Winter 2016: Three Prayer Warriors Part 2
This article is part of a series. We recommend that you first read: Three Prayer Warriors Part 1.

“God’s church needs at least three kinds of prayers in the last moments of history.” In Part 1 of this article (from Summer 2015), we discussed Daniel's prayer and the need for Israel to leave Babylon. Michael compared this need to our need to leave end-time Babylon and the cities to safe havens in the country that serve as waiting areas for our entry into eternity.

He writes:

The good news is that God does not want His people to just leave Babylon and step out into the cold. God would like His people to start moving out and, concurrently, prepare a safe haven, a shelter that will serve as a waiting area for entry into eternity. Biblical typology offers us an informative view on the circumstances that God’s end time church will encounter while leaving Babylon. Taking a closer look at the literal return of the Jewish exiles from Neo-Babylonia, we see that the fall of Babylon and the “coming out” of Babylon were no abrupt events but rather gradual processes.

In Part 2, we will continue to compare the journey of Israel back into their home country to our entry to heaven. What can we learn about our duty as history winds down? “Medo-Persian rulers issued four relevant commandments or decrees that had to do with the repopulation and reconstruction of Jerusalem.” We left off Part 1 having reviewed all four. The first dealt only with the reconstruction of the house of the Lord. The second was a re-issue of the first. The third was still a continuing restoration of the house of the Lord with added instructions to reinstate the sanctuary services. The fourth decree was “more a set of letters of royal support for Nehemiah’s work including guards for travel safety and building material for temple gates and city wall repairs.”

How then was Gabriel’s prophecy to Daniel fulfilled so that the clock for Messiah’s first advent could finally start ticking? The key to unlock this mystery is, again, found in the integrity and faithfulness of a person, who was recognized by a Pagan monarch and who was willing to step in and take upon himself the responsibility of furthering God’s work. We should remind ourselves at this point that Daniel’s prayer concluded with the important words: “for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.” (Daniel 9:19, emphasis supplied)


IF we carefully examine the third Medo-Persian decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 7:11-26), we will observe several decisive characteristics that are not found in the other three discussed previously:

1. The decree was in the form of an open letter to a Jewish leader;

2. This leader had a favorable reputation with the Pagan monarch Artaxerxes I (Longimanus);

3. The decree constituted a direct order to this Jewish leader;

4. The decree itself includes a spiritual objective.

The name of the Jewish leader was Ezra. What kind of person was he? Or, we should ask, what kind of function or office did he hold?

Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra [..] the son of Aaron the chief priest: This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him. (Ezra 7:1-6, emphasis supplied)

Now, let us dig a little deeper and ask, what was a “scribe”?

After the return from the Babylonian Captivity, when the people of Judah had lost their independence and had no king of their own to serve, the scribes concentrated their activities on the law, becoming “experts of the law,” or “lawyers.” (Ezra 7:6,10-12; Nehemiah 8:1,4,9,13)1

Scribes, doctors of law, and lawyers, were only different names for the same class of persons.2

Ezra was a lawyer! And he was not just a civil advocate but a lawyer “of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of his statutes to Israel” (verse 11). And it was exactly this reputation Ezra had with King Artaxerxes, who addressed Ezra in his letter as “a scribe of the law of the God of heaven” (verse 12). In this decree in the form of a letter, we find a very specific order by King Artaxerxes to Ezra:

And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. (verse 25)

Ezra was ordered to set up a government system that was founded on the laws of Ezra’s God (primarily) and the law of the king (secondarily). Moreover, enforcement of this constitutional law was to be implemented:

And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. (verse 26)

Note that the terms law or lawful are mentioned nine times in Ezra 7 (KJV). In the original text, for “law”, both the Hebrew term towrah (= Torah) and the Aramaic word dath (in the wording of the king’s decree itself) are used. The implementation of this basic law (similar to the Constitution) of the new Jewish community was the one event that started the prophetic clock for Messiah the Prince, because the underlying spiritual objective for Israel that came with this decree was the visible, public re-establishment and declaration of God’s covenant with his people; very similar to Moses’ original covenant on the foundation of God’s law on the tablets of stone. Now that God’s law had again been publicly proclaimed, the premise for the arrival of Messiah the Prince, the covenant law, had been laid down. This is the “secret” of the third decree and why the year 457 BC sets up the frame of references for the seventy-year prophecy: the re-proclamation and public installation of God’s eternal law, the transgression of which had caused the Babylonian exile in the first place.

Ezra reintroduced the Torah in Jerusalem, the legal basis (the “deed”) of the covenant between Yahweh and His people. Ezra could thus be viewed as a second Moses, since he was a mediator of the renewed covenant (compare Deuteronomy 4:1,14; 5:31, 6:1, 31:19,20). The construction of the second temple had been completed earlier, but the people were not ready for it. As opposed to Solomon’s temple, the second temple did not include the Ark of the Covenant, which, in turn, contained God’s written law. And since this most important item of Solomon’s temple was absent, it was all the more important to manifest God’s law by other means: by a public proclamation.

Sacrificial services had resumed, but they were meaningless in the sense that the legal basis for the transgressions, the sacrifices were to atone for, had not been proclaimed yet. Consequently, until God’s law was re-proclaimed, the sacrifices were no valid shadow services pointing to the ultimate Sacrifice, Messiah the Prince, who was to be “cut off, but not for himself”. The land had rested from the transgressed Sabbaths by 538 BC (2 Chronicles 36:21) when the military strike against Belshazzar, Babylon’s last apostate king, made it “fall”. However, it took the people of God another 457-538 = 81 years, i.e., just a little more than two generations, to get prepared and to build a community that was founded on the principles of God’s character. This demonstrates that under the third Persian decree (Ezra 7), the primary commandment went forth to restore Jerusalem, the people of God’s law (verses 25, 26), and to build Jerusalem, the city infrastructure (secondarily, verse 18).

After all, the underlying Hebrew word for “restore” (“English translation of “shuwb”, Strong’s number H7725) in Daniel 9:25 is identical with the one used in Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jeremiah 27:22), where “restore” clearly refers to the people:

They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.

Again, Daniel was well familiar with Jeremiah’s writings (Daniel 9:2). Finally, starting in 457 BC, thanks to Ezra, city and people were again to become worthy of bearing God’s name, thereby fulfilling the conclusion of Daniel’s prayer.

The additional spiritual objective of this decree was to “teach them” the laws of God “that know them not”, which was fulfilled by Ezra as described in Nehemiah 8. We will later see that the Hebrew word torah which is used in the Hebrew portion of Ezra 7 and in Nehemia 8, can have an plausible broader meaning. God not only expected the reconstruction of the temple and the re-gathering of His people; God waited for the proclamation and implementation of His law before He continued the covenant and before the countdown to the Covenant Promise could launch. And now we understand the powerful meaning of verse 14: the very first reason why Artaxerxes even sent law expert Ezra to Jerusalem and Judah was to find out whether God’s law was being obeyed (Ezra 7:14)! It is informative to compare this verse in different Bible translations. It demonstrates that king Artaxerxes had a deep respect for God’s law. It also shows that Ezra had the reputation of a competent lawyer with the king. In fact, Medo-Persian rulers respected law to the extent that nobody, not even a king, could alter any decree once it was signed (Daniel 6:8,15). This is very similar to God’s law that cannot ever be changed; and therefore, the Lord Jesus had to die for the transgression of it. Apparently, even the Medo-Persian king recognized that neither temple nor city construction projects, nor sacrificial services would make deeper sense if the exile returnees didn’t recognize and obey God’s law in the first place. Hence, the “law decree” in Ezra 7 starts with an investigation into the obedience behavior of the exiles that had returned to Judah.

Prayer warrior Daniel is a type for the church at the end of time. Daniel studied prophecy, paid attention to the signs of the times and communicated with God to gain further wisdom and a deepened understanding. In return, Daniel was not only given wisdom and understanding, but his good character and his prayer influenced the decision of the Persian king and prepared his people for their mission.

The Spirit of Prophecy states that “the announcement of the fall of Babylon (Revelation 14:8) [..] was first given in the summer of 1844., and that it is to be repeated.” (GC, 604). Like the literal Hebrew nation was in a “lingering state” that commenced at the completion of the seventy years, i.e., 538 BC, until Ezra held up the law of God in 457 BC, the Christian church stands is in an “lingering time” that commenced at the completion of the 2300 years, in 1844. During this lingering time, God expects His people to build the temple and proclaim the law. Many sincere Christians in our time are eager to work on the temple, meaning to proclaim God’s mercy and presence. But keep in mind that the temple of the post-captivity area did not have the Ark in it. Neither did it have the tables of stone with God’s law written in it. Thus, God is now, right at this time, waiting on the “Ezra” church, the church that proclaims and implements His law; the church that has His law written on their foreheads. Only then, when God’s mercy and law are visible again (Revelation 11:19), the King of kings will take ultimate reign. The prophetic clock started ticking when Ezra, the lawyer, read the law in post-exile Jerusalem: Messiah the Ruler was on His way. Likewise, the antitypical “Ezra” will know exactly, when Christ will come again.

This beautiful assurance was revealed to Ellen White in her very first vision shortly after the close of the 2300 years, then disappointed Christians were in a similar struggle as Daniel was shortly prior the close of the 70 years:

Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai. The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name. (EW, 15, emphasis supplied)

The lesson for God’s people then and now was and is that true spiritual revival is not based on enthusiasm, good feelings, national pride or sense of achievement, but solely and entirely on the proclamation and implementation of the perfect and holy Law of the Lord God. In the year 457 BC, a dramatic prophetic clock was set into motion; a clock that nobody in the universe could stop, slow down or accelerate. Exactly 483 years later, Jesus would become Messiah (the “Anointed One”; Matthew 3:13-17), and 3.5 years later, He would be crucified for mankind’s sake. He will be the Ruler of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).


Ezra the Priest, Attorney at God’s Law, became a fervent prayer warrior when he had to institute his first legal class action lawsuit in the case Truth vs. Error. The Hebrew name “Ezra” means “help” or “strong vision”, and that’s the motivation that the end-time Christian church will need as well to overcome (Revelation 3:21). Pursuant to Artaxerxes’ “obedience investigation order” (Ezra 7:14), Ezra, of course, concluded that God’s law was not being obeyed. What was the situation Ezra found in Israel?

[Ezra] arrived just in nick of time. The fledgling Jewish community in the Land of Israel was under siege and disintegrating. They were physically threatened. They were intermarrying. They were desecrating the Sabbath. They were assimilating. It sounds like headlines in this week’s newspaper, but it describes the situation 2,500 years ago at a major crossroads in Jewish history. By the force of his great personality, Ezra was able reverse the terrible situation in a very short period of time.3 (emphasis supplied)

We find Ezra’s prayer in Ezra 9:

And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. [..] 8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. 9 For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. [..] 12 Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever. (Emphasis supplied)

The Bible text mentions remnant, revival, repair, and about mixed marriage. The children of God had taken themselves Babylonian marriage partners. But that was not the actual legal crisis. The historical reference mentions that the Sabbath was being desecrated; the center commandment of God’s law was being violated. Sabbath desecration was likely the most visible signs of prevailing Babylonian error. It wasn’t that Ezra was callous or relentless with a desire to destroy happy marriages. The spiritual issue here was about compromise: intermarriage was just a symptom of a major attitude of disobedience; the Sabbath was being desecrated. God’s law was being openly transgressed. The mix of Hebrew truth and Babylonian error was not able to further pave the arrival of Messiah, and everybody had to recognize that. It is important to note that the mass divorce was not an arbitrary dictate executed by Ezra and the Jewish leaders, but based on the requirement of God’s covenant:

Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and again, we read,

“let it be done according to the law.” (Ezra 10:3, emphasis supplied). True spiritual revival is solely based on the law of the Lord. Jewish history describes the success of Ezra as follows:

The people read from the Book of Deuteronomy, which describes all the laws and ideals they were not living up to. They all wept and repented, and agreed to uphold the Torah from then on, especially to observe the Sabbath, bring the tithes and donations to the Temple and refrain from intermarriage. 3 (emphasis supplied)

Turning things around, it now appears that the most visible sign of obedience to God’s law, and of the success of Ezra’s revival, was Sabbath observance! Do we have an indication that a similar “shaking” will happen to the remnant Christian church? Or, should we better ask if the “remnant” church will consist of the group that remains after the “shaking”? Revelation 12:17 tells us that there will be a remnant that will—not only seek and teach, but—do the law and statutes of God (Ezra 7:10). The antitypical “Ezras” of the end time Christian church pray fervently for the removal of Babylonia errors that would otherwise overcome and destroy God’s church from within. Hence, Ezra’s prayer for separation of error from truth helped and helps to build the integrity of God’s church and strengthens it from the inside.


Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah, whose name means “Comfort of Yahweh”, was a cupbearer of King Artaxerxes. The cupbearer had direct access to the king and his palace. He had significant influence in government affairs, and he was responsible for the security of the king and possibly his kin, too. Nehemiah, in today’s terms likely called the director of the royal secret service, received intelligence that the repairers of his father’s homeland faced constant attacks by surrounding enemies. Our third prayer warrior deeply felt with his people and “wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4):

I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.[..] Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. (Nehemiah 1:5.6.10)

By messengers from Judea the Hebrew patriot learned that days of trial had come to Jerusalem, the chosen city. The returned exiles were suffering affliction and reproach. The temple and portions of the city had been rebuilt; but the work of restoration was hindered, the temple services were disturbed. Overwhelmed with sorrow, Nehemiah could neither eat nor drink; he wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted. In his grief he turned to the divine Helper. I… prayed, he said, before the God of heaven. (PK, 628, emphasis supplied)

Again, we see a deep concern for the continuation of God’s covenant. We also note that Nehemiah identified himself with his people that had sinned. His desire was to get help of the king; help in rebuilding Jerusalem:

And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it. (Nehemiah 2:5)

Although king Artaxerxes could have viewed Nehemiah’s passion for the re-emerging Jewish nation as a threat to national security, and although the king had justified reasons to execute Nehemiah on this ground, he showed his deep trust to him, and he granted him his request. More than that, the king set aside military resources for Nehemiah’s personal protection and for the protection of his efforts to support the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s initiative lead to the fulfilled of the second part of the prophecy in Daniel 9:25, and seven year-weeks, i.e., 49 years, after Ezra’s reading of the law (in 457 BC), the city of Jerusalem was fully reconstructed in 408 BC (compare Nehemiah 6:15,16; 7:4).

Nehemiah is thus a type of those prayer warriors who recognize that God’s church is exposed to outside attacks. In the antitypical sense, endtime prayer warriors of Nehemiah’s kind will utilize their position and good relationships to people in high places to support the cause of the church. The rationale of the Jewish leaders in the time of Nehemiah was that a city without protection walls would eventually expose the temple to destructive forces. When times get tough, the builders of God’s church will have to continue with construction within a very difficult environment: The “feeble Jews”, as the Samarian leader Sanballat mocked the remnant church (Nehemiah 4:2), are types of humble Christians that will finish God’s work on earth under threat of persecution. End-time Christians will need to be on guard from outside spiritual attacks.


Do you think your prayers are strong enough to change history? Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah offered prayers that influenced governments and directed the pathway of human and salvation history; supplications that paved the way for Messiah the Prince. Daniel’s prayer prepared his people to position themselves for the re-proclamation of God’s holy and perfect law. Whether the seventy-year-weeks prophecy was a direct result of Daniel’s humble petition to the Heavenly Government, we will never know. I’d like to think that it was indeed the prayer of Daniel (“God is my Judge”), one of the greatest and most upright politicians that ever walked on earth, that -upon inspection of the Heavenly Court- achieved the commute of the literal seventy-year sentence of exile into a 490-year probation of their continuing covenant with God. God’s end time workers will need prayer warriors like Daniel, who are willing to prepare the church for second coming of the King of kings; mediating church leaders who identify themselves with every single member of the church and petition for forgiveness, so that we as a church will -again- unanimously uphold God’s holy and perfect law as symbolized by the opened ark in Revelation 11:19.

Ezra, on the other hand, the passionate lawyer, the “second Moses” provided the legal basis for the 490-year covenant in the first place. Moreover, he prayed for the stern separation of truth and error, solely based on God’s law.

Likewise, God’s end time church needs prayer warriors that are willing to point out errors and separate them from truth. In this context, it is most interesting to look a little closer at the underlying Hebrew word that is translated law in Ezra 7:6, 10; namely the word הרָוֹה , transliterated torah in English: “The Hebrew word, torah ( תוֹרָה ), is derived from a root that was used in the realm of archery, yareh ( ירָה ). Yareh means to shoot an arrow in order to hit a mark. The mark or target, of course, was the object at which the archer was aiming. Consequently, torah, one of the nouns derived from this root, is, therefore, the arrow aimed at the mark, The target is the truth about God and how one relates to Him. The torah is, therefore, in the strict sense instruction designed to teach us the truth about God. Torah means direction, teaching, instruction, or doctrine.”4

If we now link this to Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”, we immediately realize that all Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, as the pure revelation from God, provides the “legal” basis to separate truth from error. The entire Bible provides the solid guidance for the removal of Babylonian errors.

Nehemiah, the respected security expert, was the one who left his high position in the Persian palace to finish the walls of Jerusalem, because he recognized that city, temple and community were exposed to outside threats. Nehemiah did not only offer an extraordinary prayer that moved the Persian king, he was also willing to roll up his sleeves and work and finish the construction of the holy city under most adverse circumstances (Nehemiah 4:16). Nehemiah’s prayer was also a prayer of comfort and peace under the threat of strife and insecurity. Under Nehemiah’s effort, the very city, in which the Lord Jesus would carry out His ministry centuries later, was secured behind walls.

Let us pray for insight, revival and courage. Like the return to Judea, the return from antitypical Babylon has been a gradual process: coming out of Babylon, removal of Babylonian errors from the remnant church and the repair of the spiritual wall of protection and security around God’s church are concurrent processes. Simultaneously, prayer warriors pray for insight and preparation, for the proclamation of God’s law and for comfort while God’s word and the gospel are being preached and while the invisible church is “all sealed and perfectly united”(EW, 15) so that the church will be able to receive the exact time of the arrival of the King of kings.

Michael E. Fassbender, Ph.D., is a nuclear scientist. Originally from Germany, he spent a three-year stint in South Africa. He now works for the U.S. Government and lives with his wife and two daughters in New Mexico, USA. Michael and his wife are members of the Texico Conference of Seventh-Day-Adventists.

1. “Who Should you Believe, God or Man”, (accessed 11/20/2014).

2. Richard Watson, Nathan Banks, A Biblical and theol. Dictionary, page 902, available on

3. “Ezra and Nehemiah”, (accessed 3/12/2015).

4. “What Do We Mean by the Term ‘Torah?’“ (accessed 3/20/2015).

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Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Is Jesus God? Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth The 70-Week Prophecy What Day Did Jesus Die? Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon Identifying the Antichrist The Second Beast of Revelation 13 The Final Confederacy The Seven Plagues Walking Through Daniel Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Babylonian Religion Sun Worship Wealth Redistribution The Charismatic Movement Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Unity at All Cost? Sustainability Paganism and Christmas Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts The New Age Movement Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit Paganism in our Culture Secret Societies The United Nations' Global Government The History of Tongues Revival and the "Power of God" Signs and Wonders What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Choosing the Books of the Bible Testing the Gospel of Thomas Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Gospel Story The Lost Books of the Bible Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin Salvation By Faith The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus