Those of us following after the Master’s footsteps lost a great man this month, Rob Skiba. I never got the opportunity to meet him in real life but I watched hours upon hours of his content. He helped me to see the truth about Biblical Cosmology, the value of books that had been removed from the Bible, and Torah. In fact, when I first realized that the Torah was still applicable today, I thought I was the only one who understood this. It all started with me really looking at the Man of Lawlessness (I wrote an article about that here, “The Man of Lawlessness”), and what it meant to be lawless. It didn’t take long for me to find Rob’s website The Ephraim Awakening (https://ephraimawakening.com/category/law-and-grace/) and while I don’t recall the exact article I read, I do remember it going over the Man of Lawlessness. The same passage of scripture that had shaken me awake! From then on, I tuned in regularly to Rob’s Torah teachings, along with many other of his videos. He was a great man, husband, disciple, and teacher. The impact he had on the body of Messiah is truly inspiring, and I thank El Shaddai for using Rob in such a glorious way.
With the recent passing of such a prominent figure in the Torah community, several recognizable YouTubers made a memorial or Tribute videos. The one Parable of the Vineyard did (https://youtu.be/fo51XjikkgI), brought some new insight into what happens when we die. Since I myself had already written on the matter (“What Happens When We Die, According to the Bible?”), I felt it was appropriate to add this new knowledge to my website, while also expanding upon it here at Red Pill Messianic.
A Seven Day Journey
“I replied: “If I have found favor with you, Adoni, show this also to your servant: After death, as soon as each person gives up his or her soul, will we be kept asleep until the time comes for you to begin to renew creation, or will we be tormented right away?”He replied to me: “I will show you this too. But don’t associate yourself with those who have shown contempt, and don’t count yourself among those who are tormented. You have a treasure of works stored up with the Most High, but it won’t be shown to you until the last times.” (2 Esdras 7:75-76)
“I answered: “Will time, therefore, be given to souls after they are separated from the bodies to see what you told me?” He said to me: “They will be free for seven days so that they may see in those seven days the things that have been foretold. After this, they will be gathered in their dwelling places.” (2 Esdras 7:100-101)
According to 2 Esdras when we die, before we are carried off into slumber, we are shown seven things across seven days. The nature of what we see is entirely based upon how we lived here, whether we followed Abba’s ways or not. Reading chapter 7, I couldn’t help but think of all the people I know in my life. How many are considered ‘good’, but this generalization of the definition, that has been construed in such a way that practically everyone falls into this category, is one of the most harmful lies I can think of. To believe that one is living a good life when in reality they are trampling upon the Creator’s very instructions that bring blessings and life.
What the Wicked Witness
“Now a word about death: When the final sentence goes forth from the Most High that a person should die, when the spirit recedes from the body so that it may be sent again to him who gave it, the first thing is to stand in awe before the glory of the Most High. If the spirit belonged to one of those who showed contempt and didn’t keep the Most High’s way, if it was one of those who despised his Torah and who hates those who fear Elohim, these spirits don’t go into their dwellings but will immediately wander about in torments. They will constantly grieve and be sorrowful for seven reasons: The first reason—because they despised the Torah of the Most High. The second reason—because they can’t now effectively change their hearts and lives so that they might live. The third reason—because they will see the reward laid up for those who have believed the Most High’s testimonies. The fourth reason—because they will consider the torment laid up for themselves in the last days. The fifth reason—because they will see the dwelling places of others, guarded by angels in great silence. The sixth reason—because they see the torment coming upon them from now on. The seventh reason, which is greater than all the previously mentioned reasons—because they will melt away in confusion and be consumed in disgrace. “They will wither in fear when they see the glory of the Most High, before whom they sinned when they were alive and before whom they are to be judged in the last times.” (2 Esdras 7:78-87)
Both the wicked and the righteous appear before Yah, but after that, the two take drastically different paths. Those who hated and loathed the Torah will see the torment that awaits them and their remaining moments of awareness will be filled with despair and anguish. Once again, I think about those that were close to me that have already experienced death. Particularly the ones whom I have spoken to of the truth, and did not listen to sound doctrine. Then, of course, the thoughts of “well maybe if I had tried a little harder”, “If only I would have interacted with them more”, and “If I could have taken them out of that environment.” Knowing fully, that I did my best…and that is all I have to say on such troubling matters.
What the Righteous Witness
“The arrangement for those who kept Elohim’s ways is this when they begin to be separated from the corruptible body. In the time of their exile here they labored hard to serve the Most High. Every hour they endured danger so that they might keep the Torah of the Torah giver perfectly. Therefore, this is the word about them: First, they will see with great joy the glory of him who receives them. They will have rest on account of seven orders: The first order—because they have struggled hard to overcome the evil thought fashioned within them so that it wouldn’t lead them astray from life to death. The second order—because they see the panic in which the souls of the wicked wander and the punishment that awaits them. The third order—seeing the testimony that their maker has testified on their behalf, because when they were alive, they kept the Torah that was given through faith. The fourth order—understanding the peaceful rest that they now enjoy, gathered in their resting chambers, guarded by angels in deep silence, and understanding the glory that awaits them in their last days. The fifth order—rejoicing at how they have now escaped the corruptible and how they will have a future inheritance; moreover, seeing the narrow space, full of labor, from which they have been freed, and the spacious place they are about to receive and enjoy, now that they are immortal. The sixth order—when they are shown how their face begins to shine like the sun and how they begin to be like the stars, as beings of incorruptible light. The seventh order, which is greater than all those mentioned—because they will rejoice with confidence and will trust without being disappointed and will rejoice without fear; for they hasten to see the face of him whom they served when they were alive and from whom they are about to receive a reward now that they are glorified. “This is the order of the souls of the just, as is announced immediately, and those previously mentioned are the ways of torment that those who paid no heed will suffer.” (2 Esdras 7:88-99)
It’s encouraging to read such a passage; it brings me hope and happiness for those brothers and sisters who have already fallen asleep in Messiah. This world is difficult, more so for those who follow Yeshua in Torah obedience. But our reward for persevering until the end is greater than any trouble we may face here. Rob Skiba fought the good fight, ran the race to win it, and was not afraid to stand up for Elohim’s truth. I am confident Rob enjoyed the seven days after his passing, seeing all the wonderful things aforementioned, before entering into a peaceful sleep of Messiah. Elohim willing, I too will see this when my time comes, until then Rob rest in Shalom.