The style and layout of this book greatly enhance one's ability to grasp the real truth the author seeks to bring to the reader's attention. This book will likely turn out to be the most consoling and uplifting for the bereaved that has ever been published.
Plainly and undeniably, this book shows that no one goes to heaven or hell ahead of others. Anyone who believes the whole counsel of the Bible will also accept this work. It is literally Bible centered. It points to passages of Scripture that reveal the whole truth about the status of the dead. The author actually shows that God has designed the human being so as to experience not one moment between death and resurrection.
The author does not build any points upon philosophical reasoning or deduction, but he shows that no one remains dead longer than another due to moving from time to eternity.
Almost anyone will lose all fear of death, and the degree of dread and grief will also be lessened significantly as a result of reading this book. It covers not just life after death, but also explains why natural death is necessary. The book covers this in such a manner that reveals the necessity. One gets to see that physical death is the greatest grace God has bestowed upon fallen man, saved the shed blood of Christ Jesus. One shall plainly understand why God allowed man to be tempted by Satan in the first place.
This book is among the most compact, yet, simple and short in word count one will likely encounter. It contains a chapter designed to console the bereaved who may not be in a position to read the whole book at that moment.
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The Life Of The DeadEveryone Included
By Eddie B. Jackson
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Dr. Eddie B. Jackson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDeath and Its Cause
Definition of Death
I wish to establish up front the definition of death as it pertains to the primary discussion in this book. Therefore, I will provide illustrations and examples to ensure the reader gets a good understanding of the definition of death.
Word dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster's define death as "a permanent cessation or ceasing of all vital functions." Such a broad definition can apply to anything that once lived but is now dead. This means that anything or anyone that ceases to possess the ability to function as it was designed and constructed to operate during its life cycle is considered dead, period. But when we add the spiritual aspect to the equation, so to speak, the definition is extended quite a bit.
The meaning of the word dead in its noun form refers to that which has been totally deprived of the ability to function as it was designed or constructed. This means that the person, thing, or whatever the animated object may have been is no longer able to serve its primary purpose.
We, of course, also have the verb form of death, which is the term die. "To die" simply refers to the loss of the vitality necessary to function as a person or thing was designed. Everything that dies obviously has at some point been alive. This means that absolutely nothing is dead that has never been alive. We sometimes use the term "dead as a rock." The design and function of a rock has never included animation, growth, or the production of anything. Sure, a rock might give off certain gases or minerals, but that is because part of its composition includes minerals and gases. But the rock itself has never been alive.
I grew up in the state of Mississippi. Located there in the town of Flora is a petrified forest park. It is reported that the forest has been petrified for more than thirty-six million years. The park includes a museum with collections of petrified items from various places around the globe. All the items in the museum were once alive, and those items serve a purpose today. But their original purposes were not to become displays for a museum.
There is always a major separation involved in dying. Something has to become severed or separated or broken in order for death to occur. Think about the landline telephones some of us still have at home and most workplaces. It is not uncommon for someone to pick up the receiver and, if they hear no dial tone, to utter, "The phone is dead." The telephone may still be intact, but if it will not transmit and receive, it is thought of as being dead. Why? Because however temporary the situation may be, the phone has lost its ability to function as it was designed. That is the idea in a nutshell of something being dead.
Again, separation is involved in all instances of death, especially when it comes to the human being. Literally or figuratively, death, dead, and any other derivative of the root word speak of some key element or component having been removed or broken to the extent that the object does not work for the purpose it was designed and constructed. The petrified stuff in the park in Mississippi attracts many tourists, but it was not originally designed for such purpose. If the vegetation were still growing in a forest, we would declare it to be alive.
With reference to a vehicle, you might hear someone say, "The battery is dead" or "The engine is dead." They would probably mean that the battery has lost its ability to provide power to turn the engine or perhaps that fuel is not getting to the engine properly. Either way, purpose is not being fulfilled.
One of the most common expressions concerning an engine or motor when someone wants it to cease functioning for a moment is, "Kill the engine." That means do what is necessary to separate the motor from its source of energy or power. Such separation causes the combustion or other means of power to cease, and in turn the engine or motor will die or stop operating.
What is a common term for the end of a thoroughfare? "Dead end" is the main one we use. We use that term because the street ceases to go any farther. Streets are pathways or thoroughfares. And when one ceases to extend any farther, right at that point it becomes a dead end. That is to say, the street functioned as a pathway until it ended.
All life upon planet Earth comes to a dead end at some point. If we stop and think about it, we will probably agree there is nothing bad or unusual about life, as we know it, coming to an end. The one big exception is when one follows the path of the rich man that the Bible tells about at Luke 16:22b–24. It says, "... the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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." This was not his fate because he was rich; he died without having the salvation of the Lord Jesus. And it is up to each of us to not allow our departure to result in our ending up where the rich man went. Hell was not where the rich man died. He went to hell because he had never become born again following his death through the fall of Adam. Thus, before he died physically, he was already dead spiritually. Being assigned to hell was his second death (Rev. 21:8).
Apostle Paul of the Bible gives us a solid clue at Romans 5. From verse 17 through verse 19, we find, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which received abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Here Paul refers to man's first death, which took place when Adam fell in sin in the Garden of Eden. Man died spiritually the very day he disobeyed God. Paul says "judgment" came upon all men to condemnation. And at Revelation 21:8, the Bible tells of eternal judgment coming upon all unrepentant men. It is the irreversible separation from God that is here being pronounced upon those who reject the salvation of Christ.
There are two categories of death I wish to discuss concerning the human being. They are in no way interchangeable, though we sometimes treat them as such. The categories I wish to discuss are natural death and spiritual death.
The Natural Death of Man
Because sin entered the world and death comes by sin, God has purposed that we all must die physically as well as spiritually. Romans 5:12 tells us, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Most people are not fond of the thought of having to separate from their physical bodies, especially if it is in good health and they are at peace. But the Bible says death is passed upon all men. The above passage speaks of spiritual death. I have heard some teach something to this effect: "Because spiritual death has been passed upon all, God has destined all men to die naturally as well as spiritually." But however it is stated, all have died spiritually: it happened when Adam died. And all who have not already died shall one day die naturally or physically as well. But it is the second spiritual death that we should strive to never experience (Rev. 20:14; 21:8).
Seeing that death is passed upon everyone, let us not be so reserved when it comes to uttering the word death. Plenty of people do not believe in spiritual death, but as for the natural death, I have heard of only a few who do not believe it is inevitable for all. The few I have in mind belong to a religious group that I do not hear much about anymore. As a child, I heard my parents talking about them. I cannot recall their true name, but their nickname was the "Never Diers." Their faith led them to believe that people of their religion would not die. I recall my parents saying that every time one died, the others would beat on the person's corpse in an attempt to awaken him. They would say he or she just got lazy and would not wake up. I remember laughing, thinking they all would get lazy one day along the way.
Excluding people like the "Never Diers," all of us have become convinced that we will die sooner or later. But just because dying is the last thing on earth we do, there is no reason for it to be the last thing we talk about. And surely we should not wait until we lose someone close to us before we face the reality that everyone has to die. Right now is the best time to face and talk about the inevitable fate that awaits every one of us. We need to break the silence concerning the subject and the matters surrounding death.
Have you noticed that people such as insurance agents and cemetery plot sales representatives almost always avoid the use of the word death or any derivative thereof? They make statements such as, "Should something happen to you ..." If you did not know better, you could end up thinking you have a decent chance of evading the fate of death. But I wish to say to all of us to not worry about death. I have come to the conclusion that death is only the completed action of dying. And dying is not a bad event, nor is it a bad experience. Think about it. The only registered regrets we ever get come from the living—not the dead. The Bible tells us of a rich man lifting up his eyes in hell after his death, but the point of the story does not pertain to his death (Luke 16:19–23). It is about life after death. Ending up in hell did not stem from his dying, but rather from his life before his natural death.
The natural death of man happens as a result of the spirit leaving his body, or the house in which he lives. Death in every case involves a type of separation. I heard Dr. Myles Munroe refer to the body as an earth suit. But the body or earth suit or house does not function as a component of the human being apart from its union with the spirit and soul. And when the spirit leaves the body, the corpse dies physically. This is because the body, the spirit, and the soul are designed to operate only when they are unified. (I cannot overemphasize this principle. If we ignore it, confusion sets in when we consider what we call the "hereafter life.") In fact, human life is the result of three existing factors. In other words, we are tripartite (three-parted) beings, consisting of body, spirit, and soul. This simple truth actually holds the key that unlocks much of the mystery concerning the life of the dead. Do not forget that we are created to function in a body. Yes, the Bible reveals that we are spirit beings living in a body. But if any one of the three major components of man is removed, the others cease to function as a living human being. I am in no way suggesting that there comes a point when a man's spirit, which is the very core of his being, ceases to exist, but the spirit of man ceases to function as a human being. I find no biblical basis that supports the "soul-sleeping" doctrine, so that is not what I have in mind. But I am stating that man's spirit is only in a mode of functioning when it is united with a body. It is at the point of unity of spirit and body that man becomes a living soul. Think about it. The very phrase "man became a living soul" as recorded in Genesis 2:7 infers that a change takes place. Hence, man was something other than a living soul before he became "a living soul." He was a lifeless body.
We should keep in mind that physical or natural death does not represent the end of life as it pertains to the spirit of man. It only means the end of our corruptible bodies. Natural death is the threshold to our crossover from the realm of time into the realm of eternity. Natural death for a saint of God merely causes him or her "to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8).
The natural body, of course, is left behind when the spirit departs from it. Who needs it anyway? It is contaminated with sin and corruption. God caused it to be cut off from the Tree of Life; we learn that at Genesis 3:22. The passage reads, "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever." That is the summation of why the body dies. But it turns out to be a good thing. It was out of the love and mercy of God that man was cut off from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. Who wants to live forever without the ability to function in the very activities for which he is designed? Eternal depression is not at all inviting. I will elaborate on that a bit more shortly.
We are talking about life and death. For us, death involves a form and status of life. Like the telephone analogy, when the man lacks the Father-to-son relationship with God, he is spiritually dead. He may still be housed in his physical body and doing well from a natural point of view, but nothing good takes place when one is separated from the spirit of God. The main purpose of our creation was to be connected to the spirit of God. Take that away, and one becomes spiritually dead! All becomes vanity.
We read at Luke 11:25, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he was dead, yet shall he live." (Later, we shall establish from biblical revelation that there is no downtime or span between death and the resurrection of the dead.) The above particular truth pertains only to those who die in Christ. He who dies the natural death without being in Christ is damned forever. The good news, however, is that such does not have to be your lot. Jesus came and died that you might live. Every living soul has a right to the "Tree of Life." Jesus is that spiritual tree.
The Cause and Reason behind Natural Death
Obviously, there is a cause and a reason behind both spiritual and natural death. We have already observed that death was passed upon all men. It is also a fact that death entered the world by way of sin, and all have sinned. But we have not discussed the precise cause and the divine reason for death being passed upon all men. Let us do that next.
Observing Genesis 2:16–17, we see, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." In other words, God meant that man would die at the moment he ate of the tree, and it did happen at the precise moment man disobeyed God. Adam's spirit man, as we would call it, was severed from union and fellowship with the spirit of God. And it did not happened to Adam only, but to everyone who would come from his loins. Plus, it happened to Eve. However, death did not come upon her because of the sin of Adam—she was outside the loins of Adam when he ate of the forbidden fruit. Eve died spiritually and became prone to die naturally because of her personal disobedience. She was aware of the fact that consumption of the fruit was forbidden by God (Gen. 3:3).
An important point I wish to make is that the sin of disobedience did not cause man to die physically. Of course, disobedience (sin) was the perpetrator, but it was not the cause and reason for the natural death of man. God did not address natural death with Adam. The act of sin brought about immediate death from a spiritual standpoint, which involves man's spirit becoming separated from the spirit of God. Sin, or disobedience, is what destroyed the relationship and severed the communion and the fellowship between man and God. But it was God's merciful judgment that brought about physical death. I hear biblical preachers and teachers speak as though natural death was promised in the commandment that Adam was given pertaining to the forbidden fruit. That does not at all appear to be the case.
The love and mercy of God comes into focus when we observe Genesis 3:22–24: "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (emphasis added). The above passage within itself reveals that it was the goodness of God that kept man from living forever in a state of sinfulness, which would automatically result in eternal separation from God. It is right there in this passage that God sanctioned natural death.
Excerpted from The Life Of The Dead by Eddie B. Jackson Copyright © 2011 by Dr. Eddie B. Jackson. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter One Death and Its Cause....................1
Definition of Death....................1
The Natural Death of Man....................4
The Cause and Reason behind Natural Death....................6
Natural Death Lasts but a Moment....................11
The Cause and Reason behind Spiritual Death....................13
Chapter Two Life and Its Cause....................17
Definition of the Term Life....................17
Life Must Consist in Real Substance....................19
Meaning of Natural Life....................20
Meaning of Spiritual Life....................21
Meaning of Life More Abundantly....................24
A Deeper and Richer Life....................26
Chapter Three Everyone Is Touched by Death....................31
Face the Facts of Death....................31
Affected without Knowing It....................34
Death Does Not Disturb the Dead....................37
Death Does Not Grieve God....................41
Chapter Four What Is Mankind?....................45
Fallen Man Is Frail and Weak....................45
Created in the Image and Likeness of God....................47
Man Is a Friend of God....................51
The Essence of Mankind....................52
Man Is Custodian of Earth....................53
Chapter Five God Is Not Insensitive Concerning Death....................57
The Bible Is a Bloody Book....................57
God Allows the Deaths of Saints for His Glory....................60
No One Goes Straight to Heaven or Hell....................61
Souls under the Altar....................69
From Time to Eternity....................71
The Meaning of Eternity....................72
Understanding Eternity Will Perhaps Remove Fear of Death....................74
God Ordained Death as Part of the Process of His Purpose....................77
Chapter Six Consolation for the Bereaved—The Message in a Nutshell....................79
The Last Breath....................79
Consolation in the Resurrection Assurance....................80
Strive to Commit the Deceased to Christ....................80
Equal Time for All....................82
Today's Earth Is Merely a Staging Ground for Mankind....................83
A Call to Discipleship....................85
Chapter Seven Epilogue....................87
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading the book, it was very evident that the author didn't just throw this book together. It was also evident that he pondered this in his mind and heart for a great length of time. The material was well-researched, and he made it very plain. The author brought out things about death and dying that believers and even non-believers could benefit from. As a pastor, I must say that I have never been able to explain it in a simple and plain way such as this. It is to the point and was very easy to understand. This book would be great for anyone who has a fear of death or dying, and it will be a comfort to them along with giving them understanding. Every pastor and lay leader should get this book to use along with their minister manual. I will use what I have learned from the book, "The Life Of The Dead Everyone Included", when dealing with the issues of death and dying or fear of death and dying. This is a must-have book. Pastor Norman Sherman (Georgia)
The author of Life Of The Dead has done a great job. I hope everyone,not just in America,but around the globe would get to know the contents of the book.I can't point out much of the good part in a few words because the whole book is great from start to finish. And it is written with a progression of interest,making it harder and harder to take a break as you read it. I am turning my friends on to it. It has taken the fear out of death for me.
Finally, a book that puts in proper perspective what the Bible actually says about dying and life after death. All the different sayings I have heard from people on this subject never gelled, so to speak. But "The Life Of The Dead" makes it plain, and easy to understand the life and status of the dead. It has literally taken away the fear of death that has haunted me most of my life. Thanks author. I have to give the book 5 stars!