Death makes NO break in consciousness, memory, or me; the only difference is where I live. Unlike birth, death does not discontinue or begin anything, it just continues what has already been. For the Christian the next stage of existence begins the fulfillment of a long awaited reality, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. When the prophet Stephen was in the act of leaving his physical body he cried out; “Lord Jesus receive my spirit”. Many have thought this a prayer when in fact it was the next step. Paul reminds us “being absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 On the Mount of Transfiguration we were privileged with knowledge some have not gleaned. On this occasion we see man in his three states of existence. Peter, in the physical state , Moses, in his spiritual state (called the house from heaven, 2 Corinthians 5:2), and Jesus in His glorified body (that for which we all await the resurrection, Philippians 3:21, 1 John 3:1). Having seen this over and over man has not recognized it. The butterfly is a representative of the three bodies shown in God’s nature. The worm changes into its transitional body, the cocoon, and finally blossoms into a beautiful butterfly and yet it is the SAME animal all the time!! Would anyone want the worm to remain in its physical state and miss the beauty for which his Creator intended?
Shall we be greater fools in Paradise than we are here? If “far better”, as described by the apostle Paul, better than what?? The only thing with which we can compare our existence in Paradise would be the life lived in this present realm. If conscious: conscious in what type of body? Is the “house from heaven” not always present when we are at home in this body? In the Greek language, this body is our oikadonen, our permanent home. We are made with two different bodies, the mortal house or skenos from the word tent a temporary dwelling, and the house from heaven, the oikadomen, a far more permanent house. It is like the stages of a space ship. There is the initial rocket which burns for a while and is thrown off. Another rocket then burns until the ship gets into orbit. Neither rocket is the pay-load or the important part. The mortal house will be “taken down” when death occurs as God loosens all the parts. This “loosening of all the parts” is called DEATH. When this happens, we will not become extinct, we will just throw off the first rocket!! We possess memory, and we all will have memory; but how can we remember when our brains remain in the tomb? Shown in nature, confirmed by scripture, man, the “I”, has all these without any human body available!! We are a continuation of the same being, just as the worm!! Now you can understand a child with no brain stem or one that is retarded.
Abraham was buried and “gathered to his people”, Moses was told to “Get thee up into the mountain and die, and be gathered to his people”, and David said; “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me,” but Jesus told the thief; “Today, shalt thou be with Me in Paradise”. How could this be? If they did not recognize, then they could not have known any of these things. What is apparent but not discussed is that souls recognize souls!! How else could this be explained? Samuel, Saul, Moses, and Elijah all are on record as seeing a spiritual vision apart from bodily form or shape. The great apostle John writes: “we know not what we shall be like, but we shall see Him as He is and we shall be like Him.” 1 John 3:2 HOW COULD THIS BE?? Many things we are not told by God how He shall do things, we are not to worry about the how. We had better leave that up to God!! He has already got it all worked out!!