareness after death. It is also interesting to note that his own family history should have given him insight into awareness after death. The man who was King before his Father David was crowned King talked to a dead man one day before he died! King Saul talked to a dead prophet. (In order to speak, dead or not, requires awareness!)
In 1 Samuel 28 we have the story of Saul secretly going to the witch of Endor so that he could contact the spirit of the dead prophet Samuel. This of course is a forbidden art, not because it can't be done but that it is evil to contact the spirits of the dead using witchcraft. Despite the wickedness involved, Saul has the witch do the divination necessary to contact Samuel. Samuel is summoned and has the following words for Saul.
15 Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?"
"I am in great distress," Saul said. "The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do."
16 Samuel said, "Why do you consult me, now that the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy? 17 The LORD has done what he predicted through me. The LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors-to David. 18 Because you did not obey the LORD or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this to you today. 19 The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines."
If you read further in the story, the prophecy of the dead prophet turned out exactly as predicted. This shows us that the prophet Samuel was aware after death and was in contact with God even during death.
Over a thousand years after the death of King Solomon, the Apostle John jouneyed to heaven in a vision and saw souls being aware they were dead. Specifically Revelations 6:9
9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
In John's version he sees souls in heaven aware enough to know they were awaiting a new life with Christ. See The Book of Revelation Teaches Reincarnation Part I
Another scripture in the New Testament that speaks of being aware after death is found in the book Of Luke where Christ teaches of possible consequences after death. The plain teaching of Christ shows that there is awareness after death. Christ taught this when speaking about Lazarus and the Rich Man.
Luke 16:19-31 (NIV)
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In [HADES] where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'
25 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
29 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
30 " 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
31 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "
Both Lazarus and the rich man were aware after death. Both were in Hades (Called Sheol in the Old Testament). One was with Abraham in the good part of Hades and the Rich man was in the bad part of Hades. The important point is that after death they did not cease to be aware. Death is simply the separation of the spirit from the body. Death is not non-awareness.
King Solomon was wrong. The dead do know. So despite the scripture quoted from his writings to prove that death is the same thing as non-awareness, this doctrine does not hold up.
Hebrews 9:27 does not disprove reincarnation.
The Book of Revelation Teaches Reincarnation Part I
The Book of Revelation Teaches Reincarnation Part II
Pope Arrested for Believing in Reincarnation
Reincarnation in the Bible
More Scriptural Support for Reincarnation
Biblical Proof of Awareness after Death
Buddha: Proof of Reincarnation
Scientific Proof of Reincarnation
Reincarnation Proof: Mellen-Thomas Benedict's Near-Death Experience
Reincarnation (old plan), Resurrection (new plan)?
Reincarnation: The Original Plan of God
Christian Reincarnation: The Long Forgotten Doctrine
Aquarian Gospel of Christ
Resurrection - The Amended plan of God
Christ Taught Reincarnation
Sabbath: The Amended Plan of God part 1
Resurrection: The Amended Plan of God part 2
The Sabbath is a Rehearsal
Sabbath and the Buddha
The Tao of Sabbath
Seven Sabbath Meditations
How to Meditate
The Parable of the King's Diamonds
Chester's Oral tests
And God said...
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