State of Dead - Mark Finley

Current Day "Sadducees"    It is interesting to note that the SDA doctrine of the "non-existance" of the soul after death, is a return to the doctrine of the Sadducees!

Act 23:6-8  But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

The following are writings from scholars Albert Barnes and Dr. John Gill.

Act 23:8 -
For the Sadducees say - They believe.
No resurrection - Of the dead. By this doctrine they also understood that there was no future state, and that the soul did not exist after death. See the notes on Mat_22:23.
Nor spirit - Nor soul. That there is nothing but matter. They were materialists, and supposed that all the operations which we ascribe to mind could be traced to some modification of matter. The Sadducees, says Josephus (Jewish Wars, book ii. chapter 8, section 14), “take away the belief of the immortal duration of the soul, and the punishments and rewards in Hades.” “The doctrine of the Sadducees is this,” says he (Antiq., book 18, chapter 1, section 4), “that souls die with the bodies.” The opinion that the soul is material, and that there is nothing but matter in the universe, has been held by many philosophers, ancient and modern, as well as by the Sadducees.
but the Pharisees Confess both - Acknowledge, or receive both as true; that is, that there is a future state, and that there are spirits distinct from matter, as angels, and the disembodied souls of people. The two points in dispute were:
(1)     Whether the dead would be raised and exist in a future state; and,
(2)     Whether mind was distinct from matter. The Sadducees denied both, and the Pharisees believed both. Their belief of the Latter point was, that spirits existed in two forms - that of angels, and that of souls of people distinct from the body.

 Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible   (1798-1870)


Acts 23:8
neither angel nor spirit; … that they did not believe any such species of beings as angels, nor indeed any spirits whatever, which were immaterial or immortal; for as for the spirit or soul of man, they took that to be only the temperament of the body, and that it died with it, and did not exist in any separate state after this life: for so Josephus (x) says, that they deny the permanence of the soul, and rewards and punishments in the invisible state. And, according to the Talmudic (y) writers, they denied that there was any other world than this:

but the Pharisees confess both; the resurrection of the dead, and that there are spirits, both angels and the souls of men, which are immortal.  

 John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible - Dr. John Gill (1690-1771)

State of the Dead
Mark Finley, a teacher of the Seventh Day Adventists, used some deceptive practices to give his false teachings. The Jehovah's Witnesses borrowed this doctrine for their cult as well.
I will cover the topic of State of the Dead in Mark's book "Studying Together!"
Do the dead fall into a sleep state in which they have no conscious awareness until the resurrection?  I will identify Mark Finley's notes by  M.F.
In beginning this study, I must clarify the key point of Mark's comments. It all originates with the misunderstanding that the "soul is a living body!" To clarify this, Mark claims that, when the body dies, the soul ceases to exist! Please note, that Jesus didn't teach such a doctrine, but clearly said that the soul CAN, and does live without the body, even after the body is dead!
Matthew 10:28
    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
With this understanding, please note how Mark, in each of his arguements, is making his doctrinal stand based on what happens to the body, but fails to ever make note of the continuing existance and location of the soul after the body is dead!

Mark Finley       Studying Together

M.F.     John 11:11-14       Jesus compares death to sleep. The Bible compares death to sleep over 50 times.

John 11:11-14
    These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. [12] Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. [13] Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. [14] Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Whereas the words of Jesus has confounded those who deny life after death, it is clear that the scriptures maintain the idea that life continues after death! In 1 Thess, Paul writes that, whether we are alive or dead (sleep), we should live together with him. Those who are "sleeping," are currently living together with Jesus!

1 Thes. 5:10
    Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

2 Cor. 5:8
    We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Furthermore, when Jesus spoke the words in the following scripture, he uses the "present tense" when speaking of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

Matthew 22:32
    I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Jesus declares that these men are "living" and that God is "presently, right now" their God! These men are currently consciously "alive" while their bodies sleep in the dust of the earth! Even as Moses, who died thousands of years earlier, was very much present and alive when he spoke to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration!

Luke 9:30     And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:

This theme of life after death is continued in the above lesson about the dead man, Lazarus. Martha is upset with Jesus because he took so long to come and heal Lazarus hoping his death would have been postponed until old age!

John 11:21-26
    Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. [22] But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

Jesus, in response, comforts her with encouraging words that Lazarus will rise again! Martha is still not comforted with this reply and simply responds "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. "

[23] Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. [24] Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

Although she makes this declaration of belief, she is still not comforted that Jesus let him die! I trust that she is, in a way, upset with Jesus! This is where Jesus makes the most important statement. He doesn't merely say that the dead will one day live again, he takes it deeper and says that those who believe in him, even though they are dead, they are STILL ALIVE and shall NEVER die!

[25] Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: [26] And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

This scripture completely goes over the heads of those who teach "soul sleep," that the dead are unconscious until the resurrection! How can the righteous live and never die of he is "dead" in a soul sleep?

Jesus then, gives undeniable proof that those who are dead are NOT dead, by raising Lazarus from the dead! Lazarus was not in a soul sleep the 4 days that he was dead!

Although Mark and other teachers of this false doctrine of "soul sleep" really would like to tear out the pages of Luke chapter 16, this scripture gives a full account of what happened while Lazarus was "sleeping" in the grave for 4 days!

Jesus said that when Lazarus fell asleep (died), that he was very much aware of his surroundings as he was taken by the angles into Abraham's bosom where he was comforted. Additionally, Jesus stated that Abraham himself, who fell asleep 1,500 years previously, was clearly conscious of the event.

Luke 16:20-24
    And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, [21] And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. [22] And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; [23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. [24] And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

The word for "bosom" (a place of Paradise) is the same word "Kolpos" defined as a "bay or creek" in Acts 27:39
  And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek (Kolpos) with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.

Please make several notes from this scripture.
First:    The Rich man is in torment in hell, Lazarus was comforted. Both expressing sensation after death.
Second:     Lazarus is fully aware of where he is, and the rich man even asks if Abraham would let Lazarus refresh him with a drop of water to refresh him from his fiery torment.
Third:    Abraham is fully aware of this situation.

Although these words in Luke 16 were spoken from the very mouth of GOD himself, Jesus Christ, the author of "TRUTH" and the one who "cannot lie," those who refuse to believe the testimony that Jesus gave about the torments of hell, the consciousness and comforting of the righteous in Paradise after death, have called Jesus a liar!

Furthermore, we shall also see that the final point of the story, was that the rich man begged that Lazarus would be sent back to the land of the living to persuade his brothers to repent “Lest they also come to this place of torment.” (v. 28)

In one story, Jesus has destroyed two false doctrines of the SDA's and J.W.'s,  the state of awareness after death, and the torment of hell.

M.F.     1 Thess. 4:15-16     Those asleep in Jesus rise at His Second Coming.

1 Thes. 4:15-16
    For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. [16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Once again, Mark has failed to read the REST of the scripture, putting it into full context. While Mark assumes these "sleeping" souls are non-existant until the resurrection, we will find that they are coming WITH Jesus to claim their new bodies! Lets read one verse prior to verse 15.

1 Thes. 4:14
    For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

It's very interesting to note that the saints who are asleep are coming with Jesus to recover their bodies at the resurrection. While the body sleeps in the dust of the earth, the soul is awake and present with Jesus Christ in Paradise!

1 Thes. 5:10    Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

2 Cor. 12:3-4      And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

You will note that Paul said (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth). It is clear here, that Paul was aware that a soul CAN live "outside" of the body! Either way, he went to Paradise, which is heaven!

Luk 23:43  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Rev 2:7  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev. 6:9-11 shows these saints being very much aware of the surrounding circumstances as they are impatiently awaiting for the vengeance of the Lord upon the wicked.  Since this too is a scripture that causes a stumbling block to the SDA doctrine, Mark and others, like Luke 16, wish to reduce this scripture to a symbolic rather than true statement of fact of the scriptures. You will find that these souls are given white robes to wear and in Rev. 7:9-16 they are before the throne of God serving Him and worshipping Him. I suppose this is all fables according to Mark and those who follow this false teaching of soul sleep!

Mark Finley compares this scripture in Rev. 6:9-11 to Gen. 4:10 where the blood of Able cries out from the ground. His desire is to nullify the truth by inferring that the blood is not the soul!

Genesis 4:10
    And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Does that mean that the soul of Abel was asleep and could not cry out for vengeance? I will have you notice, that it was the souls that cried out for vengence:

Rev. 6:9
    And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

But if Abel, who is in the same state as these saints in Rev chapter 6 who cried out for vengeance saying  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Rev. 6:10)

then wouldn't it appear to be reasonable that Abel also cried out for the vengeance of his BLOOD! In truth, the cry of Abel was the same as the cry of the saints in Rev. 6:9-11, which only solidifies the scripture of conscious awareness after death rather than turning it into a symbolic statement.

Needless to say, even though Mark would like to get into a deep theological debate about the BLOOD of Abel “speaking” as well as the BLOOD of Jesus in Heb 12:24, may I remind you that in Rev. 6:9-11, it is NOT the BLOOD, but the SOULS that are speaking here. Why is it important to turn this truth into symbolisms? It is obviously clear! To solidify a heresy of an untruth which they teach!

Because of the term “SOUL” here and in other verses that have caused the SDA's some trouble, the false teachers then have to solve the problem by making the Soul and Body ONE, thereby eliminating the fact that the soul could exist after the destruction of the flesh.

According to Jesus, these men are false teachers who cannot rightly divide the Word of truth!

Matthew 10:28
    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

M.F.      Jn. 5:28-29     There are two resurrections (life and death)

John 5:28-29
    Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, [29] And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

This is true! BOTH the righteous and wicked will have a PHYSICAL, in the FLESH resurrection. The first resurrection is the resurrection of the righteous who will reign with Christ during the millennium (Rev. 20:4-6) and the second resurrection is the resurrection for judgment and the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15)  This verse has nothing to do with the condition of the soul from the time of death until their bodily resurrection, which is what is being contested here!

M.F.     Gen. 2:7     God created man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. God did not put a soul into man.

Genesis 2:7
    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Praise the Lord! That is true! The soul of man did NOT exist prior to the breath of life from God as the Mormons teach. Although the soul of a man begins at the point of life, what does that have to do with the condition of the soul after death, Mark? Nevertheless, once the soul is alive, it continues to live AFTER the body is dead!

Matthew 10:28
    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

M.F.       Eccl. 12:7     The body returns to the dust and the spirit returns to God. The Bible does not say the soul returns to God, but the Spirit.

Eccles. 12:7
    Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Well done Mark! But if this is your proof that the soul of a man does not exist after the death of a man, then explain these scriptures:

1 Kings 17:21-22
    And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. [22] And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

Elijah is laying on top of the BODY of this child, and he prays God to let the SOUL come back into the BODY of the child!

1 Thes. 5:23
    And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I often wonder what the SDA's and JW's have done with this scripture in 1 Thess. 5:23. Paul is praying for the sanctification of the 3 parts of man, Spirit, Soul and Body!

Matthew 10:28
    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

These fleshly carcases which have been reunited with the Soul at the resurrection of the wicked dead, once cast into the Lake of Fire, will then suffer torment which will never end

Isaiah 66:24
    And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

M.F.     Job 27:3     The Spirit is the same as God's breath of life or His power.

Job 27:3
    All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;

What does this have to do with the condition of the SOUL after the flesh dies?

M.F.     Ps. 146:3-4     When the breath or Spirit returns to God, the thoughts perish.

Psalm 146:3-4
    Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. [4] His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Lets look at the next verse:

Psalm 146:5     Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:

Now lets put the scripture all together!  The Psalm is telling us NOT to trust in MAN, but to trust in GOD!

The Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies, (by William Wilson, pg 444 (16d), Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Mass.  01961-3473)
Identifies that this word “thoughts” `eshtonah for Psalms 146:4 means “devices”. The NIV Bible writes it like this:

Ps 146:4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Remember, to say that this verse would indicate that there is no consciousness after death, would deny the other scriptures that say they do!

But to rightly interpret this scripture is to point to the fact that when men die, their “plans” their “devices” end!

M.F.     1 Tim. 6:16     Human beings do not have immortality, only God does.

1 Tim. 6:16
   Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

The above scripture is clearly speaking of God the Father since Jesus, God the Son was seen by multitudes and his mortal body died. The Father alone has never, and will never die! Jesus died and rose again! His body was Mortal, but yet raised by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11). The key point to mention here is this; Jesus, who is God, died! Was he "soul sleeping" for 3 days? I contend that his body may have been dead for 3 days, but Jesus was very much alive! He lived for eternity past without a body of flesh, why do you think that he would be "non-existant" for 3 days?  Jesus was not asleep for 3 days while his lifeless body lay in the grave, but was very much awake when he went into hell (Acts 2:31) and announced his triumph to the wicked dead in hell (1 Peter 3:18-20), but releasing the righteous dead and took them to heaven (Eph. 4:8-10). The righteous dead are in Paradise (Luke 23:43 & 2 Cor. 12:2-4, Rev. 2:7) where they worship before the throne of God day and night in white robes. (Rev. 7:9-15) as they wait for the resurrection of their NEW, immortal bodies.  (I cover the events of the 3 days of when Jesus was in the grave and visited hades in more detail at the bottom of my web page on Hell)

It is appointed for EVERY MAN to die once (Heb. 9:27) Jesus also died once! For the unbeliever, he will die TWICE (Rev. 20:6,14-15).  

On the very same day he died, Jesus took the theif on the cross next to him to the same Paradise that Paul visited in 1 Cor. 12:2-4. I personally believe that Paul had died when he visited Paradise (Acts 14:19).

 1 Cor. 15:51-53
    Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Once again, we deal with the struggle by SDA's to recognize the living soul apart from the body when it dies!

A variety of scriptures point to the fact that we are wearing this tent which is mortal and corruptible. Our flesh is dying as we age, yet the SOUL is being renewed day by day.

2 Cor. 4:16
    For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Our SOUL is wearing a body that is dying, but will one day “put on” a new incorruptible, immortal  house of God!

2 Cor. 5:1-4
    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. [2] For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: [3] If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. [4] 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.

The flesh we wear is like a garment. The saints in heaven, prior to the resurrection, are clothed in white robes, so their soul will not be found naked  (Rev. 6:9-11 and 7:9,13)

Furthermore, Jesus himself said:

John 11:25-26
    Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: [26] And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

If you were to really look at the above verse, it is very clear that Jesus is speaking of the “immortality” of the soul, which, although the BODY dies, “yet shall he live”.

1 Cor. 15:51-53 and 2 Cor. 5:1-4, are clearly speaking of the New Resurrected body of the believer at the resurrection of 1 Thess. 4:14-17 when Jesus comes WITH the souls of the saints to be clothed in their New home, the resurrected, glorified, immortal body!

M.F.     Rom. 2:7     We seek for immortlity. The Bible uses the word soul 1600 times, but never once uses immortal soul.

Romans 2:7
    To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

True, the term “immortal soul” is not used in the scriptures. Neither is the term “Trinity” nor “rapture” which I believe most SDA's believe in (as I do too). Yet Mark fails to recognize the many scriptures that suggest an endless life after death, whether it is Eternal Life (which is clearly an immortal Soul), or Eternal punishment!

Matthew 25:46
    And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Rev. 14:10-11
    The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: [11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

M.F.     1Cor. 15:51-54     We receive immortality when Jesus comes again.

1 Cor. 15:51-54
    Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. [54] So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Once again, Mark fails to separate the Flesh from the Soul. As explained previously, and supported by scripture, our Soul is clothed with white robes until the bodily resurrection. This scripture speaks of the fleshly resurrection. The question which Paul was answering was "What kind of a body are we raised with?"

1 Cor. 15:35
    But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

Mark has swindled his disciples into a false picture of the Soul verses the Flesh! Eliminate the existence of the Soul after death of the body, and he can sell his false doctrine. Since we know that 1 Thess. 4:14-17 is also speaking of the exact same occurrence of the resurrection of the dead, isn't it interesting to note that Jesus is bringing WITH him those who are asleep to retrieve their bodies!

1 Thes. 4:14
    For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Then in 2 Cor. chapter 5, Paul speaks of us being "clothed" with our new, immortal body (verses 1-4) like unto a house. WHAT dwells INSIDE of the house? Yes, it is the soul of a man! While we are away from this body, Paul writes, we (our soul) is present with the Lord!

2 Cor. 5:8
    We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

So then, the immortality of a man in 1 Cor. 15:51-54 is CLEARLY speaking of the BODILY resurrection and CANNOT disqualify the conscious awareness of the SOUL of those whom have departed from the body at death. The Soul cries out for vengeance (Rev. 6:9-11), the soul is with Jesus when absent from the body (2 Cor. 5:8) and the soul will return with Jesus to be reunited with a new, immortal, incorruptible body at the resurrection (1 Thess. 4:14-17, 1 Cor. chapter 15)

Unless the Soul can exist outside of the Body, then 2 Cor. 5:1-9 makes absolutely NO sense at all! If the body is a Tent then there must be SOMETHING living inside the Tent! When the Tent is destroyed, the occupant MUST be SOMEWHERE! Obviously OUTSIDE of the Tent! The NEW body is compared to a HOUSE built in heaven instead of a Tent. A house is clearly a more stable and solid structure even as the new body is indestructible and permanent compared to the Tent which collapses and rips apart during a storm.

Paul says these occupants, when absent from the body, are present with the Lord!

M.F.     Ps. 115:17    The dead do not praise God.
Psalm 115:17
    The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.

Lets look at the next verse:

Psalm 115:18
    But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord.

How is it possible that “we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermoreunless the writer of the psalm is currently and "for evermore" praising the Lord in heaven?

In context, the dead who do not praise the Lord of verse 17 are the Gentiles who worshipped idols of verses 2-8.
But those who bless the Lord will do so from NOW until FOREVER! These are worshipping the Lord as described in Rev. 7:9-15.

M.F.     Acts 2:34     David did not ascend to heaven at death, but awaited the coming of Jesus and the first resurrection.

Acts 2:34
    For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

Once again, Mark fails to consider the Soul verses the Flesh. It is clear, in context, that the scripture is speaking of the FLESH of David, which remains in the sepulchre (grave), and the fulfillment of this prophecy. But Jesus, resurrected in the Flesh, has ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father!

Acts 2:29-31
    Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. [30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; [31] He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Verse 34 is the follow-up of the previous verses where Peter explains the fulfillment of the prophecy of David, in that David was NOT speaking of himself in Ps. 16:8-11, but rather he was speaking of Jesus Christ, because the flesh of David had corrupted in the tomb, but the flesh of Jesus did NOT see corruption.

So then it is grave error that Mark should suggest that this scripture was saying that the Soul of David has not ascended into heaven, as this scripture clearly speaks of his fleshly body.

M.F.     Ps. 6:5     In the grave there is no remembrance of God.

Psalm 6:5
    For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Again, this scripture would have to be speaking of the fleshly life of the person.

Jonah 2:2-3
    And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. [3] For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

Jonah 2:7
    When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

Jonah 2:9
    But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

The word for “grave” in Ps. 6:5 and the word for “hell” in Jonah 2:2, is the SAME Hebrew word “sheowl”. Jonah was in the grave!

Interesting how Jonah was in the grave and called out to the Lord. Yet the Psalmist says those in the grave have NO remembrance!   Yet Jonah (v. 7)  remembered the Lord. The Psalmist says they will not give him thanks, yet Jonah gave him thanks (v. 9)! Again, unless you wish to forsake other scriptures that disagree with this doctrine, it is clear that the Psalmist was speaking of the fleshly life of the one spoken of.

Moreover, in Rev. 6:9-11 we see the righteous dead impatiently waiting for the Lord's judgment on their murderers. In Rev. 7:9-15 we see these dead saints in white robes worshipping before the Lord!

M.F.     Eccl. 9:5     The dead do not know anything.

Eccles. 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.

BIG problem Mark! Lets go to the next verse:

Eccles. 9:6
    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.

These verses would indicate that there is NO RESURECTION and NO reward for the righteous, which you and I both would agree is false! This whole book was written by Solomon who is considering the vanity of life. His view is clearly one of looking at the individual in the flesh while he is living. He is NOT speaking at all about the Soul of the person, nor of the future hope we have in Christ Jesus, but the fact that while a man lives, he has hope (verse 4). This hope is then explained in verses 7-10.

M.F.     Job 19:25-26     The righteous will be resurrected to see God at the Last day.

Job 19:25-26
    For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: [26] And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

This scripture has nothing at all to do with the condition of the SOUL of the dead prior to the resurrection. Job is clearly prophesying the resurrection of the flesh!

M.F.     Ezek. 18:4     The soul (person) who sins will die!

Ezekiel 18:4
    Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

True!  They will die a second death which will be eternal suffering!

Rev. 20:14-15
    And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev. 14:11
    And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Matthew 25:46
    And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Mark Finley disagrees that “everlasting punishment” means they will be punished forever. It's a stumbling block for him so he uses a word game to twist it's meaning in his explanation under “The destruction of the wicked Hell

M.F.     Rom. 6:23     The wages of sin is death. Death is the absence of life. The gift of God is eternal life.

Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Refer to the verses listed above!

M.F.     2 Tim. 4:7-8     The apostle Paul awaited the coming of the Lord for his final reward.  

2 Tim. 4:7-8
    I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: [8] Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Although I can agree that the Lord will bestow rewards at his coming, might I also suggest that when Paul wrote “there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day” that he may have been speaking of “that day” which was “at hand”?  That day, which is the day of his death?

2 Tim. 4:6
    For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

He is writing his letter to Timothy, and within days, he will depart (be killed). Paul may have been speaking of his reward which he will receive “at that day” the day he dies.

Regardless of whether Paul's rewards are given at the day of Paul's death, or on the day of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, this scripture has little to do with whether or not Paul had any conscious awareness after the point of death.

M.F.     Rev. 22:12     When Jesus comes His reward of eternal life will be with Him.

Rev. 22:12
    And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Actually, if you researched the word “reward”, you will find that there are many different rewards spoken of in the scripture. I will not contest that one of these rewards is eternal life, but this again lacks any proof that the righteous dead have any conscious awareness of life after death. Clearly, a new, glorified, immortal, resurrected body to cloth us would be a wonderful reward.

Another aspect to consider!

Deut. 34:5       So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.

Moses was dead! Yet on the mount of transfiguration, Moses appears to Jesus and the 3 apostles.

Mark 9:4       And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

Luke 9:30     And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:

There is NO suggestion in Jude 1:9 that Moses has been resurrected from the dead. Of course that would mean that he partook in the first resurrection, which has not yet happened (Rev. 20:4-6)

Secondly, there is nothing in the scripture that would suggest that this was NOT Moses himself.

So may I ask you, if this was truly Moses, which the scriptures confirm, then was he aware of his surroundings like Abraham and Lazarus in Luke chapter 16?

Luke chapter 16  - the rich man and Lazarus

In Marks further discussions, he spends an entire page trying to explain away his greatest stumbling block in regards to the condition of the righteous dead and the wicked dead in Luke chapter 16, where the rich man was in torment in hell, while Lazarus was comforted  in Abraham's bosom.

He goes into great length of disarming this scripture since it is certain death to this SDA false doctrine if any portion of it is truth! He thus calls Jesus a liar!

Anyone who will read this verse with a desire to find truth, will note that:
First of all, it clearly says that hell is a place of fire and torment while Lazarus was comforted!
Secondly, Abraham and Lazarus were consciously aware of their surroundings!
Third, the rich man's plea to warn his brother's “lest they also come to this place of torment!

Mark struggles with the terminology of Abraham's "bosom". Mark says you cannot take it literal.

Yet the Enhanced Strong Lexicon defines “bosom” (Greek - Kolpos) also means “Bay of the sea or Creek”  which would be a wonderful description of Paradise and the request of the rich man to receive a “drop of water” from Lazarus' fingertip.

The same word "Kolpos"- bosom is used in Acts 27:39
  And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek (Kolpos) with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.

Jesus did not pull any punches with this scripture and He clearly identifies the fiery torment of hell with NO refreshment from it's flames, the comforting of the righteous who enter Paradise, and the warning to those who would refuse to hear the words of Jesus!

Please note the first few words of this scripture by Jesus...

Luke 16:19-20
    There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: [20] And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Please note, there are NO words that say "And he spake this parable unto them, saying". It says that "there was a certain man..." The book of Luke clearly declares 16 times when Jesus spoke a parable to the people!

( Luke 5:36, 6:39, 8:4, 8:9, 8:11, 12:16, 12:41, 13:6, 14:7, 15:3, 18:1, 18:9, 19:11, 20:9, 20:19, 21:29 )

Yet it does NOT say that it was a parable!
Since Luke was so very precise to indicate when a parable was being spoken, don't you think that this scripture, if it was only a parable, would also have been introduced by Luke as "a parable?"

Furthermore, can you show me ANY other parable spoken from the "the way, the truth and the life" that would be so full of lies and a false testimony as this one, if in fact, this was only a Parable and these words of Jesus were not true?

John 8:40
    "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth,..."

DID Jesus tell the TRUTH? or a LIE?

The very same Lazuras DID die. And 4 days later, Jesus resurrected him from the dead. The chief priests, wanted to kill Lazuras fulfilling the prophecy Jesus spoke in Luke saying "..If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.."  (See John 11:14-44,  12:1,9-11)   “IF” this was a parable, WHY did Jesus use Lazuras' name?   Abraham was very much conscious and aware of the situation! I believe Abraham died in Genesis 25:8!  Either this SDA teaching makes a liar out of Jesus, or it makes a liar out of the SDA teachers! Who's side will you choose?

     Secondly, IF, and ONLY IF, this was just a parable, what was the key teaching?   “Warn my brothers,  lest they also come into the place of torment.”  By stripping the truth out of this scripture, the SDA teachers strip the very point of reason that Jesus spoke this scripture virtually nullifying Luke 16 of it's entire message! They have killed this message spoken by Jesus Christ himself!

1 Peter 3:19    Spirits in "PRISON"

Mark tries to explain this verse by putting emphasis elsewhere in the context, making a strong effort to avert the direction of the flow of the scripture.

1 Peter 3:18-21
    For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: [19] By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; [20] Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. [21] The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Mark explains that this scripture is saying that the Spirit of Jesus preached to these people before the flood. In line with this verse, that would mean that Jesus ONLY preached to the people who were in jail! "...he went and preached unto the spirits in prison"  You would have to reason that Jesus, in the days of Noah, went from jail to jail in the Spirit to preach to the prisoners? Not a very good line of reasoning do you agree?

But this explination by Mark denies 2 facts. First, this scripture is clearly depicting what Jesus did when he "suffered for sins" and was "put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which he...."! It was at THIS time, the point of time when Jesus was "put to death in the flesh" that Jesus "went and preached to the spirits in prison"! That only happened once in history, at the cross, long after Noah! Mark has to remove parts of verse 19 from the context in order to make his point work.

Secondly, no scripture says that Jesus himself preached to these people (more specifically, people "in prison") in the days of Noah, but rather that it was Noah who did the preaching in those days (2 Peter 2:5)  ".. but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness..."

If you carefully read verses 18-19, I would contend that this scripture is saying that Jesus himself, although he was dead in the flesh for 3 days, was made alive (resurrected) by the Spirit,

Romans 8:11
    But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

...and that, by the Spirit, he descended into the prison of hell which is in "the heart of the earth" (Mat. 12:40) and proclaimed His triumph to the lost souls. In other words, Jesus proclaimed  “Here I am, Noah and the prophets told you about me, you rejected me and here I am! Just as I promised!”

I contend that the prison spoken of here, is not a cement structure with metal bars made by human hands, on earth, before the flood, but rather that the "prison" spoken of here, is the very location where every lost soul is awaiting judgment day!

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

It is obviously clear, that these fallen angels are NOT asleep, they are also in this "prison" (chains of Darkness), which is defined as hell in this verse, awaiting the same judgment day as the lost souls that disobeyed in the days of Noah. You will have to discern this scripture on your own. It is not necessary to prove my point with this scripture as there are many others which give proof of a conscious awareness after death!

For a more complete study on this scripture in 1 Peter 3:19, please read Where did Jesus go when He died?

Comprehesive study on Where are the dead!