What Kind of “Soul”?
- When God had breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils, What did he become? Gen. 2:7, last part.
And so man is a creature; man is a SOUL. Animals are creatures or souls, too! Notice! The same Word nephesh is translated as “dead body” or “the dead” in Leviticus 19:28; 21:1; 22:4; Numbers 5:2; 6:11 and 9:6, 7, 10. The “soul,” then, is merely animal life that is subject to death and decay. It is not immortal!
The soul is composed of the “dust of the ground” — it is material, not spiritual.' It is mat- ter. When man breathes, he is a living soul. When man ceases to breathe, he becomes a non- living or dead soul. That’s what your Bible reveals. Are you willing to believe what the Bible plainly says?
- Can the “soul” die? Ezek. 18:4, 20. If the soul were immortal — eternal — could it die? Is man plainly said to be “mortal”? Job 4:17.
3. Was Adam subject to death? Gen. 2: 17, last part. Was it the body only that would die, or was it the whole conscious man — Adam — “thou” — that would die?
4. What one thing befalls both man and beast? Eccl. 3:19. Is this because they all have the same temporary source of life —~ the breath of air? Same verse.
5. Do all men and animals alike go to the same place at death? Ecol. 3:20.
NOTE When an animal dies, -it is dead. When man dies, he is completely dead, too. Like “Rover,” when a man dies he dies “all over.” And all men and animals return to the dust from which they came.
6. Now what does Ecclesiastes 3:21 ask?
NOTE: Far from proving an immortal soul, Solomon’s question actually ridicules the “immortal soul” doctrine which was extant and believed by the pagans even in his day. Therefore he asks a question which no pagan can answer.
Notice that in this verse the Bible refers to “spirit” as common to both man and beast. This word “spirit” comes from the Hebrew word ruach and is translated 28 times as “breath” in the King James Version. Three examples are Genesis 6:17; 7:15 and Lamentations 4:20. The same Hebrew word is translated 90 times as “wind.” It is simply the “breath” which is common to both men and animals. When they die, they both “expire” — their breath leaves them;
7. To where does the Bible say the “spirit” — breath — returns? Eccl. 12: 7.
NOTE; While a man is still alive, the Bible speaks of his breath as being in the hand of God — “In whose hand is the soul [nephesh — material, physical life] of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10). And so when a man dies, he ﬁguratively gives up his breath to God.
What ls the LIFE of Man?Man IS a living, breathing MORTAL creature — a nephesh, or living soul in whose nostrils is air. What happens to the breath of air that goes into our lungs?
When you take a breath of air, it passes through your trachea, into the lungs and into little pockets or sacs called alveoli. There oxygen is absorbed from the air and goes into the blood- stream. As the blood ﬂows through the blood vessels from the lungs on the way back to the heart, and then is pumped again throughout the body, the oxygen is carried by the red blood cells throughout the body to the individual cells.
Each of your 60 trillion cells uses oxygen to “burn” your food to create the energy needed to power your organs and muscles, and to maintain body heat. The life of man clearly depends on the blood, and the blood needs the breath of life to keep the body active and alive.
- According to the Bible, is the life of man and animals found in the bloodstream — or in an immortal soul? Lev. 17:11, 14. Does Deuteronomy 12:23 corroborate this?
- Did Christ make His “soul” an offering for sin? Isa. 53:10. How did He accomplish this? Verse 12.
ls There Life After Death?
- When a person dies—becomes lifeless— does he still have a conscious existence because of an immortal soul Within him? Eccl. 9:5; Ps. 146:4.
2. Are the dead able to praise God? Ps. 115:17. But if Christians have immortal souls, wouldn’t they be praising God after they die, thankful to be with Him in paradise? Here, then, is more concrete evidence that human beings do not have immortal souls.
3. Is there any remembrance of God in death? Ps. 6:5.
NOTE: Death is the opposite of life. Death is the CESSATION of life! That is the rea- son dead people can remember nothing. How clear!
- According to Matthew 10:28, is the “soul” something which can be destroyed? Then didn’t Jesus plainly show that the soul is not immortal? Let’s understand exactly what Jesus was talking about.
the soul, it plainly says the soul is something that can be destroyed in hell! Thus, whatever this “soul” is, it could NOT be immortal!
The Greek word here translated “soul” is psuche. It refers to the same thing as the Hebrew word nephesh. It simply means life, existence.
In Matthew 10:28, Christ obviously used this word to refer to “life” that man cannot destroy -but which God can. What kind of life could this be? Obviously life which God RESTORES by a resurrection!
Man cannot “destroy” a life that God turns right around and renews. But GOD can destroy it — permanently — by casting the resurrected person into the “lake of ﬁre,” never to be resurrected again!
Luke makes this scripture plainer: “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which AFTER he hath killed hath power to cast into hell . . .” (Luke 12:5). God not only has the power to take our present physical life, but also has the power to resurrect us and — if we have proved disobedient and incorrigible — to cast us into the lake of ﬁre from which there will be NO future resurrection! (Rev. 20:14-15; 21:8.)
Although men may kill their physical bodies, true Christians know that men cannot take from them their hope of eternal life.