Does 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 Teach Jesus Will Return With Dead Saints Now With Him In Heaven?

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Phoneman-777

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2019
2,826
430
83
#1
Before the question can be answered, we must first understand the importance of “Hebrew Chiastic Structure”. A “chiasm” is a form of Hebrew poetry where not words, but ideas, are rhymed. It's a literary device in which the ideas are arranged as “ABXBA”, “ABBA”, “ABAB”, or other variations. Chiasms are extremely important to hermeneutics because they are “guideposts” which help us to determine if our interpretations are on track or way off course because correct interpretations leave the chiasms intact, while incorrect interpretations destroy them. Many false ideas, especially eschatological ideas, stem from Bible "scholars" ignoring chiasms within the texts. Here are two examples of a chiasm from Psalms 33, the entirely of which is one chiasm after another:

Psalms 33:6 KJV
A. Word of the Lord
B. Heavens
B. Host of them
A. Breath of His mouth


Psalms 33:9 KJV
A. He spake
B. it was done
A. He commanded
B. it stood fast

That said, now let's examine 1 Thessalonians 4:14 KJV:
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus
will God bring with Him”.

Can you recognize the chiasm? Here it is:
A. Jesus died (death)
B. rose again (resurrection)
A. sleep in Jesus (death)
B. will God bring forth from death (resurrection)


How do we know “bring” refers to “bring forth from death” and not “bring from heaven back to Earth”? Because this interpretation leaves the chiasm intact (“ABAB”) while the popular yet erroneous interpretation “bring from heaven back to Earth” destroys the chiasm (“ABA--”).

Another reason we know is that the emphasis of the entire passage of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 KJV focuses on the fate of the dead saints, not the Second Coming. Paul's message here is to the bereaved Thessalonian saints who are concerned about what happened to their dearly departed loved ones, and with it he assures them that they are sleeping in Jesus, they will wake at the sound of Lord's shout, voice, and trumpet and rise forth from death, and they will be caught up to Jesus in the clouds first, followed by “we that are alive and remain”.

Finally, the very last thing Paul told these bereaved Thessalonians saints is that they were to “comfort one another with these words”, but with what words? That the dead are in heaven? No! With words of the resurrection. Paul wants all Christians to know that just as surely as God brought Jesus forth from the dead, so God will bring the sleeping saints forth from death "with Him", or "in like manner".
 

ResidentAlien

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2021
1,652
595
113
#2
The chiasm in 1 Thessalonians 4 would be as follows wouldn't it:

A. Jesus died (death)​
B. rose again (resurrection)​
B. will God bring forth from death (resurrection)​
A. sleep in Jesus (death)​
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
416
152
43
#3
Before the question can be answered, we must first understand the importance of “Hebrew Chiastic Structure”. A “chiasm” is a form of Hebrew poetry where not words, but ideas, are rhymed. It's a literary device in which the ideas are arranged as “ABXBA”, “ABBA”, “ABAB”, or other variations. Chiasms are extremely important to hermeneutics because they are “guideposts” which help us to determine if our interpretations are on track or way off course because correct interpretations leave the chiasms intact, while incorrect interpretations destroy them. Many false ideas, especially eschatological ideas, stem from Bible "scholars" ignoring chiasms within the texts. Here are two examples of a chiasm from Psalms 33, the entirely of which is one chiasm after another:

Psalms 33:6 KJV
A. Word of the Lord
B. Heavens
B. Host of them
A. Breath of His mouth


Psalms 33:9 KJV
A. He spake
B. it was done
A. He commanded
B. it stood fast

That said, now let's examine 1 Thessalonians 4:14 KJV:
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus
will God bring with Him”.

Can you recognize the chiasm? Here it is:
A. Jesus died (death)
B. rose again (resurrection)
A. sleep in Jesus (death)
B. will God bring forth from death (resurrection)


How do we know “bring” refers to “bring forth from death” and not “bring from heaven back to Earth”? Because this interpretation leaves the chiasm intact (“ABAB”) while the popular yet erroneous interpretation “bring from heaven back to Earth” destroys the chiasm (“ABA--”).

Another reason we know is that the emphasis of the entire passage of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 KJV focuses on the fate of the dead saints, not the Second Coming. Paul's message here is to the bereaved Thessalonian saints who are concerned about what happened to their dearly departed loved ones, and with it he assures them that they are sleeping in Jesus, they will wake at the sound of Lord's shout, voice, and trumpet and rise forth from death, and they will be caught up to Jesus in the clouds first, followed by “we that are alive and remain”.

Finally, the very last thing Paul told these bereaved Thessalonians saints is that they were to “comfort one another with these words”, but with what words? That the dead are in heaven? No! With words of the resurrection. Paul wants all Christians to know that just as surely as God brought Jesus forth from the dead, so God will bring the sleeping saints forth from death "with Him", or "in like manner".
You are looking correctly at this verse for in my understanding it could say;
God will bring ( up ) with him------ which means to me a resurrection
 

jb

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
4,515
409
83
#4
Before the question can be answered, we must first understand the importance of “Hebrew Chiastic Structure”. A “chiasm” is a form of Hebrew poetry where not words, but ideas, are rhymed. It's a literary device in which the ideas are arranged as “ABXBA”, “ABBA”, “ABAB”, or other variations. Chiasms are extremely important to hermeneutics because they are “guideposts” which help us to determine if our interpretations are on track or way off course because correct interpretations leave the chiasms intact, while incorrect interpretations destroy them. Many false ideas, especially eschatological ideas, stem from Bible "scholars" ignoring chiasms within the texts. Here are two examples of a chiasm from Psalms 33, the entirely of which is one chiasm after another:

Psalms 33:6 KJV
A. Word of the Lord
B. Heavens
B. Host of them
A. Breath of His mouth


Psalms 33:9 KJV
A. He spake
B. it was done
A. He commanded
B. it stood fast

That said, now let's examine 1 Thessalonians 4:14 KJV:
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus
will God bring with Him”.

Can you recognize the chiasm? Here it is:
A. Jesus died (death)
B. rose again (resurrection)
A. sleep in Jesus (death)
B. will God bring forth from death (resurrection)


How do we know “bring” refers to “bring forth from death” and not “bring from heaven back to Earth”? Because this interpretation leaves the chiasm intact (“ABAB”) while the popular yet erroneous interpretation “bring from heaven back to Earth” destroys the chiasm (“ABA--”).

Another reason we know is that the emphasis of the entire passage of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 KJV focuses on the fate of the dead saints, not the Second Coming. Paul's message here is to the bereaved Thessalonian saints who are concerned about what happened to their dearly departed loved ones, and with it he assures them that they are sleeping in Jesus, they will wake at the sound of Lord's shout, voice, and trumpet and rise forth from death, and they will be caught up to Jesus in the clouds first, followed by “we that are alive and remain”.

Finally, the very last thing Paul told these bereaved Thessalonians saints is that they were to “comfort one another with these words”, but with what words? That the dead are in heaven? No! With words of the resurrection. Paul wants all Christians to know that just as surely as God brought Jesus forth from the dead, so God will bring the sleeping saints forth from death "with Him", or "in like manner".
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! It is the body that sleeps, and NOT the soul! Matt 27v51-53, Luke 20v37,38
 

Phoneman-777

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2019
2,826
430
83
#5
The chiasm in 1 Thessalonians 4 would be as follows wouldn't it:

A. Jesus died (death)​
B. rose again (resurrection)​
B. will God bring forth from death (resurrection)​
A. sleep in Jesus (death)​
According to the KJV, it's ABAB. But, if you prefer ABBA, I won't argue that. My beef is with those who claim it's "ABB--" by making "bring" refer to literal, lateral movement across the universe rather than what it is: elevation from the state of death to life. Totally destroys the chiasm, which is acceptable to those who don't care about consistent, sound hermeneutics.
 

Phoneman-777

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2019
2,826
430
83
#6
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! It is the body that sleeps, and NOT the soul! Matt 27v51-53
So, you have nothing to offer by way of discounting the OP material? Good, that only serves to strengthen the claims therein. As far as your verse in Matthew, it actually says the "saints which slept", meaning the whole saint was sleeping, not just the body.
I hear this all the time as "proof" that "the God of the living" demands the saints must be alive in heaven, in Abraham's Bosom, etc., while dead in the grave. They are not.

Just as the Bible refers to the wicked woman (or man) as spiritually "dead while she liveth", it refers to the dead in Christ as "spiritually alive" while they are dead.

They have ceased to be, yet are reckoned alive by God because at the appointed time, Jesus will come and resurrect them.
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
3,526
2,234
113
#7
Does 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 Teach Jesus Will Return With Dead Saints Now With Him In Heaven?
Yes because that’s what the plain text says. That makes the plain text interpretation a stronger interpretation than believing Paul randomly dropped a poem into 1 Thessalonians 4.

That’s highly unlikely because we’re talking about those who respect consistent hermeneutics right? Consistent hermeneutics is that 1 Thessalonians 4 is not a poem. Therefore there’s no reason to randomly invent a poem in order to allow a different interpretation of the passages in question.

My beef is with people who have a problem with God literally bringing those who sleep in Christ with Christ at His return.

We know they God is bringing the sleeping in Christ with Him, but it isn’t after the resurrection. After the resurrection they aren’t the sleeping in Christ anymore. That means the sleeping in Christ are brought down from heaven to be resurrected.
 

Phoneman-777

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2019
2,826
430
83
#8
Yes because that’s what the plain text says. That makes the plain text interpretation a stronger interpretation than believing Paul randomly dropped a poem into 1 Thessalonians 4.

That’s highly unlikely because we’re talking about those who respect consistent hermeneutics right? Consistent hermeneutics is that 1 Thessalonians 4 is not a poem. Therefore there’s no reason to randomly invent a poem in order to allow a different interpretation of the passages in question.

My beef is with people who have a problem with God literally bringing those who sleep in Christ with Christ at His return.

We know they God is bringing the sleeping in Christ with Him, but it isn’t after the resurrection. After the resurrection they aren’t the sleeping in Christ anymore. That means the sleeping in Christ are brought down from heaven to be resurrected.
You're free to deny the chiasm all you want, but Paul is a Hebrew and utilized chiasms all the time, as Hebrew writers did constantly in their literary works. It's "ABAB", not "ABA--"

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, plainly says "the dead know not anything" which includes the glorious presence of God in the heavenly courts. They'll continue to not know anything until the resurrection.
 

Sipsey

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2018
853
446
63
#9
Before the question can be answered, we must first understand the importance of “Hebrew Chiastic Structure”. A “chiasm” is a form of Hebrew poetry where not words, but ideas, are rhymed. It's a literary device in which the ideas are arranged as “ABXBA”, “ABBA”, “ABAB”, or other variations. Chiasms are extremely important to hermeneutics because they are “guideposts” which help us to determine if our interpretations are on track or way off course because correct interpretations leave the chiasms intact, while incorrect interpretations destroy them. Many false ideas, especially eschatological ideas, stem from Bible "scholars" ignoring chiasms within the texts. Here are two examples of a chiasm from Psalms 33, the entirely of which is one chiasm after another:

Psalms 33:6 KJV
A. Word of the Lord
B. Heavens
B. Host of them
A. Breath of His mouth


Psalms 33:9 KJV
A. He spake
B. it was done
A. He commanded
B. it stood fast

That said, now let's examine 1 Thessalonians 4:14 KJV:
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus
will God bring with Him”.

Can you recognize the chiasm? Here it is:
A. Jesus died (death)
B. rose again (resurrection)
A. sleep in Jesus (death)
B. will God bring forth from death (resurrection)


How do we know “bring” refers to “bring forth from death” and not “bring from heaven back to Earth”? Because this interpretation leaves the chiasm intact (“ABAB”) while the popular yet erroneous interpretation “bring from heaven back to Earth” destroys the chiasm (“ABA--”).

Another reason we know is that the emphasis of the entire passage of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 KJV focuses on the fate of the dead saints, not the Second Coming. Paul's message here is to the bereaved Thessalonian saints who are concerned about what happened to their dearly departed loved ones, and with it he assures them that they are sleeping in Jesus, they will wake at the sound of Lord's shout, voice, and trumpet and rise forth from death, and they will be caught up to Jesus in the clouds first, followed by “we that are alive and remain”.

Finally, the very last thing Paul told these bereaved Thessalonians saints is that they were to “comfort one another with these words”, but with what words? That the dead are in heaven? No! With words of the resurrection. Paul wants all Christians to know that just as surely as God brought Jesus forth from the dead, so God will bring the sleeping saints forth from death "with Him", or "in like manner".
I’m a little confused here. So, you’re taking “Hebrew Chiastic Structure” and applying it to Koine Greek?
 

Phoneman-777

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2019
2,826
430
83
#11
I’m a little confused here. So, you’re taking “Hebrew Chiastic Structure” and applying it to Koine Greek?
"Hebrew" doesn't necessary refer to the language of the writings, but the mindset of the writer. The writers of the NT were mostly Hebrews and constantly used chiasms. The entire book of Revelation is one giant chiasm, with lotsa smaller ones contained therein. That's why the coming of Jesus is depicted at the end of chapter 6 and again in chapter 14, long before the end of the book.
 

ResidentAlien

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2021
1,652
595
113
#14
According to the KJV, it's ABAB. But, if you prefer ABBA, I won't argue that. My beef is with those who claim it's "ABB--" by making "bring" refer to literal, lateral movement across the universe rather than what it is: elevation from the state of death to life. Totally destroys the chiasm, which is acceptable to those who don't care about consistent, sound hermeneutics.
By definition a chiasm repeats the previous verses only in reverse order doesn't it? For 1 Thessalonians 4:14 to be a chiasm the verses would have to appear as ABBA. Is that correct?
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
416
152
43
#15
The problem started with the early english translated bibles with the hebrew word Sheol and the greek word Hades. Take Jacob (Israel) for example; the original scriptures say, All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” And his father wept for him.

Many versions say: And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

They turned the word sheol into the word grave and did a great injustice. There was already a word for a burial place or grave which is the hebrew word geber. Would have been far greater thing to use the place of the dead.
Jacob had no expectation of being buried with his son for he was told Joseph was told to pieces.

Same thing in NT where they took the word Hades and made it Hell. Hell is considered by most to be a place of torment, but in reality it is a place of all dead, both righteous and unrighteous. This is a story of what we call Abraham's bosom, both the place of torment is seen along with Paradise.

Jesus told the thief that today he would be in Paradise with him. Now where did Jesus go upon his death? Eph 4;9

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? In John 20 he also said:

Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

This is only a few reasons why I believe the righteous and the unrighteous are in the earth, and when the Lord calls us we are resurrected from the earth and not brought from heaven above. The unrighteous will be resurrected to stand before the Lord at the White Throne Judgement at the end of the 1000 years.
 

peldom10

Well-known member
May 22, 2020
1,143
197
63
#16
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! It is the body that sleeps, and NOT the soul! Matt 27v51-53, Luke 20v37,38
The body does not sleep...it returns to dust.
That interjection serves no purpose to understand the main point.
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
28,506
5,525
113
#17
Regarding the Title Question of the OP:

No. The Saints returning with Jesus are FULLY ALIVE FOR ALL ETERNITY! Not dead,.
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
416
152
43
#18
The body does not sleep...it returns to dust.
That interjection serves no purpose to understand the main point.
That is correct that the body ( flesh ) returns to the earth and is not the spiritual body we will have.
 

BillG

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2017
8,285
4,015
113
#19
What does ABBA have to with this thread?

I thought they sung songs.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
17,000
8,501
113
#20
Does 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 Teach Jesus Will Return With Dead Saints Now With Him In Heaven?
Absolutely. The Resurrection/Rapture is the Blessed Hope of all who are in Christ.