The ancient philosophers taught that man is essentially an immortal spiritual "soul"
housed in a temporary body offlesh-thattherealman is not the body, but an invisible,
immaterial "immortal soul" that thinks,hears,seesand willconsciouslyliveonforever.
Some Oriental philosophers speculated that the souls of the departed go into other
bodies after death and live asanimals,birds,snakes,eventreesorgnats-or perhaps
as human beings. This doctrine, called "transmigration ofsouls"or"reincarnation,"hasevengainedsomeacceptanceintheWesternworld.
But what is the authority for these beliefs? Is there any biblical basis for such
doctrines? Where did they come from? Where did the Christian-professingchurchesacquiretheirpresentteachingsabouttheimmortalityofthe soul?
a matter of philosophical or theologicalspeculation rather than of simple faith,
and is accordinglynowhereexpresslytaughtinHolyScripture'(fromarticle, "ImmortalityoftheSoul,"vol. VI,p.564emphasisoursthroughoutlesson).
This same article continues: "The beliefintheimmortalityofthesoulcametotheJewsfromcontactwith GreekthoughtandchieflythroughthephilosophyofPlato,itsprincipalexponent,whowasledtoitthrough Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries
in which Babylonian and Egyptian views were strangelyblended"(pp.564,566).
NoticewhatHerodotus,thefamousGreekhistorian who lived in the fifth century
before Jesus, admitted: "The Egyptians alsowerethefirstwhoassertedthedoctrinethatthesoulofmanisimmortal.... Some of the Greeks have adopted this opinion,
some earlier, others later, as if it were their own"(Euterpe,Chapter123,translatedbyCarey).
It was the Greek Socrates who travelled to Egypt and consulted the Egyptians on this
very teaching. After his return to Greece,heimpartedtheconcepttoPlato,hismostfamouspupil. Comparethepresent-day doctrine of most churches with what Plato
wrote in his book,Phaedo:
"Thesoulwhoseinseparableattributeislifewillneveradmitoflife'sopposite,death. Thusthesoulisshowntobe immortal, and since immortal, indestructible
.... Do we believe there is such a thing as death? To be sure. And is this anything
but the separation of the soul and body? And being dead is the attainment of this
separation, when the soul exists in herself and separate from the body, and the body
is parted from the soul. That is death .... Death is merely the separation of soul
and body" (see Loeb Classical Library edition-1977;pp.223,235,363-367).
Sounds a lot like the teaching of many modern churches, doesn't it?
Youwereprobablytaughtthatthissamedoctrinewas totally Christian. You undoubtedly
assumed it came straight from theBible-but it did not, as you will see for yourself.
"But our Jesus Christ, being crucified and dead, rose again, and having ascended
to heaven, reigned; and by those things whichwerepublishedin His name among all
nations by the apostles, there is joy afforded to those whoexpectthe immortalitypromisedbyHim"(Ante-NiceneFathers,vol.1, p. 177). Many of these men indeed
knew they did not have immortalitywithinthemselves.
Origen,anearlyCatholic teacher in Alexandria, Egypt, joined the speculations of
Plato with certain parts of the Bible and calledhisphilosophyneo(new)-Platonism.
Rufinus,paraphrasingOrigen'swritings,said:"Goddealswithsouls....that areimmortal,evenasHeHimselfiseternalandimmortal"! OrigenprofessedtobeaPlatonist,"whobelievesinthe immortality of the soul"(Ante-NiceneFathers,vol.
AnotherinfluentialteacheratthecloseofthesecondcenturywasTertullianofPhoenicianNorth Africa. He wrote: "For somethingsareknownevenbynature;theimmortalityofthesoul,forinstance,isheldbymany....Imayuse,therefore,
the opinion of a Plato, when he declares, 'EVERY SOUL IS IMMORTAL"'(ibib.,vol.
Andsothe personal ideas of these influential men helped implantthe thinking of
the entire Christian professing world.
ButafewCatholicwritersandteachersaslateasthetimeofConstantine(A.D.280-337) condemned the change in doctrinefromChrist'steachings to those of Plato.
Here is the remonstration of Arnobius against those who were being "carried away
by an extravagant opinion of themselves, that souls are immortal .... Will you lay
aside your habitual arrogance,0men,whoclaimGodasyourFather,andmaintainthatyouareimmortal,justasHeis?(ibib.,vol. VI,p.440)
AfterthetimeofEmperorConstantine-whoforcedtheRomanEmpiretoacceptoneuniversalfaith-Augustine, another writerofNorthAfricanextraction,"sanctified"thedoctrineofthe immortality of the soul in his book,TheCityofGod. Alongcameotherwriters-allinfluencedbythewritingsofPlato,AristotleandVirgil-who dominated the philosophy
of Western "Christian" theology during the early Middle Ages.
Finally,ThomasAquinas (A.D. 1225-1274),Italianscholasticteacherandtheologian,stampedthedoctrineofthe immortality of the soul permanently on the Christian-professing
world. Butnotonlydidthisdoctrinebecomereligiousdogmainthemedievalworld,thosewhorejected it became branded as heretics!
"Whereas some have dared to assert concerning the nature of the reasonable
soul that it is mortal, we, withthe approbation of the sacred council, do
condemn and reprobate all those who assert that the intellectual soul is mortal,
seeing, according to the canon of Pope Clement V, that the soul is .... immortal
.... and we decree that all who adhere to like erroneous assertions shall be shunned
Thatmeantthatanywhotaughtthetruthweretobeturnedovertothecivilauthoritiesforpunishment. Andthe punishment was usually severe!
DuringtheReformation, some early Protestants tried to cast off the doctrine of
the immortality of the soul. Martin Luther declaredthattheBibledidnotteachtheimmortalityofthesoul(AnArgumentinDefenseofArticles....,Article27).
"Lutherheldthatthesouldied with the body, and that God would hereafter raise
both the one and the other"(Historical View,p.344).
"itisprobable, in my opinion, that, with very few exceptions, indeed, the dead
sleep in utter insensibility till the day of judgment....Onwhatauthoritycanitbesaidthatthesoulsofthedeadmaynotsleep....inthesamewaythattheliving passinprofound slumber the interval between their down lying at night and
their uprising in the morning?" (From Michelet's LifeofLuther,Bohn'sedition,p.133.)
Luther'soriginalteachingshaveneverceasedtoembarrassProtestanttheologianswhohavesincereadoptedthe teachings of ancient Egypt and Greece.
William Tyndale, the printer of the first New Testament in English and another of
the Reformers, wrote the following: "In puttingdepartedsoulsinheaven,hell,orpurgatoryyoudestroytheargumentswherewithChrist and Paul prove the resurrection....Thetruefaithputteththeresurrection;theheathenphilosophers,denyingthat,didputthatsoulsdidever live .... If the soul be in heaven, tell me what cause
is there for the resurrection?"
TheProtestantreformersfoundthepeopleunwillingtochangetheirbelief. Gradually,thereformersthemselvesgavein topopulartradition-traditionrootedinpaganphilosophyandspeculation! Andsomostchurchgoerstodaybelievethe doctrine oftheimmortality
of the soul simply becausetheyhaveunquestioninglyembracedthespeculationsthathavebeen passed down from ancient pagan philosophers!
TheApostlePaulwroteaboutthisverykindofspeculation:"Bewarelestanymanspoilyouthrough philosophyand vain deceit, after thetraditionofmen,after the
TheBible,asweshallsoonsee,isNOTthesourceofthewidely-acceptedbeliefintheimmortalityofthesoul. Surprisingasitmayseemtosome,theBibleplainlyteachesthatmanismortal-physical-fleshly-of the dust. And when he dies, he returns
to dust. Let's look into the Bible and PROVE what it really says and what it doesn’t
Isman an immortal soul in a material body? What does science have to say about
Sciencesimplyhasnoevidenceeither for or against the existence of an immortal
soul. Science deals only withphysical, materialsubstancesandphenomena-physicalmatterandenergy. ModernscienceislimitedentirelytotheMATERIAL world that
can be weighed and measured-to that which can be perceived by the five senses.
Thespiritualiscompletelyoutsidetherealmofphysicalscienceandisthereforenot subject to the "scientific method." Sciencecannotmeasure-hencecannotreveal-any
life apart from matter. And so all that man can know (apart from divine revelation)ismaterial. Butwhatsciencehaslearnedcanneverthelesshelpimmenselyinunderstanding
"living stuff" of the cells of both plants and animals, as well as man.
Thismuchalsoisdefinitelyknown:Individuals who "died" on the operating table
and then were revived through heart massageorothermeans,usuallyrememberabsolutelynothingabouttheinterveningtime! They"went"nowhere! They weresimplyunconscious.
However,somewhoweredeclared"clinically dead" have described sights and/or sounds
that caused them to conclude that they had glimpsed something of the "afterlife".
Just as some dreaming is compressed into a very brief time, so also these people
were merely dreaming or hallucinatinginthistwilightstateatthebrinkofdeath.
The Bible is the FOUNDATION of knowledge. In it the Creator God has revealed much
knowledge that is totally beyond man'sabilitytodiscoverforhimself-includingtheknowledgeandunderstandingofwhatmanis,as well as what he is to become.
Let's not assume. Let's look into the Bible to see what man really is.
1.OfwhatdidJesusChristsaymaniscomposed? John3:6,firstpart. Andisthatwhichis "born of spirit’ a totally different composition ? Same Verse.
COMMENTS: Man is composed of flesh. Jesus plainly says that if one is born of (and
therefore composed of) flesh, he cannotalsoatthesametimebebornof(composedof)spirit. Hemustbeoneortheother! So this verse alone is strong evidence
that man is not an immortal spiritual "soul" that lives in a body of mortal flesh
and blood. But let's continue.
2. WastheApostlePaulanimmortalsoulclothedwithabodyofflesh-ordidhespeakofhimselfandhisfleshas being synonymous? Rom. 7:18.
Heindicatedtheywereone and the same. (We will study some of Paul's other statements
Inordertounderstandwhethermanhas an immortal soul, let's go back to the creation
of the first man to see exactly what happened.
Godcreatedthefirstman. AndHetellsuswhatHemadehimfromsotherewouldbenodoubtastowhatwereallyare. Hereisthataccount as revealed in the Bible:
1. Out of what did God form man? Gen. 2:7. Notice that it was the man-not just
the body that was formed.
3. WasAdamsubjecttodeath? Gen.2:17,lastpart. Wasitthebodyonlythatwoulddie,orwasitthewhole conscious man-Adam-"thou"-that would die? Same
4. Whatonethingbefallsbothmanandbeast? Eccl.3:19. Isthisbecausebothhavethesametemporarysourceof life-the air we breathe? Same verse.
5. Do all men and animals alike go to the same place at death? Eccl.3:20.
COMMENT: Whenananimaldies,itisdead. Whenmandoes,heiscompletelydead,too. Andallmenand animals become dust once again.
COMMENT: TheHebrewwordruach,translated"spirit"inthisverse,alsomeanair,wind,breath. Itis translated27timesas"breath"intheAuthorizedorKingJamesVersion. ThreeexamplesareGenesis6:17;7:15and Lamentations4:20. Itisalsotranslated83timesas"wind."Thuswecanseethatruachhasaverybroadmeaning,and maybeappliedtoawidevarietyofthingswhosecommondenominatorisinvisibility.
It may mean "attitude" as well as "spirit", and with the word "holy" preceding,
it means the Holy Spirit of God.
When you take a breath of air, it passes through your trachea, into the lungs and
into little pockets or sacs called alveoli. Thereoxygenisabsorbedfromtheairandgoesintothebloodstream. Asthebloodflowsthroughthebloodvesselsfrom
thelungsonthewaybacktotheheart,andthenispumpedagainthroughoutthebody,theoxygeniscarriedbythered blood cells throughout the body to the individual
cells. Each of your more than 75 trillion cells uses oxygen to "burn" the foodyoueatto create the energy needed to power your organs and muscles and to maintain
body heat. The life of man clearlydependsontheblood,andthebloodneedsthebreathoflifetokeepthebodyalive.
Howclearthatwhenamanceasestobreathethebreathoflife,hisheartstopsbeatingandcirculatinghislife'sblood,and he dies. But then what happens?
1. After a person dies-becomeslifeless-does he still have a consciousexistencebecauseofanimmortalsoul? Eccl.9:5;Ps.
we can logically conclude that man does not have an immortal soul that is conscious
and aware of things happening around it afterdeath!
2. ArethedeadabletopraiseGod? Ps.115:17.
COMMENT:If dead Christians had immortal souls, wouldn't they be praising God after
they died, thankful to be with Him in paradise? Here, then, is more concrete evidence
thathuman beings do not have immortal souls.
3. Is there any remembrance of God in death? Ps. 6:5.
COMMENT: Death is theoppositeoflife. DeathistheCESSATIONofallactivity-theendoflife! Thatisthe reasondeadpeopledonotrememberordoanything. How
4. Is the "soul" something that can bedestroyed? Matt.10:28. Thendidn'tJesusplainlyshow that thesoulofmanisnotimmortal? Let'sunderstandexactlywhatJesuswastalkingabout.
COMMENT:Thereare thosewhousethisscripturetosupport the widespread belief
of the immortality of the soul.
Yet this verse plainly says the soul is something that can bedestroyedinhell!
Thus, whatever this "soul" is, it could NOT be immortal!
The New Testament Greek word here translated "soul" ispsuche. The Greek psuche
simply means "life","existence',just as does the Old Testament Hebrew wordnephesh.
In Matthew 10:28, the word soul refers to life that man cannot permanently destroy-butthatGodcan. Whatkindoflife could this be? ObviouslylifethatGodRESTORESbyaresurrection!
MancannotpermanentlydestroyalifethatGodrenewsbyaresurrection. Althoughmenmaykilltheirphysicalbodies, saidJesus,trueChristiansknowthatmencannottakefromthemeternallife,whichGodhaspromised to give them at the resurrection.
ButGODcanpermanentlydestroyallpossibilityofeternallife. How? Bycastingaphysicallyresurrected
Thisistheultimate penalty of sin (Rom.
The book of Luke makes the meaning plainer: "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall
fear: Fear him, which AFTER he hathkilledhathpowertocastintohell..'"(Luke12:5). Godnotonlyhasthepowertotakeour present physical life, but alsohasthepowertoresurrectusand-ifwehaveproventobedisobedientandincorrigible-to
cast us into the lake of fire, from which there will be NO future resurrection! (Rev.
Since man does not have an immortal soul, does this mean he is just an animal-here
today and gone tomorrow? Not at all. What is it that makes man different from the
animals? Let's understand the amazing truth!
1. WereanimalscreatedinGod'simage-orweretheycreatedeachafteritsownkind? Gen.1:21,24-25. Butwas man created in the "image" and "likeness" of
GOD? Verses 26-27. Wasmantoruleoverallothercreatures? Verse26.
COMMENT: TheHebrewwordsofGenesis1:26-27revealGod'sgreatplanand ultimate
purpose for mankind! WhenGodmoldedAdamofthedust,hewasshapedinthe"likeness"theoutwardformandshape-of God Himself. God didn'tformanyoftheothercreaturestobeclayreplicasofHimself. Thisuniqueformandshapewasgiven to humans alone!
NoticeagainthatGodsaid,"Letusmakemaninourimage...."The Hebrew indicates
far more than merely theoutward formandshapeofGod. "Image"alsoreferstomindandcharacter! Godintendedforman-to whom He gave a thinking, reasoningmind-to
develop the very mind and character ofGOD!
Animalsdonothavereasoning,self-consciousminds. Animalsfollowinstinctivehabit patterns in their feeding, nesting, migrationandreproduction. Godhas"programmed"theirbrains,sotospeak,withparticularinstinctive aptitudes. Thus beaversbuilddams,birdsbuildnests,etc. Theseaptitudesareinherited-theyarenottheresultoflogicalcognitive processes.
ConsiderthemillionsofbirdsthatflocksoutheachyearaswinterapproachesintheNorthernHemisphere. Theydon't stop to "reason" why, they don't ask themselves
whether they should, they don't "plan" an itinerary for the trip! At the appropriatetime-asifsignalledbythepresetalarmofaclock-theyleavetheirsummerfeedinggroundsinthenorthand travelmanythousandsofmilessouth. Scientistsdon'tfullyunderstandhoworwhy-theymerelyobservetheoperationof this amazing animalinstinct.
Eachspeciesorkindofbirdbuildsa different type of nest, feeds on different
foods, and many migrate at different times to differentplaces. Butnoneoftheseactionsisplannedbythebirds. Theyaremerelythecapabilityandproclivitythat AlmightyGodbuiltintotheinstinctof thesebirdsatcreation.
But man is vastly different. Man is able to perceive and understand various ways
to do any one thing. Man reasons from knowledge, draws conclusions, makes decisions,
can act according to a thought-outplan.
Eachmanmaybuildadifferenthouse,eatmanydifferentfoods-live an entirely different
way of life from other men. If a manwantstochangehiswayoflifehecan! Man
is not subject to instinct. He is not governed by a set of pre-determined habitpatternsasanimalsare.
Mancanchoose-hehasfreemoralagency. Hecandevisecodesofconductandexerciseself-discipline. Mancan originateideasandevaluatematerialknowledgebecausehehasa MIND that is patterned after God's own mind! Man can devise, plan, and
bring his plans to fruition because he has been given some of the very creative powers
Manalonecanwonder:WhywasIborn? Whatislife? Whatisdeath? Isthereapurposeinhuman existence? Man, unliketheanimals,notonly"knows"howtodocertainthings,buthealsoKNOWS thatheknows-thatis,heisawarethathe has"knowledge". Heis consciousofthefact. Heisself-conscious, aware of his own
existence as a unique being.
has shared some of His own qualities with mankind and intends that man develop the
"image" of GOD'Sperfectmindandholycharacter!
similar cerebral cortex complexity- but none has the powers of intellect, logic,
self-consciousness and creativity as man does. What gives man's brain these
unique abilities? AndwhatwillGoduse,afterthedeathandcompletedissolutionofthephysicalbody and brain, to reproduceeach individual at the resurrection?
1. Since man has no immortal soul within him that enables him to live on apart
from his body after death (remember manisaMORTALsoul),doestheBiblespeakofa"spiritINman"? Job32:8;Zech12:l;1Corinthians.2:9-14. Notice especially
Holy Spirit of God? Same verses in I Corinthians2.
COMMENT: Thisspiritisnottheman-itisspiritessencefromGodthatisINtheman. Joinedwiththe physicalbrainoftheman,itformsthehumanMIND. Itimpartstoman'sbrainhisuniquepowersofintellectand personality-theabilitytothinkrationallyandmakefreewilldecisions. Itimpartstheabilitytolearnmathematics,
languages or other types of physical knowledge. Butthatisall!
Becauseofthisspiritualelement,theBibleoftenusestheword"spirit"simplytomeanman'smind,intelligence, attitude. To distinguish this "spirit in man" from
mere physical breath, the book of Job continues in context to use two separate Hebrew
2. When a person dies, does this totally non-conscious "spirit in man" return
to God who gave it? Eccl. 12:7.
COMMENT: Thisspiritineachindividual,ofnecessity,doesmorethanmerelyimpartthepowerofintellectto thephysicalbrain. Itbecomesaspiritual"recording"and"mold"oftheentireperson-even to preserving memory, knowledge, character and
outward appearance. And so when a person dies, that spirit "recording" returns to
God and is "filed"awayuntilthetimeGodwill"replay"ittobringabout the resurrection
of the identical personality to life and consciousness. Yet while filed away, it
has no consciousness of its own.
Why haven't you heard this truth before? Simply because the whole world has been
3. Canthehumanmind-havingonlythis"spiritofman"-understandthespiritualthings of God? I Cor. 2:11. What must be added before a man can comprehend spiritually-revealedknowledge? Sameverse.
COMMENT: Thespiritualcannotbeseenwiththeeye,heardwiththeear,feltwiththehands. Thehuman mind, which can receive knowledge only through the physical
senses, can never really comprehend spiritual concepts and principleswithouttheHolySpiritofGod. YourBibleshowsthatthegreatestmindscannotreallycometoknowand understandSPIRITUALtruthswiththeirnaturalminds.
or understandhumanaffairs,sono human mind can have comprehension of spiritual
things on the divine planeunlessanduntilit has received the Holy Spirit of God!
(More about the function and receiving of the Holy Spirit will be covered in a forthcoming
and pervert it long ago. He clouded the mindsofmenanddeceivedthemintobelievinghis"biglie"asfarbackasthetimeofAdamandEve. In the Garden of Eden, Satan
deceived Eve. Notice what happened:
1. WhatdidSatantellEve? Gen.3:4.
COMMENT: Here was theoriginof the "immortality of the soul" doctrine believed
by so many today! Satan toldEveshewould"notsurelydie"-in other words, she
had an "immortal soul" that would live forever. Eve swallowed this lie-hook,line,andsinker!
Satan has deceived the world with a COUNTERFEIT doctrine that perverts the truth
about the "spirit in man." With his cunning counterfeit, Satan has withheld from
the minds of BILLIONS the truth about the "spirit in man," and the need for a resurrection
from the dead!
We have clearly seen that the Bible does not teach the immortality of the soul. What,
then,doesthe Bible teach about immortality?
1. According to I Timothy 6:15-16, who has immortality inherently?
2. IsGodalsoincorruptible? ITim.1:17.
COMMENT: TheGreekwordtranslated"immortal"hereisaphthartos,meaning "incorruptible."
God is incorruptible. Manisnot.
3. NowturntoICorinthians15:53and54. Dotheseversessaythatmanisalreadyimmortal? What must manputon? Verse53.Whenwill man be "clothed"
with immortality? Verse 52. Does this happen at the time of the resurrection when
Jesus returns to earth? 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
4. Whobroughttomankindtheknowledgeofhowtoreceiveeternallifeandimmortality(incorruption)? 2Tim. 1:10. Doesn't this verse plainly show that immortality
is something man does notalreadyhave? Then isthe Gospel also the good news about
how to receive immortality? Same verse.
5. Is immortality to besoughtfor? Rom. 2:7. Is eternal life a free gift
bestowed on those who seek immortality? Same verse and Romans 6:23.
6. WasDavid,kingofIsrael,stillaliveasanimmortalsoulafterhedied? Acts2:29,34. Will heberaisedfromthedead? Jeremiah.30:9.
Ifmanwereanimmortalsoulinamaterialbody-andifthedeathofthebodyreleasedthesoul-then there would be no need foraresurrection to immortal life. Man would
merely continue living after death. But the very fact that the Bible teaches the
resurrection from the dead isfurther proof that man does not have an immortal soul!
1. If Christ had not risen from the dead, wouldfaithinafuturelifebyaresurrectionbeallinvain? ICorinthians.15:14-17. If there will be no resurrection,
have those who are dead in their graves perished forever? Verse 18.
2. However, did Christ Himself warn that the unregenerate-unrepentant-man istoperish?
Luke 13:3, 5. If man were an immortal soul, could he actually "perish"? (See in your
dictionary that the word "perish" means to CEASE living.)
3. Whowillhearthe voice of the Son of God at the resurrection? John
5:25. Do they then "rise"? IThess.4:16.
COMMENT: Thedeadcannot"hear"unlesstheyarefirstrestoredtolife! The
dead are pictured throughout the Bibleasbeingasleepin their graves, awaiting
the day of the resurrection. Notice Jesus' words when describing the death of Lazarus,thebrotherofMaryandMartha:
"OurfriendLazarussleeps;butI go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said
his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shalldowell. HowbeitJesusspakeofHisdeath:but they thought that he had spoken of taking ofrest in sleep. Then said Jesusuntothemplainly,Lazarusisdead"(John11:11-14).
the graves were opened; and many bodiesofthesaintswhichsleptarose'(Matt.27:52).
"and when thy days be fulfilled," said God to David, "and thou shalt sleepwiththyfathers..."(11Sam.7:12).
Deathisdescribedasasleepdozens of times in the Bible when referring to the
kings of Israel and Judah! "Davidslept withhisfathers..."(IKings2:10). Noticethatitdoesnotsay"thebodysleptwhilethesoulwasconscious."Itplainly says,"Davidslept." It was the conscious person who fell "asleep" in death!
In the following verses the same expression is used to describe death. Look up each
one and see for yourself that death is comparedtoasleep:IKings11:21,43;14:20,31;15:8,24;16:6,28;22:40,50;11Kings8:24;10:35;13:9,13;14:16,
COMMENT: This plainly shows that Adam and Eve did not have immortalityinherentinthemselves!
The"treeoflife"symbolizedtheHolySpirit-thewaytoeternallife. Adamwascreatedincomplete. Hewascreatedto need the Holy Spirit of God in order to live
forever. Adam, however, had to choose whether or not he would accept the free giftoftheHolySpirit. Hechose(ITim.2:14,firstpart),bydisobeyingGod,nottoreceivetheHolySpiritandwas consequentlycutofffromaccesstothetreeoflife! Hereisyetanotherproofthatnomanhaseternallifeinherentwithin
Dotheseversescontradictallof the plain scriptures we have studied? Let's understand
what the Apostle Paul meant.
1. Did Paul have a desiretobewithChrist? Phil.1:23.
COMMENT: AllChristiansshouldhavethesamedesire. ButdoesthisversestatewhenPaulwouldbewith Christ? Absolutelynot! Butpeopletrytoreadcertainideasintothisverse! Let'snoticewhenPaulexpectedtobe with Christ.
Corinthians5:9:"Whereforewelabour[whileyetalive],that,whetherpresent[aliveintheflesh]orabsent[deadinthe grave] we may be acceptedofhim."
The Apostle Paul often wrote about the resurrection of Christians at the Second Coming
of Jesus Christ, and about the rewardstheywillreceiveatthattime. PaulexpectedtoreceivetherewardofhislaboursandtobewithChristatthe resurrectionfromthedead-the awesome event to which every true Christian eagerly looks forward!
There are some who claim that man is "body, soul and spirit," misunderstanding Thessalonians
5:23. But they never seem quite sure which of thetwo-thesoulorthespirit-is
immortal! Let's understand this expression.
COMMENT: Does this verse really contradict all theplainverses we have already
studied? Paul here refers to the spirit in man as the non-physical component in
the human brain that gives the brain in man a God-plane power of intellect. And
to the mental processes of the physical life when he used the word "soul". And to
the flesh or physical being when heusedtheword"body".
What's wrong with having yourbody,mindandspiritpreserved blameless-preserved
from the penalty of sin-in anticipation of the coming of Christ? (See also 2Corinthians
7:1.) That is something we should all fervently desire! HowplaintheBiblereallyis. ManisMORTAL,corruptibleflesh-organic matter with a temporary life. He
does not have eternal life inherent within himself. He does not have an "immortal
soul"! He is a physical, fleshly creature destined todieandturntodustandremainthatway-exceptfortheinterventionoftheAlmighty-except for the resurrection
from the dead!