This message examines what the Bible says about the Spirit of Man and why the immortal soul doctrine is not Biblical.
[Aaron Dean] There are a couple of deceptions that Satan has foisted off, two of the main deceptions he’s given. That is out of the Trinity, and also the immortal soul. And the immortal soul is the one I want to cover today because, in other places, people think that they have an immortal soul, they have something or some part of them that lives forever. And it either is in heaven or hell, or it’s in some other reincarnated body or whatever.
In Asia, they also have a lot of beliefs that direction. In fact, if you go to Asia, you see all the tips of the corners of their houses pointed up and the reason they have those is because when the evil spirits come down, they want them to slide off the roof and hit the point and go back up where they came from and not to come into the house. So you have all these different things out there that people believe. And so often, they’re steeped in these things.
I read an article last time I was in Africa about a man who was a “Christian,” so-called, and how he was having all these troubles until he went to the graveyard and talked to his ancestors, and all of a sudden, things started getting better for him, so you could mix Christianity and ancestor worship and all these things together, which obviously is not biblical but they start believing these things if you’re not careful. So the question we need to ask ourselves is, what exactly is a human being? What’s a man? And, you know, people who only believe in the material world, they don’t seek spiritual solutions, and we realize that physical solutions do not solve spiritual problems or give you any understanding. And there are spiritual laws that man just can’t solve with his physical senses with the natural things.
But the Word of God gives understanding and our problems are spiritual. And so we’re going to look at the Word of God to see what He says. When we look at the activities of humans and the ability to build and create and make families and, you know, the massive technology that we’ve established, even at the end time, now it’s amazing because when you look at the human brain, it really is almost no different than the animal brain. Very, very little physiological differences when you look at the anatomy and take it apart, it’s not much difference. So why is it we can do what we do, and animals can’t? Animals receive the same information, they have eyes and they see. Some see much better than we do. They have ears that they hear and many of them see and hear much better than we do. The sense of touch for some is much better. And all their five senses are similar to ours in a sense, but they can’t do the same things or understand as we do, so what is different about us?
And again, because of those differences, it makes it easy sometimes for people to believe that they have some kind of a soul or spirit or something that’s going to live on. But to look at this subject, let’s go back to creation, let’s see what God did in Genesis 1. When we go back to Genesis 1, we see that God created everything there. We’ll read in verse 21, single verse there, it says, “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly,” so if you’re talking about fish, “after their kind, every winged fowl after its kind:” birds, “and God saw that was good.” All the mammals, everything He created. And that word “creature” there has different meaning than what we do, English has a lot more words than Hebrew does, and the translators, when they translate words, they tend to make it look what they want it to be.
If we turn over to Genesis 2:7 Genesis 2:7And 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.
American King James Version×, we read another word when man was created. In Genesis 2:7 Genesis 2:7And 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.
American King James Version×, a page over, it says, “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.” Well, the reason that word soul is there is because the writers and the translators wanted us to have a soul, but it’s the same word as creature in Genesis 1. It’s the same word used over and over.
We see in Psalms 146:4 Psalms 146:4His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
American King James Version×, God says, you don’t need to turn there, you can write it down, it says, “His breath goes forth, he returns to the earth; and in that day his thoughts perish.” So once you quit breathing, you perish and that’s it. As for the word “soul” in Genesis 2:7 Genesis 2:7And 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.
American King James Version×, that word, again, is a Hebrew word nephesh and it means a living or a dead body, it’s simply a body, “a nephesh ,” and we see places where it uses that word and it’s not something that’s like a soul where they say it lives forever because it talks about them being dead in Leviticus 21:11 Leviticus 21:11Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;
American King James Version×, just to read a few places where it talks about that. Leviticus 21:11 Leviticus 21:11Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;
American King James Version×says, “Neither shall he go into any dead body,” and that word there is nephesh , “nor defile himself for his father, or his mother.”
And Numbers 6:6 Numbers 6:6All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
American King James Version×says, “All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall come at no dead body.” No dead nephesh . And whether it’s an animal or whether it’s a human, it’s simply a body that’s there. We read in Ezekiel 18:4 Ezekiel 18:4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.
American King James Version×, we had that in the sermonette today and I appreciated that, said, “All the souls are Mine; the soul of the father, the souls of the son are Mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.” So we read that and that same word soul is nephesh , it’s not anything that the Christianity or other people have put on, it’s simply the body. If you commit sins, God says that you’re going to die and your body will die. In verse 20, it says the same thing, “The soul that sins will die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, nor 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.”
And like we said in the sermonettes, regardless of race, if you’re a human being and you’re righteous, that’s what you have. If you’re wicked, that’s what you are. If you’re wicked, you die. But going back to Genesis 2, let’s go back and see what God said to the man. He created him of the dust of the ground, we read. In Genesis 2, we’ll start in verse 15, it says, “The Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.” So he had his first job, being a gardener. “And God commanded him, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.’” And we know God didn’t lie. Obviously, Adam and Eve didn’t die the very day they ate it, but when they ate it, they were committed a sin and they would die.
Satan tries to lie and say, “You’re not going to die,” which is what he did right there with them. So whether you’re an animal or a man, you can die. We read in Ecclesiastes 3:19 Ecclesiastes 3:19For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yes, they have all one breath; so that a man has no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
American King James Version×, if you go there, it shows that it doesn’t make any difference. If you’re physical, you can die. Ecclesiastes 3:19 Ecclesiastes 3:19For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yes, they have all one breath; so that a man has no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
American King James Version×, in writing, it says, “For that which happens to the sons of men happens to the beasts; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Yes, they all have one breath;” again, if they quit breathing “so the man has no preeminence above the beast, for all is vanity.” So if you’re physical, you’ll die. In verse 20, “And they all go to one place: all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” There’s one death.
Reminds me the little girl who looked under her bed and saw a bunch of dust and she went to her mommy and says, “Mommy, mommy, doesn’t the Bible say that, ‘Dust we are, and dust we return,’” and she says, “Well, yes it does.” She says, “Well, mom, someone’s either coming or going.” Not quite that simple, but that’s where we go. We return back to the dust, that’s where we go.
Turn to Leviticus 17:11 Leviticus 17:11For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.
American King James Version×, we do have a physical life that God has given, our nephesh , which is composed of dust, God breathed into the breath of life and we have blood. Verse 11 of Leviticus 17, it says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls;” or your bodies, “for it is the blood that makes an atonement” for the sins “for the soul.” If you sin, blood has to flow through your veins, and life’s in the blood, and so we know through Christ’s sacrifice in His blood were shed, but when they offered sacrifices then, it was an animal and it was the blood they took out of the animal and it died and it returned to the earth. This body and life went out of it.
We know the manifestation of this in Isaiah 53, which we read at Passover time. You turn to Isaiah 53, we’ll read in verse 10 about Jesus Christ, our atonement and the blood that He has shed for us. Says, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You shall make His soul an offering for sin,” again, that’s our word nephesh . “He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. And He shall see the travail of His soul,” again, nephesh is body, “and He shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong,” why? “because He’s poured out His soul unto death, He was numbered with the transgressors, He bears the sins of many, and made intercession for those transgressions.” Christ is the sole offering, His blood was shed in the same way and He did die, although, He was resurrected. And Jesus knew He would die.
We turn to Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For 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.
American King James Version×and we see what all of us know, what Christ knew as well when He became a human being and He knew what was beyond that as well. But in Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For 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.
American King James Version×, it states very clearly, “For the living know that they shall die;” all of us know we’re going to die at some time, “but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.” So the dead have no reward and they don’t know anything. So where did the immortal soul concept come from? It’s interesting because evolutionists that just believe in materialism, material that, don’t think there’s any spirit at all and they’re wrong about that, but false Christianity teaches the immortality of the soul. Buddhism and Hinduism teach types of reincarnation and there’s all sorts of things that you return in some other form or you just to go to heaven or you go to hell.
It says “the origin of the immortality of the soul was not biblically based.” This comes from the Jewish Encyclopedia , obviously talking about the scriptures. It says, “The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is… speculation… nowhere expressly taught in the Holy Scriptures…” So anyone who thinks the Bible teaches that it just doesn’t. It says, “belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought” a Greek idea, “and chiefly through the philosophies of Plato, who was its principal exponent, and who led it through Orphic and the Eleusinian mysteries which came from Babylon and the Egyptian views which all were blended together.” And so we see those sources, Plato is, again, the authoritative source that even the Christian fathers like Justin Martyr used. Now, that’s a real good source for biblical knowledge, Plato, who didn’t believe anything. And Origen and Tertullian both also knew Plato and introduced some of that philosophy into Christianity.
There’s also Gnosticism which had a very heavy influence on what man is in the immortality of the soul. And their approach was that there were souls or beings or with God that either sinned or something happened and they got put down to this earth and they’re always trying to get back up to God, and that was kind of the way the Gnostics said that. And all these men just basically created ideas about what happens when you’re dead because, you know, once you die, you’re gone and nobody comes back from the God. There’s a few people that are resurrected by Jesus and Elijah raised the son after they were dead for a day or so or whatever, but no one’s come back that’s been dead for a long time with the exception of Jesus Christ who was three days in the grave.
So they created these man-made ideas. And again, most sub-society assumes that all these ideas come either from the Scriptures or from Buddha or for whoever the founder of their religion is. In 160 A.D., Justin Martyr, just as Augustine, what they call Saint Augustine, did believe that true religion actually predated Christianity and the seeds of Christianity actually… you know, the Logos actually predated Christ’s incarnation. So, therefore, this notion allowed them to claim all these beliefs and things before Christ even came from Socrates and Plato, etcetera, and they were all well studied in those things. Again, Tertullian said that “the nature tells us of the immortality of the soul.” And He actually quotes Plato when He’s stating that, the way Plato wrote it.
Augustine sanctified the immortal soul. Josephus actually says that some of the Jews believed in the immortality of the soul. And again, Judaism of today is not what Judaism was at that time, there were different beliefs and it’s spread out as well. Pope Clement in 315 A.D. would put you to death if you didn’t believe in the immortality of the soul. Finally, at that point, you could be put to death if you didn’t believe basically what Plato and the Babylonians and Egyptians and others taught.
Satan was very quick to corrupt the truth. He always has been trying to counterfeit or change what the truth is and Jesus Christ and His resurrection which we all know and understand. The ancient world, Satan was kind of preparing that from ancient Babylon.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 2, let’s go to the New Testament and see what is written there to try to understand what man is and what the difference is between man and animals and God. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 1 Corinthians 2:9But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
American King James Version×, it says there, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.’” Men have made up things but not from God. Verse 10, “But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” So God’s Spirit gives us understanding, but yet, a lot of people in this world today don’t have God’s Spirit, but what do they have? Verse 11, “For what man knows the things of a man save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man but the Spirit of God.”
So we see there is a spirit in man. It talks about a spirit in man that gives him knowledge and something beyond the animals, but it doesn’t give him godly knowledge unless it’s tied to the Spirit of God. Verse 12, it continues, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches…” not Plato, Socrates, Tertullian, and any of them, “but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. And the natural man receives not things of the Spirit of God, and their foolishness to him,” he does seem foolish, people who have the truth often look foolish, “neither can they know them, because they’re spiritually discerned. But either the spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
So indeed, when we have that spirit in man and the Spirit of God, then we can think like God does and like Christ does. But the spirit in man is not the man. Again, Satan counterfeits what the spirit in man is, but it’s not what Satan has counterfeited, it’s not his deception. You do not go to heaven when you die and you do not burn in hell if you die, you simply go to the grave. And God’s Word shows that the spirit connects man with intellect, the spirit uses the human senses and that was put there by God. We read that in Zechariah 12. Again, where does the spirit come from? Whether it’s God Spirit or even man spirit, where does it come?
Turn to Zechariah, one of the Minor Prophets. He states it very clearly in Zechariah 12:1 Zechariah 12:1The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, said the LORD, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.
American King James Version×where it comes from. It says, “The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, says the Lord, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundations of the earth, and form the spirit of man within him.” So God did put a spirit in man. When He breathed into him that breath of life, there was a spirit there on the blood running through his veins and that spirit he was able to comprehend the physical things we read over in Corinthians.
Again, we read in Job 32:8 Job 32:8But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding.
American King James Version×, it says, and write that down, it’s a short verse, but it says, “There’s a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding.” And so because of that spirit, we’re able to understand, but when you die, that spirit can no longer do anything because where does it go? Ecclesiastes 12, if you turn to Ecclesiastes 12:7 Ecclesiastes 12:7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
American King James Version×, we’ll read the scripture that says exactly what happens to that spirit that God said that He gives us, that each man has within him. In Ecclesiastes 12:7 Ecclesiastes 12:7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
American King James Version×, says, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” So that spirit that’s in man, that’s not referring here to God’s Holy Spirit, returns to God who gave it. So somewhere in our life and Mr. Armstrong and I, we had a lot of discussions on when does that spirit come into man? Does it come at birth or does it come with the first breath of life? We know that Christ was the Son of God from conception, but when the spirit in man, once that given us, it’s hard to know, but we know you have it by the time you have your first breath of life and that returns to God when you die, it isn’t something that goes on.
Back a few pages in Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For 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.
American King James Version×, we read a little bit more, in fact, let’s start in verse 4, Ecclesiastes 9:4 Ecclesiastes 9:4For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
American King James Version×, I always like this scripture. It says, “For him that is joined to all living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.” I’ve always like that because my nine-pound poodle, he could take on a dead lion. He’d probably think he could take on a live one, but he’d just be a morsel real quickly. In verse 5 says, “For the living know that they shall die:” and again, “but the dead know not any thing, neither have any more reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” As we read earlier. “And their love,” verse 6, “their hatred, their envy, it’s now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” So when they’re dead, that spirit is not tied to a body, it’s not useful by the spirit within the body.
Verse 7, “Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepts your works.” While you’re alive, you can do good works, or you can do evil works. Either one, those things are there and they’re recorded. So we look at the immortal soul and the spirit in man, and again, some people would have those be the immortal soul, but let’s look at the difference. The immortal soul when you read about that and study it, the immortal soul is able to reason on its own. It gets up there, you know, people always talk about the grave that they’re up looking down at me and thinking about us and stuff, no, they’re not, that’s the immortal soul concept, but the spirit in man, God says, it can’t reason on its own. When you die, that’s it. You don’t have any thoughts, any actions, anything, it’s gone.
The immortal soul teaches that it lives forever and has a conscience. God says that there’s no conscience apart from the body. You’re not breathing with the blood circulating and spirit in you, there is no consciousness. According to the immortal soul doctrine, your soul just goes wherever it wants to, it floats around, it’s wherever it wants to journey, but yet spirit in man says it goes back to God and He keeps it. Immortal soul, they try to teach is kind of good on its own, but yet, the spirit in man with the body of humans is neither good nor bad. The spirit only records whether your works are good or whether your works are evil.
The immortal soul doctrine teaches that it has intellect and personality, but spirit and man, it doesn’t impart any knowledge to the mind only while you’re living is it useful and helpful. We don’t have immortal life.
Turn to Romans 2. Once again, let’s look. We should seek immortal life but we don’t have it. God very clearly says that we die and the spirit returns to Him. But Paul writes very clearly in Romans 2:5 Romans 2:5But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasure up to yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
American King James Version×, again, we should be seeking this, and how do we get it? Verse 5, it says, “But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasures up not to yourself wrath against the day of wrath…” So if you don’t change, you’re treasuring up wrath “and the revelation of righteous judgment to God.” So what works are you doing, what action are you doing? Says, “Who will render every man according to his deeds.” So God does register what you do while you’re alive. “To them who by patience continuing in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.” So we should be seeking that. And man does seek it.
Of course, mankind tries to seek it in his own way, either by some spiritual adaptation he believes or by cloning or cryogenics where you freeze people and try to bring them back, etcetera. But how do we seek it? How does God say to seek eternal life? 1 Timothy 6. Turn over a few pages from Romans, 1 Timothy 6, he tells us of what we have to do. And again, it’s what we do in this life as physical beings with that spirit and with our minds and then also with God’s Spirit that we can seek eternal life and find it. 1 Timothy 6:14 1 Timothy 6:14That you keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×says that “You keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in his time he shall show, who is blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality,” He alone is immortal that has been down here on earth, lived and died, “dwelling in the light which no man can approach to; no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting.” So Jesus Christ is through His resurrection is back up with God.
Says, verse 17, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy;” and He did, He made the creation for man, He put them in a beautiful garden, He wanted a relationship with him. Verse 18, “they that do good, and they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” So what we do counts and God knows what it is.
Back a few pages in 1 Timothy 1, Paul, again, writing to Timothy talking about salvation and what it means. Verse 15, it says in 1 Timothy 1, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” And of course, all of us know our own sins and feel that way at times. “Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.” And so obviously we have to believe on Christ but it’s more than believe on Christ because Christ condemned some of those who believed on Him because they wouldn’t keep the commandments.
But when does this all happen? And again, we learn that in 1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection chapter. If you turn to 1 Corinthians 15:51 1 Corinthians 15:51Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
American King James Version×because it shows us the mystery that the world doesn’t see right there and he calls it a mystery as well. 1 Corinthians 15:51 1 Corinthians 15:51Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
American King James Version×, Paul says, “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed— in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound, the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” So at the last trump, people that are dead are still dead, they don’t come up until that trumpet comes. And it says, “For the corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when the corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” Those people who were dead, people that have God’s Spirit when Christ returns, the firstfruits, we know that they will rise.
In Romans 6:22 Romans 6:22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
American King James Version×, we read as well, how are holiness when our everlasting life comes. Romans 6:22 Romans 6:22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
American King James Version×, we read there Paul writing, it says, “But now being made free from sin,” and again, we have to be free from sin, “and becoming servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” So we can’t have everlasting life, but we don’t get it through some immortal soul. We have to have the fruits and have freedom from sin. There are no human spirits out there. There are people that supposedly conjure up the dead. And God says specifically not to do those things because they are dead, they know nothing at all, yet the spirit world does have ways that they can deceive mankind.
It’s interesting in Africa when the British soldiers went in early on because the Africans are real big into throwing curses and spirit things on people. And it was fascinating to them was that when the British came and they would cast these curses on the British soldiers that the British soldiers, it didn’t affect them, it didn’t hurt them, they didn’t get scared, they didn’t get sick, they didn’t do anything. Yet when they cast them on their own people because they believed in it psychologically it affected them. And what that did, it actually converted a lot of people to the Christianity of the British because they figured that if their curses didn’t work, then the British God must be better than their god and so they thought, “Well, I better change forces here and join the other God,” so they’re pretty quick to shift when it doesn’t… suits their purpose.
But we’re told not to go after spirits because there’s a spirit world, but they’re not human beings. Human beings are dead. If you turn to Deuteronomy 18:9 Deuteronomy 18:9When you are come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
American King James Version×, God makes it very clear that He doesn’t want us to be dealing with the evil Satan spirit world because when you deal with that, you can get involved in things that damage you and change what God has intended for you. Deuteronomy 18:9 Deuteronomy 18:9When you are come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
American King James Version×, He said there very clearly and they have those people today, they had them back then, it says, “When you are coming to the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn or do after the abominations of those nations.” And they did a lot of abominations. “There shall not be found among you anyone that makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, a consulter with familiar spirits, a wizard, a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord: because of these abominations the Lord your God does drive them out from before you. You shall be perfect with the Lord your God.” He doesn’t want us trying to contact the dead. There are no dead to be contacted. If you make contact, you’re making contact with demons and evil spirits.
And they do know things. I mean, it’s fascinating that they do know things. They obviously know history because they’re alive, but actually, they can know future things, too, but God says not to talk to them. My wife, when she came into the Church, her parents, none of her family was in the Church, and they thought she came into a cult, so one of her relatives went to a spiritist, whatever, one of those people, and it was interesting, we didn’t know this till later on, we were told about it, but the spiritist told that Michelle was going to meet with royalty and kings. She was in college at the time, we were going together, we weren’t married, I wasn’t flying. And the fact that… you know, we just laughed when we were told that. Then, later on, we actually did meet kings and queens and stuff, but it’s spooky. I mean, you don’t want to deal with things like that. But it does, you know…I mean, even in the Bible, the spirit world can manifest itself as humans and can do things, but it’s not physical people. God makes it very clear that humans die. There’s nothing there, they know nothing at all.
And we have examples for Saul when he was trying to conjure up Solomon with the Witch of Endor… or Samuel, I mean, and he wanted to do that. And God said not to do that. It’s not the thing we’re to do. When you start fooling with evil spirits, it damages you. Isaiah 8:19 Isaiah 8:19And when they shall say to you, Seek to them that have familiar spirits, and to wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek to their God? for the living to the dead?
American King James Version×, similar thing there when Isaiah talking and God speaking, tells us they’re not supposed to contact the dead. Again, whether they can give you good information or bad, and oftentimes, I know people that have been demon-possessed that when they first were contacted, they had right answers. There’s a lady in Texas when she asked biblical questions, the Bible would open up on its own and may be the right answer. Sadly, later on, you know, she was told God doesn’t do it that way and she kept doing it. And next time the minister visited, there were things going across the room, there were all sorts of things happening that the minister left, which is probably what I would have done as well because I don’t like things like that happening.
Isaiah 8:19 Isaiah 8:19And when they shall say to you, Seek to them that have familiar spirits, and to wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek to their God? for the living to the dead?
American King James Version×, it says, “When they shall say to you, ‘Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and to wizards that peep, and mutter,’ should not have people seek their God? For the living instead of the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it’s because there’s no light in them.” And, of course, God even said, “If they give signs and wonders and they come to pass, if they don’t teach the truth, don’t listen because Satan will try to use truth as well as evil to drag you away.”
Turn to John 3:12 John 3:12If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
American King James Version×, if you would, because as to heaven and we see that we’re dead, and we saw that the spirit goes back to God who gave it. And there’s no one up there living except Jesus Christ that lived as a human, that’s gone back up. John 3:12 John 3:12If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
American King James Version×, Christ says, “If I’ve told you earthly things, and you believe not, how should you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” Verse 13, “And no man has ascended to heaven,” so we had the fathers: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the faithful, Noah, Enoch who walked with God, all them were dead, and Christ says, “No man has ascended to heaven,” so they were in their graves just to agree with what we read before. The only one that has, it says, “but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
And so Christ, He knew He was going to die and He was lifted up and He died between the two thieves on the cross and He was resurrected. We read again where people are when they’re dead in Acts 2. If you turn to Acts 2, this is the time of Pentecost right after Christ had been resurrected, He’d come back and seen them and talked to them. Verse 25, it says, “David speaks concerning Him,” that is Christ, “I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore, my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; and my flesh shall rest in hope: because you will not leave my body in hell,” or in the grave, “neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption.” So David writing a thousand years before roughly talked of Christ coming and dying and being resurrected. “And you have made known to me the way of life and shall make me full of joy of their countenance.”
Verse 29, Peter says, “Men and brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David,” who wrote that, “that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us to this day. Therefore being a prophet,” he prophesied of Christ, “knowing that God has sworn an oath to him that out of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on that throne, foreseeing this, before he spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul would not be left in the grave, neither His flesh would see corruption.” And He didn’t, Christ was resurrected after three days. “Jesus God raised up, and we are witnesses.” Verse 32. They actually saw Christ afterwards along with a number of others. “And being by the right hand of God exalted, having received for the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has shed forth this which you now see in hear. For David is not ascended to the heavens,” but his seed, Jesus Christ, has gone back up. We see that very clearly.
Turn to John 5, if you would, verse 25, Christ also speaking. What’s going to happen to the dead? They’re all dead except Christ who was resurrected, the ones before and the ones since then. In John 5:25 John 5:25Truly, truly, I say to 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.
American King James Version×, Christ speaking, “Verily, verily, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear His voice, the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. As the Father has life in Himself; so He’s given the Son to have life in Himself; and giving Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. And marvel not at this:” verse 28, “for the hour is coming in 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.” So there is a resurrection, there is a way that the person is going to come back up. But it’s not through an immortal soul that doesn’t know anything at all right now.
In Job 14:14 Job 14:14If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
American King James Version×, Job even asked the question there, says, “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change comes.” And that change will come when He… that voice when He comes. That’s clear. We also read in 1 Thessalonians 4, another scripture often read when we talk about the resurrection, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 1 Thessalonians 4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
American King James Version×, it says, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first.” So those that have died that have God’s Spirit and man’s spirit and lived a good life will be resurrected. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
And so we know the firstfruits, those who know God, have His Spirit, that have done good and kept the commandments of God, they rise when Christ returns. But how does all this work? So what is the spirit in man? And what is the body and what is this resurrection? Well, how does God hold that? Well, I’ve brought a flashlight with me, this flashlight, it works well, it does that. It’s got a battery in it, got a case, but it’s interesting if I were to take the battery out of this flashlight, then I can push this button all I want and it doesn’t work. It’s just a case, it’s a body, there’s nothing to it. Without the battery with it, it can’t do anything, it can’t make light. It doesn’t know anything, it can’t make light by itself, this can’t make light by itself. Only together can they make light but it doesn’t even have to be the same body. I can have another body as long as it’s made and composed of a similar material and I put the battery back into it and I’ve got light again.
Such as the human spirit, when it’s combined with the human body, it lights up, it remembers all the things you’re there. The battery basically is kind of like a recorder, it’s a power, it’s a source, it records things and you could use an example of a tape recorder or whatever. It records who you are, it records the works that you did, the things that it says that God knows what you did, whether good or whether evil, it’s there but it doesn’t do anything by itself. It has to have the body. And so when we’re resurrected, obviously, if we have God’s Spirit, then God uses His Holy Spirit, we resurrect with a spiritual body if we qualify.
And also, if we’re asleep and dead and we didn’t have God’s Spirit and we didn’t really know His way of life, then we know that we’ll come back with the physical body. And all that we are, all our character, what we did, and who we are will be there and we, those of us who are spirit beings, God and Christ will begin teaching those people just as we were taught and we will come back. And when Lazarus was dead, he actually died, Christ, He said, He told them he was sleeping and they said, “Well, let’s go wake him up,” and he said, “No, no, he’s not sleeping, he’s dead.” And He called him back and the spirit went back in his body and he was raised back to life, but he wasn’t a spirit being because he wasn’t there but we read that we can have everlasting life.
Daniel talked about this, let’s go back to Daniel 12. Let’s see an Old Testament example, they all agree, as the sermonettes show, the Old Testament and the New Testament very much in agreement with what happens to us. There’s no contradictions in the Bible. There’s only things that men make up that appear to be contradictions. Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×says, “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to the same time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” We’re going close to that time of trouble now. The world has reached the point of moral decay and every aspect of it, “…but every one found written in the book.” Verse 2, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Obviously, the firstfruits come up to life and those that haven’t come up with a physical, a physical change, and if they don’t take that chance and learn the same way you did, then they can die. Verse 3, “They that shall be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they shall turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” Again, the firstfruits have a chance to help others.
Revelations 20 records the fact that the rest of the dead, and we know that we read in Thessalonians that we rise, the dead in Christ rise first. Revelation 20:5 Revelation 20:5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
American King James Version×, a memory scripture and it says… it says, “After we reign with Christ a thousand years.” In verse 4 and verse 5, it says, “The rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy he has part in the first resurrection. On such the second death has no power,” once you’re made a spirit being, God’s Holy Spirit, He gives you a spirit body, you can no longer die. But that is the second resurrection comes for others and they have to repent. They will have to do just as we did. They’ll have to know that their past sins, who they were, have to be forgiven by the same sacrifice that we were forgiven by, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Turn to Matthew 10 if you would. Christ talking to them, if they qualify, again, just as we must, they’re going to be given a spirit body just like we do and live forever, but if not, they’ll no longer exist and God will destroy their body and even the spirit. Spirit by itself, once the batteries are destroyed and the body’s gone back to dust. Verse 28, Christ tells them, “Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in the grave.” That spirit, if you do not grow, overcome, accept the sacrifice of Christ, keep the commandments of God, have the attitude of God the Father and Jesus Christ and the knowledge that they give, then both the body and the soul, body, the batteries, the flashlight won’t work anymore, and you’re gone. You won’t know anything. There’s no ever-burning pain. I think that’s one of God’s mercies if you will not be eternally happy that you are just extinguished, you know nothing at all. Just be like being asleep, you’re gone, and that’s it.
No one else can truly take life and give life, only God can give and take eternal life. Humanly, physically, we all are going to die. Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×, one of the last scriptures I want to turn to here, this is one that most of us memorized years ago if you were in the Church with all the cards we had, the scripture cards when we’re in college, and we all memorized this one here. It says, “For the wages of sin is death,” and we just read that. If you sin, you die, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” If you have an immortal soul that can’t die, how can the wages of sin be death? With the immortal soul, the wages of sin is your down in hellfire, just condemned forever and ever burning and burning and that’s not what it says. And it also takes away the fact that God says eternal life’s a gift. If you have an immortal soul, then you already have life, how can it be a gift to you?
So God has given us this lifetime as physical beings. He’s given us the breath of life, He’s put in us the spirit in man. In the case of those who are baptized members of God Church, He’s given you a Spirit, His Holy Spirit by which he can turn you into a spirit being, the spirit body, to live eternally. Physical spirit man only gives you a chance to grow and understand and eventually die. The immortal soul creates a false sense, tries to scare people into a false religion of fear or reincarnation or some bug or something else. If you aren’t good and if you’re good, then you get to be something a little better, whatever that is. But it’s sad, all these imaginary things that mankind has created to fool, to try to change what God teaches because what God teaches is that we can have eternal life. We can be in His image, and at that last trump when He returns, you get a spiritual body and death is no longer an option.
Most of all, the immortality of the soul takes the gift of life away from God, tries to give it to you without Him. Just like Satan said in the garden to Eve, “You’ll not surely die.” But we do. And God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is life. If we accept that and live a life worthy through Him, repent of our sins. Again, cleanse yourself, build your character, increase your faith because you will have life and you will have a spiritual body and you get to inhabit that for eternity without any pain, without any suffering, without any death. That’s the fallacy of the immortal soul. But we can live forever. I look forward to that day being with you in the Kingdom of God.