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Immortal Soul of Man

Thesis: To instruct the hearers concerning what the word of God teaches concerning the nature of mankind, and to expose errors taught by some concerning this matter.

 

Text: 2 Cor 4:16-5:1

2Co 4:16  So (therefore) we do not lose heart. Though our outer self (lit. man) is wasting away (decaying; perishing), our inner self (lit. man) is being renewed day by day.

2Co 4:17  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

2Co 4:18  as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient (temporal), but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2Co 5:1  For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

 

Introduction,

  1. This passage speaks of one’s inward self (lit. man), the spirit, sometimes referred to as the soul; the bible plainly teaches that man (mankind; humans) possesses a spirit, soul and body, as seen in 1 Thess 5:23 (turn there) . . .

 

1Th 5:23  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

  1. The word “soul” is sometimes used to identify one’s spirit (look at Mt 10:28).

 

Mat 10:28  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy (lose; ANT) both soul and body in hell.

 

  1. Or sometimes the word “soul” refers to that life force which animates one’s body (turn to Gen 2:7).

 

Gen 2:7  Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (lit. “soul”) NASB.

 

  1. Or even sometimes the word “soul” refers to a person in general (1 Pet 3:20b-21).

 

1Pe 3:20b  . . . when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

1Pe 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: (ASV)

 

  1. The word “soul” in the OT and NT is defined as thus . . .

OT. . .

BDB Definition: Nephesh; neh'-fesh

1) soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion

1a) that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man

1b) living being

1c) living being (with life in the blood)

1d) the man himself, self, person or individual

1e) seat of the appetites

1f) seat of emotions and passions

1g) activity of mind

1g1) dubious

1h) activity of the will

1h1) dubious

1i) activity of the character

1i1) dubious

 

NT. . .

Thayer Definition: psuchē; psoo-khay'

1) breath

1a) the breath of life

1a1) the vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing

1a1a) of animals

1a1b) of men

1b) life

1c) that in which there is life

1c1) a living being, a living soul

2) the soul

2a) the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.)

2b) the (human) soul in so far as it is constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life

2c) the soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (distinguished from other parts of the body)

 

  1. Thus the context has to dictate the usage of the word, but when they (soul and spirit) are used together (as in Thess 5:23; Heb 4:12) a distinction between the two has to be recognized (turn to Heb 4:12) . . .

 

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

a.       “Spirit and soul” “joints and marrow” “thoughts and intentions” all are closely related, hard to separate, yet God’s words cuts so deep, it is so sharp, that it is able to separate even these.

 

  1. The spirit/soul of a person is the part of man that continues to live beyond this physical life, thus the bible teaches that the spirit of a person is immortal, incorruptible (look at 1 Pet 3:3-4).

 

1Pe 3:3  Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—

1Pe 3:4  but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable (incorruptible) beauty (apparel) of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

 

  1. The word “beauty” or “apparel” here has been added to the text, the word “imperishable” or “incorruptible” here is aphthartos (af'-thar-tos) modifies the word “spirit” here, of which Strong’s states . . . 

“From G1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of G5351; undecaying (in essence or continuance): - not (in-, un-) corruptible, immortal.” (“Incorruptible” 6 times, “immortal” 1 time; ASV)

 

  1. Generally speaking the difference between the words “immortal” and “eternal” is that the entity which is “eternal” has no beginning, nor an end, it continues for ever, such as is God (Ps 90:2).

 

Psa 90:2  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

 

  1. While on the other hand the word “immortal” does denote a beginning, thus the spirit of a person has a beginning, one school of thought is it is formed within a person by God when life begins, when that person is conceived (turn to Zech 12:1).

 

Zec 12:1  The burden (oracle) of the word of the LORD concerning Israel: Thus declares the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, (NASB)

 

  1. And the spirit goes back to God at physical death (Ja 2:26)

 

Jas 2:26  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

 

  1. This is the position I held for a good amount of time, but after obtaining and reading some other ancient Hebrew books (the Book of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Wisdom of Solomon), I have concluded that Zech 12:1 is speaking of God forming our spirits within us through His word, through experiences He allows to come upon us, and so forth, it is not speaking of God “creating” our spirits within us, Gen 2:1 teaches us that God’s creating has ceased concerning the things of this world (look at Gen 2:1-2) . . .

 

Gen 2:1  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Gen 2:2  And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

 

  1. In the Book of Jubilees we learn that God created all the spirits of everything in Heaven and on earth on the 1st day of creation (Jubilees 2:2) . . .

 

2 For on the first day He created the heavens which are above and the earth and the waters and all the spirits which serve before him −the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels [of the spirit of fire and the angels] of the spirit of the winds, and the angels of the spirit of the clouds, and of darkness, and of snow and of hail and of hoar frost, and the angels of the voices and of the thunder and of the lightning, and the angels of the spirits of cold and of heat, and of winter and of spring and of autumn and of summer and of all the spirits of his creatures which are in the heavens and on the earth, (He created) the abysses and the darkness, eventide (and night), and the light, dawn and day, which He hath  prepared in the knowledge of his heart.

 

  1. The Book of Genesis gives us a lot of information, but it does not discuss when say for instance the angels were created, and we know that they were created, for an entity is either God or creation (Gen 1:1), the Book of Jubilees reveals some of that missing information along with the information about the spirits of all God’s creatures on the earth, it seems that the spirits all the creatures on earth were created on the 1st day and must have remained in Heaven (with God) somewhere, where and how the book does not reveal (Jewish tradition states that the spirits are in the 7th heaven).

 

  1. Also in Wisdom 8:19-20 Solomon states thus . . .

 

Wis 8:19 As a child I was naturally gifted, and a good soul fell to my lot;

Wis 8:20 or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.

 

  1. So the spirit seems to be given to each body when life begins, when it is conceived (Zech 12:1), then it goes back into the hands of God when the body experiences physical death; Ja 2:26 (look at Eccl 12:7; Luke 23:46; Acts 2:31; 7:59).

 

Ecc 12:7  and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

 

a.       Note that the spirit returns to God Who “gave” it, not “created” it or “formed” it, implying that it was merely “given” not created.

 

b.      Some of this knowledge (the Book of Jubilees) is where some Mormon doctrines come from, and some of that might be correct, but not likely most of it, (turn to Lk 23:46) . . .

 

Luk 23:46  And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he gave up the ghost (ekpneo). (ASV)

 

c.       Here we see our Lord, Who became like us so we could have the living hope of following Him commending or committing His spirit to God at death, “the spirit goes back to God Who gave it” (Eccl 12:7), but what does the Father do with Jesus’ spirit? Acts 2:31 gives us the answer (turn there; Acts 2:31-33) . . .

 

Act 2:31  he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

Act 2:32  This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.

Act 2:33  Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.

 

d.      God put Jesus’ spirit in Hades, while His flesh (His body) didn’t decay while the two (body and spirit) were separated (Ja 2:26), then they were rejoined (maybe through the agency of angels; Lk 16:22), resurrected (raised up), and then He ascended into Heaven (Mk 16:19; Acts 1:9-11), He is our Forerunner (Heb 6:20) our Living Hope (1 Pet 1:3-4), Christ the first-fruits of the resurrection from  the dead never to die again, and those that are Christ’s at His coming (1 Cor 15:23)!

 

  1. Also the bible does not teach that it (the spirit) of the just nor of the unjust ceases to exist at death or after death, this can be seen in the Lord’s accounting of the Judgment Day in Mt 25 (look there; Mt 25:41, 46)

 

Mat 25:41  "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Mat 25:46  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

 

  1. Just as long as the life is, so is the punishment, eternal, never ending

 

  1. Also we can look at those who partook in emperor worship in the 1st century in Rev 14:9-11 and see that this also affirms this, their punishment is never ending (look there; Rev 14:9-11).

 

Rev 14:9  And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

Rev 14:10  he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

Rev 14:11  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."

 

  1. For the bible teaches that death is not the end of one’s existence, but merely a separation (look at Ja 2:26)

 

Jas 2:26  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

 

  1. Therefore “physical death” is a separation of body and spirit/soul, and in like manner “spiritual death” is also a separation between man and God (turn to Isa 59:1-2).

 

Isa 59:1  Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;

Isa 59:2  but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

 

  1. Man is created in the image of the God (the Godhead) turn to Gen 1:26-27.

 

Gen 1:26  Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 

  1. “In our image, after our likeness” is an example of Hebrew parallelism, these statements mean the same thing, in what sense are we made in God’s image? Does man’s physical body look like God’s? The bible teaches that God is a Spirit (look at John 4:24; 1 Cor 15:50).

 

Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

 

  1. And that He is not flesh and blood (turn to Mt 16:17).

 

Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

 

  1. For a spirit does not have flesh and blood, nor bones (look at Luke 24:39).

 

Luk 24:39  See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."

 

  1. God is referred to as the Father of our spirits (Heb 12:9).

 

Heb 12:9  Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

 

  1. Therefore man is not so much made in the physical image of God seeing that He has no actual physical body (flesh, blood, bones, ect); yet certain manifestations have been brought about throughout time in order that His creatures may perceive Him with their limited faculties, these are known as “Theophanies” (“God-visions”) in these God is pictured in the shape of humans, so, in a sense we are shaped like God (turn to Ezek 1:26; 43:6).

 

Eze 1:26  And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance.

Eze 1:27  And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.

Eze 1:28  Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

 

  1. Yet God in His true state, cannot, nor has ever been, seen by human eyes, as stated in (John 1:18).

 

Joh 1:18  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (ASV)

 

  1. John said at the 2nd coming we will see Him (1 Jn 3:2-3) . . .

 

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

1Jn 3:3  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

 

  1. Job declared that in the next life, then would he be able to see God (Job 19:26).

 

Job 19:26  And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God; (ASV)

 

  1. And this fact is affirmed in Rev 22:3-4 where we are given a picture of the redeemed eternally with God (turn there).

 

Rev 22:3  And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall serve him;

Rev 22:4  and they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads.

 

  1. Therefore man seems to be shaped like God (Ezek 1:26), man has a spirit (Job 32:8), man has the ability to think, reason, understand, plan, and be creative (Isa 1:18); God has these same attributes, in these areas man has been made in God’s image. It seems that our fellow creatures also have spirits, yet they haven’t been given the other attributes of God, the abilities to think, reason, plan, and be creative, they have what we call instinct, they are on automatic, so to speak.

 

  1. Also God is infinitely holy and pure, when a person comes into being (when body and soul unite in his mother’s womb), he also is holy and pure, spiritually, intellectually and morally, he is free from sin, again in the image of God; through sin man loses this part of the Divine image; it is only as one believes and is renewed through the gospel that he regains that part of the image that was lost, as seen in (Eph 4:23-24; Col 3:10).

 

Eph 4:23  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,

Eph 4:24  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

Col 3:10  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

 

  1. In this lesson we will look at some of the texts which some use to assert that one’s spirit (soul) is not immortal, we will expose the fallacies of these assertions, and then we will look at some of the texts that prove that the spirit continues past this life on into eternity, therefore we will look at . . .

 

1)      The False Assertion Concerning the Spirit of Man (Eccl 9:3-6; Ps 146:3-4; Ezek 18:20)

2)      The Truth Concerning the Spirit of Man (1 Sam 25:1; 28:8-15; Isa 13:9-11; Deut 34:5; Mt 17:1-5; Luke 16:19-31; 20:37-38; Gen 5:24; Heb 11:5; 2 Ki 2:11; 1 Cor 15:50; Rev 6:9-11; 2 Cor 12:2-4)

 

I. THE FALSE ASSERTION CONCERNING THE SPIRIT OF MAN (Eccl 9:3-6; Ps 146:3-4; Ezek 18:20)

A. Turn to (Eccl 9:3-6)

Ecc 9:3  This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Ecc 9:4  For to him that is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

Ecc 9:5  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.

Ecc 9:6  As well their love, as their hatred and their envy, is perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun. (ASV)

 

There is a certain religious organization that asserts that this passage teaches that the soul (spirit) of a person ceases to exist after death, they state “showing that death is a total state of unconsciousness, the bible says ‘for the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.’”

 

  1. But in this context the statement about the dead being “unaware of anything” (as well as all that it is speaking of) is limited by and applied to the qualifying phrase “under the sun,” this is far from saying that the dead are totally unconscious, the text simply affirms that the dead do not know anything that is going on back on earth (“under the sun”).

 

B. Look at (Ps 146:3-4)

Psa 146:3  Put not your trust in princes, Nor in the son of man (this is talking about man in general not Christ), in whom there is no help.

Psa 146:4  His breath (or “spirit’” ruach; pneuma; LXX; NKJV) goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; In that very day his thoughts (“plans”; ESV; NKJV) perish. (ASV)

 

Psa 146:3  Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

Psa 146:4  When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. (ESV)

 

Concerning this passage, this group states “when a person dies, the bible explains ‘his spirit goes out, he goes back to the ground; in that day his thoughts perish.’”

 

  1. In this context it is speaking of the ever appearing problem of the nation of Israel, who oftentimes put their trust in men, instead of God. For men, are not like God, nor can they provide the help that God can, men experience physical death, their bodily functions cease, their bodies go back to the dust whence it came, and their spirit goes back to God Who gave it, in that day all man’s “thoughts” (“eshtonoth” this word only occurs once in the bible; the ASV has the word “purposes” in the marginal reading, the ESV; NKJV translate it “plans”) perish, all his “purposes” his schemes, projects and helps upon this earth come to an end, they are nipped in the bud, thus he (man) is weak and not to be depended upon; while on the other hand God does not change (Mal 3:6), and He can be counted on even beyond this physical realm, therefore we need to trust in Him no matter what the situation, not in the arm of flesh which will fail us.

 

    1. Therefore this text does not teach that a man is totally unconscious after death, but rather it teaches that a man’s schemes, aspirations perish when he dies, he is no longer alive on earth to carry out those intentions, this harmonizes perfectly with all the other statements in the bible that teach that a man has a soul (spirit) that departs from the body at the moment of physical death (Ja 2:26) which goes back to God Who gave it (Eccl 12:7).

 

C. Turn to (Ezek 18:4)

Eze 18:4  Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth (keeps on sinning), it shall die. (ASV)

 

Eze 18:4  Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins (keeps on sinning) shall die. (ESV)

 

Concerning this passage those that teach this false doctrine state “the bible says: ‘the soul that sinneth, it itself will die (Ezek 18:4), nowhere does the bible teach that man has an immortal soul that survives the death of the body.’” (Remember 1 Pet 3:4; “the incorruptible [immortal] apparel of a meek and quiet spirit”).

 

  1. But the word “death” does not mean “a ceasing of existence,” even in the case of the physical body, it doesn’t cease to exist, it is simply void of its spirit and bodily functions, thus it begins to corrupt, decompose, to turn into something else (the dust of the ground), but is surely does not cease to exist.

 

    1. The word “death” simply means a “separation” either between body and spirit (physical death; Ja 2:26), or between man and God (spiritual death; Isa 59:2).

 

    1. And in this context the word “soul” simply refers to the entire person (spirit, soul and body) as it does in 1 Pet 3:20 “eight souls were saved by water,” look at verse 20 (Ezek 18:20) . . .

 

Eze 18:20  The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (ASV)

 

Eze 18:20  The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. (ESV)

 

  1. This passage is not speaking about the soul ceasing to exist, but rather it is talking about those that were in Babylonian captivity, they deserved it, they sinned, therefore they were being punished, they were not being punished for their ancestors sins, nor were they responsible for them, and that includes Adam’s and Eve’s. Thus they were separated from God and reaping what “they” sowed, not what “another” sowed, look at verses 21-23 (Ezek 18:21-23).

 

Eze 18:21  But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Eze 18:22  None of his transgressions that he hath committed shall be remembered against him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

Eze 18:23  Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? saith the Lord Jehovah; and not rather that he should return from his way, and live? (ASV)

 

Eze 18:21  "But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

Eze 18:22  None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live.

Eze 18:23  Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? (ESV)

 

  1. If they would be truly repentant, and obey the commands of God, they would no longer be separated from God, (spiritually dead; Isa 59:2), but rather they would be alive, joined to God, Who would comfort them in their times of hardship through hope in this life looking unto the next.

 

    1. If this is talking about one’s literal soul ceasing to exist, how would that soul (in this context) return from his wicked way and live (seeing that they assert this is talking about physical death of the body and ending of one’s spirit), is this also talking about a literal resurrection? No! But it would have to be if these assertions were true, but they are not.

 

    1. But this is talking about a spiritual resurrection by the children of God returning back to God and being made alive spiritually by believing and walking in His commands, this same is possible for us today, when we hear, believe, and obey the gospel of Christ (turn to John 5:24-25).

 

Joh 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Joh 5:25  "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

 

    1.  Therefore let us hear, believe, and obey God’s commands from the heart, which results in spiritual life (John 6:63), and not have our faith overthrown by these door to door heretics, who are similar to the Sadducees who also denied the immortal spirit of a person (Acts 23:8), of whom Jesus said (Mt 22:29).

 

Mat 22:29  …"You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

 

II. THE TRUTH CONCERNING THE SPIRIT OF MAN (1 Sam 28:3-19; Deut 34:4-6; Mt 17:1-5; Luke 16:19-31; 20:37-38; Gen 5:24; Heb 11:5; 2 Ki 2:11; 1 Cor 15:50; Rev 6:9-11; 2 Cor 12:2-4).

 

In this section we will look at some passages that without a doubt, teach that the spirit (soul) of a person (both the righteous and the unrighteous) lives beyond the state of physical death (that separation of body and spirit; Ja 2:26).

 

A. Turn to (1 Sam 28:3-19)

1Sa 28:3  Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land.

1Sa 28:4  The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa.

1Sa 28:5  When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.

1Sa 28:6  And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets.

1Sa 28:7  Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "Behold, there is a medium at En-dor."

1Sa 28:8  So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, "Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you."

1Sa 28:9  The woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?"

1Sa 28:10  But Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing."

1Sa 28:11  Then the woman said, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" He said, "Bring up Samuel for me."

1Sa 28:12  When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul."

1Sa 28:13  The king said to her, "Do not be afraid. What do you see?" And the woman said to Saul, "I see a god (divine being; ISV; Jn 10:34-35; Ps 82:6; magistrates, judges, leaders) coming up out of the earth."

1Sa 28:14  He said to her, "What is his appearance?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe." And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.

1Sa 28:15  Then Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me (Heb 4:9-11) by bringing me up (Eph 4:9-10)?" Saul answered, "I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams (Isa 59:2). Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do."

1Sa 28:16  And Samuel said, "Why then do you ask me, since the LORD has turned from you and become your enemy (Ja 4:4)?

1Sa 28:17  The LORD has done to you as he spoke by me (Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18), for the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David.

1Sa 28:18  Because you did not obey the voice of the LORD and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you this day.

1Sa 28:19  Moreover, the LORD will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me (Lk 16:23). The LORD will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines."

 

There is a lot that can be commented on concerning this passage, but we will put that aside for know, the main thing that I want you to make note of is that Samuel was physically dead (v 3), his death is recorded in 1 Sam 25:1.

 

1Sa 25:1  Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah. Then David rose and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

 

  1. Yet here we see Samuel and Saul engaged in a discussion at En-dor, clearly Samuel is still in existence, even though his body is buried at Ramah and is currently decomposing.

 

    1. And note the language Samuel uses, “why have you disturbed (disquieted) me,” (v 15) Luke 16:25 teaches us that in Hades (Sheol) the redeemed are comforted, I believe this is that Sabbath day rest promised for the people of God (Heb 4:9-10), thus this interruption is a disquieting, disturbing action to Samuel, note also that those considered wicked in the sight of God are also there (in Hades/Sheol) yet in torments (Luke 16:23), of which we might consider Saul seeing that the LORD has departed or turned from him (v 16).

 

    1. “By bringing me up” (v 15) here also is in harmony with the bible teaching concerning the Hadean realm, which is often depicted as being beneath the earth, while Heaven is pictured as being above the earth, this again is in perfect harmony with what the bible teaches concerning those that have experienced physical death, as in the case of Christ Who went to Hades (Acts 2:27, 31; Luke 23:43), and then ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:9-11); look at Eph 4:8-10.

 

Eph 4:8  Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men."

Eph 4:9  (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?

Eph 4:10  He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

 

B. Turn to (Deut 34:4-6)

Deu 34:4  And the LORD said to him, "This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, 'I will give it to your offspring (seed).' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there."

Deu 34:5  So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD (Heb 9:27),

Deu 34:6  and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial (sepulchre) to this day.

 

Here we have the account of the death of Moses, clearly the bible states that he died, he was not allowed to go into the promised land because he did not believe, thus obey, nor glorify God at the waters of Meribah (Num 20:8, 11-12, 24), yet what some want to teach us is that a person that experiences physical death does not have an immortal soul that continues to function as a living entity, turn your bibles to Mt 17:1-5. . .

 

Mat 17:1  And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

Mat 17:2  And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.

Mat 17:3  And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

Mat 17:4  And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents (tabernacles) here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah."

Mat 17:5  He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."

 

  1. Clearly Moses was still in existence during the earthly ministry of Christ, even though his body has long ago returned to the dust whence it came, here we see Moses and Elijah (who was one who did not taste death, but was translated directly into Heaven; 2 Ki 2:11, as was Enoch; Gen 5:24) talking with Jesus (Mt 17:3), they were able to logically reason and converse, surely this is not a deception by God, neither was the account of Samuel, God cannot and does not lie (Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18), God’s word is Truth (John 17:17), not a lie, again the immortal soul deniers are having to twist a lot of scripture to explain away all this, and that to their own destruction (2 Pet 3:16).

 

C. Turn to (2 Cor 12:2-4)

2Co 12:2  I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up even to the third heaven.

2Co 12:3  And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from the body, I know not; God knoweth),

2Co 12:4  how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. (ASV)

 

2Co 12:2  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.

2Co 12:3  And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—

2Co 12:4  and he heard things that cannot be told (unspeakable words), which man may not (is not lawful to) utter. (ESV)

 

Most bible scholars conclude that Paul here is describing himself, many believe that this took place when he was stoned at Lystra during his 1st missionary journey in Acts 14:9, and that he actually died at this time (I believe he partook of what is referred to the 1st resurrection; Rev 20:4-6; the martyrs resurrection of the soul directly to Heaven, note that he was “caught up” where Heaven is pictured), but he wasn’t sure if he died or not, in other words “if he was in his body or not” (this is what we refer to today as a NDE; Near Death Experience; it seems like Paul must have been told not to reveal what he heard, many partake of this today and do reveal what they heard and seen, and I believe most of them are profitable for the Christian to hear).

 

  1. What! Experiencing things without a physical body, how could that be? Yet he was coherent, he “heard unspeakable words” that implies that other entities were there speaking. How could Paul believe such a heinous doctrine, hearing, speaking, and comprehending? Not only did he believe it, he partook in it, it is the truth, and it is the truth that will make you free (John 8:32), not the teachings of men (Col 2:8).

 

Col 2:8  See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

  1. A careful study will also reveal that comforts, Abraham’s bosom (side), Hades, the Abyss, Tartarus, and Sheol are all words in the bible that speak of the Hadean realm (Luke 16:22-23; 23:43; Acts 2:31; 2 Cor 12:4; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 9:1-2; ect), while the 3rd  Heaven is God’s dwelling place, yet the word “Paradise” is used of both (Lk 23:43; 2 Cor 12:4; Rev 2:7) and of the “Garden” in Gen 2:8-9, 3:24; footnote ASV Rev 2:7), it is general term that means “garden” “park” or “place of future happiness”, Thayer defines it as such. . .

paradeisos

Thayer Definition:

1) among the Persians a grand enclosure or preserve, hunting ground, park, shady and well watered, in which wild animals, were kept for the hunt; it was enclosed by walls and furnished with towers for the hunters

2) a garden, pleasure ground

2a) grove, park

3) the part of Hades which was thought by the later Jews to be the abode of the souls of pious until the resurrection: but some understand this to be a heavenly paradise

4) the upper regions of the heavens. According to the early church Fathers, the paradise in which our first parents dwelt before the fall still exists, neither on the earth or in the heavens, but above and beyond the world

5) heaven

 

D. Now turn to (Luke 16:19-31)

Luk 16:19  "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.

Luk 16:20  And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,

Luk 16:21  who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.

Luk 16:22  The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's  side (bosom). The rich man also died and was buried,

Luk 16:23  and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side (bosom).

Luk 16:24  And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'

Luk 16:25  But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now (here) he is comforted, and you are in anguish (two individuals, two states, one place “here”).

Luk 16:26  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm (gulf) has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'

Luk 16:27  And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house—

Luk 16:28  for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'

Luk 16:29  But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'

Luk 16:30  And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'

Luk 16:31  He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"

 

Here we see the account of Lazarus and the rich man, some believe this to be a parable, but I don’t believe that is the case, it doesn’t state it’s a parable, it is put in the context of obedience to God’s commands, specifically that of adulterous marriages (Luke 16:18).

 

Luk 16:18  "Everyone who divorces (puts or sends away) his wife and marries another commits (continues to commit; commiteth) adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced (one that is put away) from her husband commits (continues to commit; commiteth) adultery.

 

  1. The rich of that day and of this were more likely to be involved in multiple/unscriptural marriages, and thus be adulterers, and thus be going to torments awaiting the Day of Judgment; and the religious teachers of that day were divided concerning this matter, the religious teachers of this day are divided on this matter, but this was not a matter of opinion, thus the warning at the end of the account (Luke 16:29).

 

Luk 16:29  But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'

 

    1. And we have commands that are applicable to us today also (Mt 28:20), thus so are the warnings (Acts 3:22-23), if one come back from the dead and states “your unscriptural marriage will end up in your eternal demise!” most partaking in such wont believe it, only those that will believe God’s word will, and they have the word, let them hear it!

 

  1. But note all the exchange that takes place in this section of scripture (Luke 16:19-31), there is . . .
    1. Perception (of each other being there)
    2. Sensation (one of comfort, the other of torment)
    3. Communication (across the fixed barrier)
    4. Recognition (of Abraham, Lazarus, and the rich man)
    5. Comprehension (they understood what each was saying to the other)
    6. Recollection (they remembered their former lives under the sun)
    7. Emotion (anguish, comfort, desire, and resolve)

 

  1. These are not the actions of individuals not in existence, these are living, reasoning entities, and this is the place that most will go until The Last Day (except for the martyrs of Christ; Rev 20:4-6; Phili 1:23; 3:1-11),

 

    1. The only question is on what side of that uncrossable gulf will you be? (if this hasn’t changed after Christ’s work and AD 70).

 

    1. God has given the entire world the hope of salvation through Christ (Tit 2:11-14).

 

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

Tit 2:12  training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

Tit 2:13  waiting (looking) for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Tit 2:14  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

 

E. Now to bring this all together turn to (Luke 23:39-43)

 

Luk 23:39  One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

Luk 23:40  But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?

Luk 23:41  And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."

Luk 23:42  And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

Luk 23:43  And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

 

Here we have our loving, suffering Savior, hanging from the cross of Calvary, this is where the denominational world goes to look for salvation apart from baptism, but the bible clearly teaches that it is part of God’s plan (Mk 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 1 Pet 3:21),  yet Jesus stated in Jn 5:24 that belief (faith) is the crossover point for one to enter into the process of “being saved” Lk 13:23; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor 1:18; 15:2; 2 Cor 2:15), and that is probably what happened here, yet perhaps this man was baptized with the baptism of John, but fell away, and then before his death repented, as one can clearly see the fruits of repentance in his words, but it doesn’t really matter, none of us will be side by side with our Saviour hanging from a cross, thus this has no direct application to us today, even though the lesson here is it’s never to late to turn to the Lord, but again, that is not our topic.

 

  1. Note the words of Christ “today you will be with Me in Paradise” if the fact of the soul (spirit) does not exist past physical death, what is Christ doing here, lying to a man when they are both on the brink of physical death?
    1. The immortal soul deniers want to have Christ saying “Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise (at the end of time), and that might be correct, but contextually we see one say “when” (v 42) and the other answers “today” (v 43), thus the comma placement is likely correct.

 

    1. Plainly the scriptures teach Christ never sinned (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 2:22), thus He never lied (Rev 21:8).

 

    1. Therefore this man is being told by Christ that he would be in Paradise that very day (Paradise is a general term which means “park” or “place of pleasure” it is used of the Garden of Eden, comforts in Hades/Sheol, and the third Heaven where God abides; see Thayer definition).

 

    1. But Peter in his sermon at Pentecost teaches us that Christ went to Hades (turn to Acts 2:31)

 

Act 2:31  he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

 

    1. Note carefully that it states “neither was he left unto Hades” (this speaks of His spirit/soul), “nor did his flesh see corruption” this speaks of His body, it did not start to decay in those 3 days through the power of God.

 

    1. Many people believe Christ went to hell and suffered for our sins, but that is not what the bible teaches, it teaches Christ’s blood was shed for our sins (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:22; Rev 1:5), and this is for the most part based on a mistranslation in the KJV of the word “hades” translating it as “Hell” instead of “Hades” as in this passage, basically neglecting the teaching of an intermediate state “and” an eternal state which is seen throughout God’s word.

 

    1. The word “gehennah” which occurs 12 times in the NT is properly translated “hell” in most revisions of the KJV, and correctly so (that word is not in this verse; Acts 2:31).

 

    1. Christ was that perfect sin offering (Heb 10:10; 2 Cor 5:21), the sinless Son of God Who became flesh so He could be put to death for sin laden man (Heb 2:14; because one can’t kill God; for He is Spirit; John 4:24),

 

    1. Who went to Paradise/Hades upon His death, where He also preached to the spirits in prison (1 Pet 3:19-20; 4:6), did He preach across the gulf? Was He able to cross that gulf (Mt 16:18)? Are we now able to cross that gulf (1 Cor 15:29)?

 

    1. He was then resurrected at which time His spirit re-entered His body and ultimately (after 40 days; Acts 1:3) He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9), by God’s grace we will also ascend into Heaven, if we continue in the Father’s love, if we continue to do the Father’s will, as did He (Mt 7:21), being led by the Spirit (Rom 8:4; 12-14), as He was (Mt 4:1; Mk 1:12; Lk 4:1), He is our Forerunner (Heb 6:21), the First-fruits (1 Cor 15:20), which indicates followers.

 

    1. But the main point I am making is neither Christ nor this man ceased to exist after their physical deaths, and neither will we.

 

    1. The only real question is what side of Hades will you enter into at death, awaiting that Great Day, will it be in comforts, at rest in Paradise, or in torments in the Abyss.

 

    1. God brought forth His son in the fulness of time, born of a woman only, a virgin (Gal 4:4; Mt 1:23), God with us, Emmanuel, and He established His church, the kingdom, through inspired men in the 1st century.

 

    1. They preached the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ, and the hope of eternal life through Him, that hope is the same today (1 Pet 1:3-4).

 

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1Pe 1:4  unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

 

    1. That inheritance is incorruptible, as the spirit is incorruptible (1 Pet 3:4).

 

    1. And the plan to receive that inheritance is the same today.

 

    1. There is one gospel (Gal 1:6-9), one Faith (Eph 4:5), and it was completely delivered in the 1st century (Jude 3), you can read of it in the bible, it has been the same for almost 2000 years, and it will never change as long as this earth stands (Gen 8:22; Mt 24:35; 2 Pet 3:10).

 

One must . . .

 

1) Hear the Word of God (Acts 2:37; Rom 10:17);

 

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV)

 

2) Believe that Jesus is the resurrected Christ (Rom 10:9), Who is Master over all (Mt 28:18), and that God rewards those that earnestly seek after Him (Heb 11:6), this is the crossover point concerning salvation, men want to give another crossover point, we need to believe God not men when they are not agreed, Jesus said . . .

 

Joh 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

 

3) Repent of sins, (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3, 5), repentance is a change of mind that results in a changed life,  Jesus stated . . .

 

Luk 13:3   . . .  except you repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.

 

4) Confess Christ before men (Acts 8:37) as did the eunuch, he proclaimed. . .

 

Act 8:37    . . . that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

 

Paul wrote in Rom 10:9 . . .

 

Rom 10:9  because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

5) Be baptized into Christ (Gal 3:27) into the death of Christ (Rom 6:3) where His blood was shed (John 19:34) unto (for) the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), this is also the point where one is to be dead to self and sin and alive to God (Rom 6:3-11).

 

6) And live a holy life (1 Pet 1:15), not perfect, but faithful (Mt 10:22), bringing holiness to completion (2 Cor 7:1), being determined to follow God’s divine instructions, thereby demonstrating our hope in the truth of the bible’s teaching concerning our immortal souls (spirits), setting our sights on heavenly things, while serving our God with His earthly blessings. 

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