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When teachers of Biblical wholeness speak of the importance of the doctrine, they usually make one of a few arguments. Certainly there are more, but these are the most common reasons given by them that the doctrine is important.
This is perhaps the most common objection is that if we do not hold to this doctrine that the nature of humanity is not a soul that lives in a shell, then demonic agencies can take on the personalities of dead loved ones and deceive us into believing a lie.
I do believe that demonic agencies live and manifest themselves in our world. In addition, I believe that these entities do seek to to deceive us. However, believing in Biblical wholeness does not remove the possibility that we will be deceived by demonic agencies. For example, demonic agencies could take on the body and personality of people who are not dead just not here now. Your mother who is in England. Now one would argue, that the demons could say “I have been gone and now I came back, and this is true, but certainly one could take on the body of Jesus (Which many predict) or Elijah (who according to the Biblical Record never died).
The key point is that believing Biblical wholeness does not totally keep one from being deceived by demonic agencies. One still needs that close connection to God to be able to discern God’s truth in a world of many competing truths.
Perhaps one of the most important reasons that some are coming to the idea of Biblical wholeness is that the other idea minimizes embodiment. In short, a person, in that idea, is not an embodied person, but merely taking residence in this body.
Such an idea has ramifications that minimize the importance of the body. This idea can tend to say that Our body is not important, what we eat is not important, how we tend to this body is not important for what is really important is the “spirit” over the “body.”
In addition, racists and sexists of previous generations used the idea that there was a “soul” that was more important than the Body and tried to say that women and other ethnic minorities either did not have this soul or their body was in charge of their soul thus they needed added guidance. However, all of this is illusionary, for we do not have a “soul” that can be removed from our bodies, we are souls.
If one is going straight to heaven at death, why is there a need for a second advent? Certainly, as the argument goes, our pleasure is increased and our pain increased as a result of the second advent according, but even this lowers the importance of the second coming.
A side note to this idea is the common refrain that this earth is not our home, heaven is our home. The idea sometimes reduces to heaven being a place where “spirit” beings live in contrast to the earth which is where we are encumbered by bodies and physicality. However the idea of Biblical wholeness is that we do not look forward to becoming spirit beings floating around heaven but concrete embodied people living in the new Jerusalem.
An interesting thought that the 1888 Message Study Committee posits is the idea that the natural immortality of the soul reduces Christ’s sacrifice. Christ died, in his humanity, the equivalent of the second death which is as Jack Sequiria states “Saying Goodbye to life forever.”
If Christ, in his humanity, assumed an immortal soul then the death, in his humanity was simply the hours of pain that he had to go through and not the anguish of dying as you and I die.
Certainly the State of the Dead is an important doctrine,and this is simply a rough outline of some of the reasons why that is the case. I would encourage you to continue looking at this site as we explore this and other vital topics.
I gotta admit, I am tired of the end time speculations. As I say this, I must hasten to add that many readers of this website have probably not heard much of this. But it is there. Running a website like this gives you a steady diet of those who think you are too liberal to be trusted, or too conservative to be saved.
so I admit that my exprience is not everyone’s expereince. Many never hear about the end time. But I am on 4 email threds now, only one I originally subscribed to, where end time speculation is running rampant. Many of these scenarios are not even realistic. Some would make Hal Lindsey look like a sober presbyterian amalenialist in comparison.
You know, I wonder how much of this is end time fatigue. I can remember hearing reports of “the sunday law” being on president Reagon’s desk. We were assured that it was there. I can remember every economic downturn of my life hearing about how this was the last one that we would not come out of it. I just get tired of it. I sometimes understand those folks who just go on without thinking about it.
There is actually a cottage industry built around end time speculation. Certianly Left Behind and those kinds of things but what is surprising is that the fringes of that movemnet and our own sometimes coincide. Its as if we are almost to the point that the only way you can talk about the end time, and get anyone to listen is to also talk about politics, economics, and health.
What always interests me, is how little Jesus’ only words are talked about in this context. We will got to Daniel 11:45-12:1. We will go to Revelation 13..and currently popular Revelation 18. We will sometimes even go to Ezekiel and JEremiah. But very few go to Matthew 24. Very few talk about he signs given by Jesus himself.
Someone sent me an email in November of 2008 with a certainty that is undeniable. He clearly said that the end was here. The economic crash was prophesied in Revelation 18 and there would be no recovery. He then told me that the “judgment of the living” was about to close right now.
I questioned his interpretation of Revelation 18 and wondered about some of his other positions, but I simply said one thing, “If you are wrong…don’t just make more predictions….if we are here in 2012…then just admit you were wrong. The person never returned my email.
It is interesting how these things go. Individuals will make outlandish prognostications about the end of time that look closer to the left behind series than the Great Controversy and then when it tappers off, these same people make more predictions. They simply forget their earlier predictions and if pressed will say “God held back the winds.” Imagine my surprise when these same people become seen as “prophecy experts” or “Great students of prophecy” when their only claim to fame is a string of unfulfilled predictions.
So now instead of learning how to treat others better and instead of learning more of God, we are speculating about the laws that are to be passed and the instruments of torture that will be used against God’s remnant. Is this the end? I don’t know. I just wish some of these soothsayers who call themselves prophecy students would admit the same thing.