Dead and after
“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth the beasts; even one thing befalleth them all: AS THE ONE DIETH, SO DIETH THE OTHER. Yea, they have all one breath, so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again” (Ecc 3: 19,20).
Solomon now repeats a question which must have been asked in his day: “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” (Ecc 3:21). Solomon does not answer his question for he has already given the answer in verse 20, when he said “ALL GO”. We know that none of us has the power to retain ‘the breath of life’. When God takes away the life-sustaining agency, man and beast both die. Solomon put it this way: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecc 12:7). If the words “the spirit shall return unto God” mean that the supposed immortal soul goes to heaven, then, since all living creatures have the same ‘breath of life’ or ‘spirit’, the souls of beasts and all creeping things must go to heaven too, for it is written ‘ALL go to one place’ and, “Man hath no pre-eminence above a beast”.
However unpalatable this may be, it is at least in keeping with the curse put upon Adam, for he was told, “dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19). It is also in keeping with what Paul said, “For as in Adam ALL DIE:” (1 Cor 15:22). It also agrees with the following testimony from the Bible:
“For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” (Psalm 6:5).
“Let me not be ashamed, 0 Lord, for I have called upon thee:
Let the wicked be ashamed and let them be silent in THE GRAVE” (Psalm 31;17).
“What profit is there in my blood, when I GO DOWN TO THE PIT?
Shall the DUST praise thee? Shall it declare thy truth?” (Psalm 20,0)_
“O spare me, that I may recover strength before I go hence, and be no more” (Psalm 39: 13).
“What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the grave?” (Psalm 89:48).
“The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence” (Psalm 115: 17).
• ”While I live I will praise the Lord: I will sing praise unto my God while I have any being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish” (Psalm 146:2-4).
“For the living know that they shall die but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten” (Ecclesiastes 9: 5).
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might: for there is no work, nor device, not knowledge, nor wisdom, in the graves whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9: 10).
“For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth” (Is 38: 18).
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).
The foregoing are a few of the very many passages that could be quoted to show that when a man dies, he goes to OBLIVION and not to another form of life. Yet the doctrine of the immortality of the SOul is so ingrained in people that they tend to ignore such passages, without trying to show that they mean something else. Such people say that life is in the ‘soul’ without adducing any passage in scripture to prove it. On this point, the Bible says “For the life of the flesh is In THE BLOOD” (Leviticus 17: 11) .
·Many people may be disinclined to believe what we have said and quoted, because all the testimony so far has been taken from the 0ld Testament. We must nor forget, however, that whether we quote from the Old or the New Testament, it is all the WORD OF GOD. If we deny the truth of those passages, then we shall deny the truth which God has caused to be written. If we cannot believe what the Bible says, then we have the alternatives of telling God that He is wrong, or closing up the book altogether and taking no further notice of it. We must be fair to all opinions, so we shall now turn to the New Testament.
WHAT DID JESUS PREACH?
Jesus preached many things, but where the state of the dead was concerned, he preached THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. preaching this, he gave no suggestion or hint that the soul went to heaven at death. When Jesus came to the house where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived - for Lazarus was dead - Martha said “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day” John 11: 24. Jesus had just told her this (“Thy brother shall rise again” verse 23) but he made no mention of a soul which had gone to heaven, yet: Lazarus by that time had been dead for four days. If his soul had gone to heaven, surely Jesus would have done him a disfavour by bringing his soul back again to suffer all the tribulations of a mortal life. It was one of the major themes of Jesus’ teaching that he would raise the dead at the LAST DAY. In one particular chapter from John he is quoted as referring to it four times:
“Should raise it up again at the last day” John 6:39. “I will raise him up at the last day” verse 40.
“I will raise him up at the last day” verse 44
“I will raise him up at the last day” verse 54.
The word ‘him’ is personal and refers to the believer. He is to be raised up. No matter how we may try to adjust those passages to fit the soul theory, we cannot escape the fact that the believer is to be raised up and the raising up is to be done at “the last day”. In no way whatsoever does it mean that the soul will be brought DOWN to be united with a raised body.