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1)    Understanding True Bible Faith

7th Pillar – the Non-Immortality of the Wicked or of the Soul

     Many believe that human beings are made up of a body of flesh and a separate soul which disconnects from the body at death and continues to live on for ever.  But exactly what is a soul?
     “And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls...” Exodus 1:5.

     This text is simply stating that there were 70 souls or people who traced their linage directly back to Jacob, and it was not that Jacob had 70 disembodied souls coming out of his loins.

     “And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.” Acts 27:37.

     There were 276 souls or people in the ship, and it was not that the ship was haunted by 276 disembodied souls!

2)     The Bible definition of a soul is that it is simply a living person.
     “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7.

     God clearly stated what the formula for life is.  A physical body, plus the breath of life, equals a living soul (see also Job 33:4; Ezekiel 37:6).  Then what would the formula for death be?  A physical body, without breath, could not equal a living soul – but a dead one!
     Notice that the text in Genesis does not say that man was given a soul, but rather he became a soul.  A soul is not something a person has, it is the person themselves.  That is why the Scriptures declare that souls have blood (see Jeremiah 2:34), and not only are living human beings souls, but so are fish and animals since they also live and breathe (see Revelation 16:3).

     The Hebrew word for soul is “nephesh”, and this word translates and means “a breathing creature, beast, body, fish, life, man, person, soul” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, word #5315).  And the Greek word for soul is “psuche”, and this word translates and means “breath, spirit, vitality, life, soul” (Strong’s, word #5590).

     In Matthew 16:25 Jesus commends anyone who will lose their soul for His sake.  Or in other words, Jesus was commending those of His followers who were willing to lose their life for His cause in following Him.

3)    Others believe that we are made up of a body of flesh and a separate spirit, and so when death occurs, they believe that their spirit disconnects from the body and continues to live on forever.
     But our breath, which comes from God and allows us to have life, can also be translated in the scriptures as “spirit” (Strong’s, Hebrew word #7707; Greek word #4151).  So a body, plus the breath or spirit of life, equals a living soul.  But a body, without spirit or the breath of life, cannot equal a living soul.

     What happens we die?
     “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return.” Genesis 3:19.

     Does anything leave the body when we die?  Yes!
     “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7.

     “...the body without the spirit is dead...” James 2:26.

     At death, the spirit leaves the person and returns to God.  But where was this spirit located when that person was still living?
     “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils.” Job 27:3.

     Exactly what is this spirit composed of that is found in the nostrils of a living person?
     “All in whose nostrils was the breath of life...” Genesis 7:22.

     The spirit from God that allows us to have life simply means our breath.  This is not talking about the Holy Spirit who is the 3rd God and Person of the Godhead, but is simply referring to the breath of life.  In other words, the spirit or breath is the spark of life which allows you to live.  That is why this spirit is also referred to as “the breath of the Almighty” (Job 33:4).

     Exactly what goes forth from a person when they die?
     “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth”. Psalm 146:4.

     So the formula for life is: A body, plus the breath of life or spirit, equals a living soul.  But a body, without the spirit or breath of life, cannot make a living soul.
     “Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.” Psalms 104:29.

     When we die, our breath or spirit of life goes back to God who gave it to us at birth.  But there is no separate life or consciousness in this breath – no more than there would be every time we exhale.

4)    All human beings are mortal, not immortal!
     “Shall mortal man be more just than God?” Job 4:17.

     “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Romans 6:12.

     God is the only one who is immortality!
     “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17.

     “Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:15-16.

5)    At death our soul does not go on living for eternity.
     “Behold, all souls are mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4.

6)    Where do we go when we die?
     “Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them...and their beauty shall consume in the grave”. Psalms 49:14     

     “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:4.

     “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Proverbs 9:10.
     God stated that when we die, we are laid in the grave, buried in the earth, and in that very day our thoughts perish.  After we die, we no longer have any thoughts or mental processes.

7)    Will God show us any of His wonders, whether past, present or future, in the grave?  No.
     “Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee?...Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?  Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” Psalms 88:10-12.

Will we praise the Lord in the grave?  No.
     “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.” Psalms 115:17.

Will we even remember the Lord in the grave?  No.
     “For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” Psalms 6:5.

Will we see anyone else while we are dead?  No.
     “I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave...I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.” Isaiah 38:10-11.

Will we see our loved ones and friends coming to our funeral or grave to pay us respect?  No.
     “But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost...His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not...” Job 14:10, 21.

The dead really do not know anything!
     “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” Ecclesiastes 9:5.

     Being dead is just like being asleep.  First your awake, then you fall asleep, and when you awake you are completely unaware of anything that occurred during all the time you were sleeping.
     “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.” John 11:11-14.

8)    Do we go to heaven and see the Lord when we die?
     “...I shall go to the gates of the grave...I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living...” Isaiah 38:10-11.

9)    Others believe that after we die we reincarnate, and this process continues on in an endless circle of life and death.  But God’s word of truth declares this pagan belief to be false.
     “...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement...” Hebrews 9:27.

10)    After death we do not go on living, and we do not travel to heaven, but are simply resting in the grave.  Then what about those who believe in, or who have seen, ghosts or the spirits of the dead haunting houses or graveyards, or even helping people?
     “...the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6.

     The dead have no memory at all of when they were alive.  Then they can not remember anyone or anything that they either loved or hated, cherished or envied during their lifetime.  This means that even if they could come back as a ghost or a spirit, they could not even remember who they were to haunt or help!
     Yet many people have actually seen ghosts or spirits and various apparitions.  Others have heard unexplained noises and seen supernatural phenomena.  Since the Bible of truth teaches that ghosts cannot be the actual dead person’s spirit raised to life, then who are these apparitions?
     “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him....For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world...” Revelation 12:7-9, 16:14.

     There are indeed ghosts or spirits today, but not a single one of these are dead people come back from the grave!  They are only the evil angels or spirits of devils whom were cast out of heaven.  These evil beings are only pretending to be the dead come back to life.  And it does not matter which dead person they impersonate.  In fact, the more widely known the dead individual, such as the virgin Mary, the better to impersonate them.  But their whole purpose for doing so is to deceive people and try to get them to believe that the information given them is really the truth.  Yet is it safe to believe what the Devil, or any of his evil angels, tell us?
     “He...abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44.

     We are not to believe the information relayed by these apparitions or so-called spirits of the dead, because it is full of lies!

11)    How did this error of the immortality of the soul begin?
     “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.”  Genesis 3:1-4.

     Satan was the first to teach this false doctrine on the immortality of the soul!  And the vast majority of people have totally embraced this devilish lie.  Multitudes of good and honest people have been duped by their church, their priests, pastors, elders and teachers into really believing this doctrine of the immortality of the soul.  They have been led away from the true faith of the Bible by supposed ministers of righteousness, and yet they do not even realize they are believing a lie!
     “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Timothy 4:1.

12)    The soul is the conscious life which resulted when God added the breath or spirit of life to the body.  Let's liken the body to a light bulb.  The electric current flowing into that bulb represents the breath of life which God put into the body, and the light itself will represent the conscious living soul which man became after the breath joined the body.  As we look at the shining light we see a perfect representation of the completed creation.  Now suppose the light switch is turned off.  What has then happened?  The current has left the bulb, just as the breath leaves the body at death.  But what happened to the light?  Did it go up into the electric socket?  No, it simply ceased to exist when the current separated from the bulb.  So then where is the soul when the breath separates from the body?  There simply is no longer any living soul at that point, and there will not be until God miraculously resurrects our dead body and restores the breath of life to us!
     “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:25-29.

     “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”. John 11:25.  

     “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years....And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:4-6, 14-15.