MORE ON DEATH, HELL, THE SOUL




A STUDY ON DEATH


Death may be the most misunderstood subject in the world today. To many it is enshrouded in mystery and evokes feelings of fear, uncertainty, and even hopelessness. Others believe their loved ones who have died are not dead at all, but instead live in other places under varied conditions. Most world religions teach that the dead become spirits. Does it really matter? Yes, immeasurably so. The reason is that people who misunderstand the subject of death will almost assuredly be deceived by Satan on other issues. There is no room for guessing on this topic. This Study Guide will reveal what God says on this subject, since what He says is all that matters.


1.
How did we get here in the first place?
2. What happens when a person dies?
3. What is the "spirit" that returns to God at death?
4. What is a "soul"?
5. Do souls die?
6. Do good people go to heaven when they die?
7. How much does one know or comprehend after death?
8. But can't the dead communicate with the living, and aren't they aware of what the living are doing?
9. Jesus called the unconscious state of the dead "sleep" in John 11:11-14. How long will they sleep?
10. What happens to the righteous dead at the second coming of Christ?
11. What was the devil's first lie?
12. Why did the devil lie to Eve about death? Could this subject be more important than many think?
13. Do devils really work miracles?
14. Why will God's people not be deceived?
15. Back in Moses' day, what did God command should be done to people who taught that the dead were alive?
16. Will the righteous people who are raised in the resurrection ever die again?
17. Belief in reincarnation is expanding rapidly today. Is this teaching biblical?
18. Are you thankful for the Bible, which tells us the truth on this sensitive subject of death?


1. How did we get here in the first place?

"And 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." Genesis 2:7.

Answer: God made us from dust in the beginning.

"The spirits of both the righteous and the wicked return to God. Their bodies return to dust."
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2. What happens when a person dies?

"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:7.

Answer: The body turns to dust again, and the spirit goes back to God, who gave it. The spirit of every person who dies--whether righteous or wicked--returns to God at death.

There is nothing mysterious about the spirit that returns to God at death. It is the breath of life."
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3. What is the "spirit" that returns to God at death?

"The body without the spirit [breath, see margin] is dead." James 2:26. "The spirit of God [the breath which God gave him, see margin] is in my nostrils." Job 27:3.

Answer: The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life. Nowhere in all of God's Book does the "spirit" have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. It is the "breath of life" and nothing more.
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4. What is a "soul"?
"And 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." Genesis 2:7.

Answer: A soul is a living being. A soul is always a combination of two things: body plus breath. A soul cannot exist unless body and breath are combined. God's Word teaches that we are souls.
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5. Do souls die?

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:20. "Every living soul died in the sea." Revelation 16:3.

Answer: According to God's Word, souls do die! We are souls, and souls die. Man is mortal (Job 4:17). Only God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:15, 16). The concept of an undying, immortal soul goes against the Bible, which teaches that souls are subject to death.
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6. Do good people go to heaven when they die?

"All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth." John 5:28, 29. "David . . . is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day." "For David is not ascended into the heavens." Acts 2:29, 34. "If I wait, the grave is mine house." Job 17:13.

Answer: No, people do not go either to heaven or hell at death. They go to their graves to await the resurrection day.
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7. How much does one know or comprehend after death?

"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. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10. "The dead praise not the Lord." Psalm 115:17.

Answer: God says that the dead know absolutely nothing!
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8. But can't the dead communicate with the living, and aren't they aware of what the living are doing?

"So man lieth down, and riseth not; till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep." "His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." Job 14:12, 21. "Neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." Ecclesiastes 9:6.

Answer: No, the dead cannot contact the living, nor do they know what the living are doing. They are dead. Their thoughts have perished (Psalm 146:4).
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9. Jesus called the unconscious state of the dead "sleep" in John 11:11-14. How long will they sleep?

"Jesus calls death "sleep." It is a state of total unconsciousness."
"So man lieth down, and riseth not; till the heavens be no more." Job 14:12. "The day of the Lord will come . . . in the which the heavens shall pass away." 2 Peter 3:10.

Answer: The dead will sleep until the great day of the Lord at the end of the world. In death, humans are totally unconscious with no activity or knowledge of any kind.

"The righteous will be raised to life and given immortality at Jesus' second coming."
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10. What happens to the righteous dead at the second coming of Christ?

"Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12. "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, . . . and the dead in Christ shall rise . . . and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. "We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, . . . and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. . . . For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

Answer: They will be rewarded. They will be raised, given immortal bodies, and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. There would be no purpose in a resurrection if people were taken to heaven at death.

The devil's first lie to Eve was "You won't die" -- a statement completely contrary to all scripture."
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11. What was the devil's first lie?

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die." Genesis 3:4. "That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan." Revelation 12:9.

Answer: Satan told Eve that sin would not bring death. "Ye shall not surely die," he said.
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12. Why did the devil lie to Eve about death? Could this subject be more important than many think?

Answer: It is one of the cornerstones of the devil's kingdom. He has worked powerful miracles down through the ages through people who claim to receive their power from the spirits of the dead. (Examples: Magicians of Egypt--Exodus 7:11; Woman of Endor--1 Samuel 28:3-25; Sorcerers--Daniel 2:2; A certain damsel--Acts 16:16-18.)

"Those who believe the dead are alive become easy targets for the devil's deceptions."

A Solemn Warning

In the end-time Satan will again use sorcery--as he did in Daniel's day--to deceive the world (Revelation 18:23). Sorcery is a supernatural agency that claims to receive its power and wisdom from the spirits of the dead.

Posing as Jesus' Disciples

Posing as godly loved ones who have died, saintly clergymen who are now dead, Bible prophets, or even the apostles or disciples of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13), Satan and his angels will deceive billions. Those who believe the dead are alive, in any form, will most assuredly be deceived.
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13. Do devils really work miracles?

"They are the spirits of devils, working miracles." Revelation 16:14. "For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24.

Answer: Yes, indeed! Devils work incredibly convincing miracles (Revelation 13:13, 14). Satan and his angels will appear as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and, even more shocking, as Christ Himself (Matthew 24:23, 24). The universal feeling will be that Christ and His angels are leading out in a fantastic worldwide revival. The entire emphasis will seem so spiritual and be so supernatural that only God's elect will not be deceived.
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14. Why will God's people not be deceived?

"The elect will not be deceived, because they firmly reject everthing that is contrary to Scripture."
"They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11. "If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.

Answer: God's people will know from their earnest study of His Book that the dead are dead, not alive. Spirits of the dead do not exist. Therefore, God's people will reject all miracle workers and teachers who claim to receive special "light" or work miracles by contacting the spirits of the dead. And God's people will likewise reject as dangerous and false all teachings that claim the dead are alive in any form, anywhere.

"In Moses' day, people who claimed power to communicate with the dead were stoned to death."
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15. Back in Moses' day, what did God command should be done to people who taught that the dead were alive?

"A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones." Leviticus 20:27.

Answer: God insisted that wizards and others with "familiar spirits" (who claimed to be able to contact the dead) should be stoned to death. This shows how God regards the false teaching that the dead are alive.

"No one in God's new kingdom will ever die. Death will cease at the destruction of Satan."
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16. Will the righteous people who are raised in the resurrection ever die again?

"They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, . . . Neither can they die any more." Luke 20:35, 36. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4.

Answer: No! Death, sorrow, crying, and tragedy will never enter into God's new kingdom.
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17. Belief in reincarnation is expanding rapidly today. Is this teaching biblical?

"The living know that they shall die; but the dead know not any thing. . . . Neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.

Answer: Almost half of the people on earth believe in reincarnation--a teaching that the soul never dies but is instead continually reborn in a different kind of body with each succeeding generation. This teaching, however, is contrary to Scripture.


The Bible Says

After death a person: returns to dust (Psalm 104:29), knows nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possesses no mental powers (Psalm 146:4), has nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), does not live (2 Kings 20:1), waits in the grave (Job 17:13), and continues not (Job 14:1, 2).
"Reincarnation is impossible because God says all who have died, both good and evil, are in their graves."

Satan's Invention

We learned in questions 11 and 12 that Satan invented the teaching that the dead are alive. Reincarnation, channeling, communication with spirits, spirit worship, and the "undying soul" are all inventions of Satan, with one aim--to convince people that when you die you are not really dead. When people believe that the dead are alive,
"spirits of devils, working miracles" (Revelation 16:14) and posing as spirits of the dead will be
"Those who insist on Scripture proof for all doctrines will not be led astray by Satan."
able to deceive and lead them astray virtually 100 percent of the time (Matthew 24:24).
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18. Are you thankful for the Bible, which tells us the truth on this sensitive subject of death?

Your Answer:




YOUR THOUGHT QUESTIONS ANSWERED


1.
Didn't the thief on the cross go to paradise with Christ the day He died?
2. Doesn't the Bible speak of the "undying," "immortal" soul?
3. At death the body returns to dust and the spirit (or breath) returns to God. But where does the soul go?
4. Does the word soul ever mean anything other than a living being?
5. Can you explain John 11:26, which says, "And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die"?
6. Matthew 10:28 says, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul." Doesn't this prove that the soul is undying?
7. Doesn't 1 Peter 4:6 say the gospel was preached to dead people?
8. What about the souls crying out from under the altar in Revelation 6:9, 10? Doesn't this show that souls do not die?
9. Doesn't the Bible say Christ went and preached to lost souls in hell between His crucifixion and resurrection?


1. Didn't the thief on the cross go to paradise with Christ the day He died?

Answer: No. In fact, on Sunday morning, Jesus said to Mary, "I am not yet ascended to My Father." John 20:17. This shows that Christ did not go to heaven at death. Also note that the punctuation of the Bible is not inspired, but was added by men. The comma in Luke 23:43 should be placed after the words "to day" rather than before, so the passage should read, "Verily I say unto thee to day, shalt thou be with me in paradise." Or, "I'm telling you today--when it seems that I can save no one, when I Myself am being crucified as a criminal--I give you the assurance today that you will be with Me in paradise." Christ's kingdom is set up at His second coming (Matthew 25:31), and all the righteous of all ages will enter it at that time (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) and not at death.
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2. Doesn't the Bible speak of the "undying," "immortal" soul?

Answer: No, the undying, immortal soul is not mentioned in the Bible. The word immortal is found only once in the Bible, and it is in reference to God (1 Timothy 1:17).
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3. At death the body returns to dust and the spirit (or breath) returns to God. But where does the soul go?

Answer: It goes nowhere. Instead, it simply ceases to exist. Two things must be combined to make a soul: body and breath. When the breath departs, the soul ceases to exist because it is a combination of two things. When you turn off a light, where does the light go? It does not go anywhere. It just ceases to exist. Two things must combine to make a light: a bulb and electricity. Without the combination, a light is impossible. So with the soul; unless body and breath are combined, there can be no soul. There is no such thing as a disembodied soul.
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4. Does the word soul ever mean anything other than a living being?

Answer: Yes, it may mean also (1) life itself, or (2) the mind, or intellect. No matter which meaning is intended, the soul is still a combination of two things (body and breath), and it ceases to exist at death.
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5. Can you explain John 11:26, which says, "And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die"?

Answer: This refers not to the first death, which all people die (Hebrews 9:27), but to the second death, which only the wicked die and from which there is no resurrection (Revelation 2:11; 21:8).
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6. Matthew 10:28 says, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul." Doesn't this prove that the soul is undying?

Answer: No, it proves the opposite. The last half of the same verse proves that souls do die. It says, "But rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." The word soul here means life and refers to eternal life, which is a gift (Romans 6:23) that will be given to the righteous at the last day (John 6:54). No one can take away the eternal life that God bestows. (See also Luke 12:4, 5.)
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7. Doesn't 1 Peter 4:6 say the gospel was preached to dead people?

Answer: No, it says the gospel "was" preached to those who "are" dead. They are dead now, but the gospel "was" preached to them while they were yet living.
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8. What about the souls crying out from under the altar in Revelation 6:9, 10? Doesn't this show that souls do not die?

Answer: No. This cry was figurative, as was the cry of Abel's blood (Genesis 4:10). The word soul here means people (or living beings) who had been slain for their faith. Surely no one believes that souls who die literally lie under the altar, nor do people believe that the righteous beg God to punish their enemies. Rather, the righteous beg for mercy for their enemies, as Christ did on the cross (Luke 23:34).
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9. Doesn't the Bible say Christ went and preached to lost souls in hell between His crucifixion and resurrection?

Answer: No, the Bible passage in question is 1 Peter 3:18-20
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Which sometime were disobedient, 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.

The preaching was done "by the Spirit" (verse 18) in Noah's day--to people who were then living (verses 19, 20). The "spirits in prison" refers to people whose lives were in bondage to Satan.

See:
Psalm 142:7----
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

Isaiah 42:6,7----
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isaiah 61:1----
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.

and Luke 4:18----
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
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The above is from http://pub7.bravenet.com/forum/show.php?usernum=584561533 by "Mr. Gregory" (no longer available 12/5/15)


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6/25/13
Last update 5 December 2015