What Happens after Death?

Scripture reveals that when a soul dies, there is no more consciousness. There is neither suffering or joy. The soul “sleeps” until raised back to life by the power of the Life Giver.

watching overA woman wrote an advice columnist in the United States. Her mother-in-law had died recently, and her husband was floundering. He had been taught that good people go to Heaven when they die and keep watch over their loved ones on earth.

It sounds comforting, but it wasn’t. Her husband hated the thought of his mother constantly there, silently observing … everything. Believing his mother was always present, he refused to be intimate with his wife and their marriage was suffering.

This is typical of error. It appears good at first glance. It seems to promise comfort. But ultimately the promise turns to ash, and the comfort is cold.

The truth of what happens at death reveals, once again, the depths of Yahuwah’s love.

Death is a sleep

When Lazarus of Bethany got sick, his sisters sent word to Yahushua, simply stating:

“Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

When Yahushua heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of Yahuwah, that the son of Yah may be glorified through it.” (See John 11:3-4.)

The obvious interpretation is: Lazarus is not going to die. And yet … he did! Yahushua waited and after a couple of days, he left for Bethany. The disciples were confused. Why go to Judea now when the Jews had just been trying to kill him? Seeing their confusion, Yahushua explained:

“Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”

Then his disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Yahushua spoke of his death, but they thought that he was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

Then Yahushua said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” (See John 11:11-14.)

Death is like being asleep! There is no suffering, no remorse, no sadness. Certainly, there is no spying on loved ones still living. There is simply a complete and total lack of awareness.

There is no awareness in death!

Anyone who has suffered extreme physical pain as well as intense emotional or psychological distress will tell you that mental and emotional agony are far worse than any physical pain can be. A total lack of consciousness in death is one of Yahuwah’s most loving gifts!

Many Christians believe a person goes either to Heaven or hell at death. Muslims believe that martyrs go directly to the Garden of Eden but for the millions who die natural or accidental deaths, it’s different. Muslims teach that angels transform the grave into a luxurious space for those who have sound faith and a sinless record. But for those whose faith is imperfect or who have sinned, the grave is a place of intermittent torture.

Satan invented these warped beliefs. He delights in torturing those left behind with thoughts of the suffering of their lost loved one. No god of love would ever impose such a fate on even his worst enemies, and “Yah is love.” (See 1 John 4:8.) He allows those who have passed, both good and evil, to sleep in the grave until the resurrection.

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. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, KJV)


The definition of a soul

The creation of Adam reveals what constitutes a soul. “And Yahuwah Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (See Genesis 2:7.) In the flood account, a slightly different word is used, but with the same concept. Yahuwah told Noah to take into the ark, “two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.” (See Genesis 7:15.) The word here translated “breath” is the same word that appears elsewhere in Scripture as “spirit.” It is the combination of a corporeal body with Yah’s life-giving breath that produces a conscious, living soul.

In beautifully poetic language, Solomon exhorted people to serve Yahuwah while life still lingered: “´╗┐Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to Elohim who gave it.” (See Ecclesiastes 12:6-7.)

hour glass

Without Yah’s breath (spirit) of life, there is no consciousness.

Life without end … someday

Believers who have died trusting in the merits of Yahushua’s blood will be resurrected when he returns to set up Yahuwah’s everlasting kingdom on earth. The gift of eternal life is not given until then. Even when Job longed for death, he did not expect to go immediately to Heaven. In fact, he states quite explicitly that his body will decay in the grave.

I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see Yah: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (See Job 19:25-27.)

Job trusted that Yahuwah would one day resurrect him to live once again on the earth. In fact, all who have died trusting in the merits of Yahushua’s blood, will be resurrected to live and reign with him for a thousand years in the earth made new. At the end of the millennium, those who persisted in rebelling with Satan, will be resurrected briefly to face the final judgment. John wrote:

´╗┐Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away … And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before Yah, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15, NKJV)

Eternal life is the reward given the overcomers. Romans 6:23 states unequivocally that “the wages of sin is death.” Death, not eternal life in torment, is the reward of all who reject Yah’s mercy. Yahuwah does the only thing a merciful Father can do: He allows those who would be miserable in the Kingdom of Love to cease to exist.

Reject Satan’s lies that only bring pain. In every act of Yahuwah, His eternal love for sinners is revealed. Accept salvation. Let Him embrace you in His arms of infinite love and you can spend eternity with Yahuwah, the Saviour and the redeemed of all ages.