Some things you probably have never been told.
Please read what TOLSTOY had to say about what YOU believe first.
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There is a vast difference between man having an "immortal soul" and being resurrected to life everlasting.
"The notion that a man is a soul imprisoned in a body is a Greek concept, not a biblical one." --Paul Little, Know What You Believe, pg 82.
"...the Greek idea of the immortality of the soul." -- ibid.; 2 Cor. 5:1
"Plato...wrote the famous book Phaedo, on the immortality of the soul, and this book is the real origin of the modern belief in the immortality of the soul." -- Armstrong
"Death is, that the body separates from the soul, and remains by itself apart from the soul, and the soul, separated from the body, exists by itself apart from the body. Is death anything but that?" Phaedo, Plato quoting Socrates 399 B.C.
"Everything comes into being this way, opposite from opposite...and that there is a becoming from one to the other...Do you not say that to be alive is the opposite of to be dead?...Then from the dead come living things and living men?" -- ibid.
This from the same man who said, "it is likely, for example that those who have practiced gluttony and violence and drunkenness and have not taken heed to their ways enter the bodies of asses and suchlike and beasts (and) those who have preferred injustice and tyrannies and robberies into the bodies of wolves and hawks and kites."
SO JUST WHAT IS THE SOUL?
Most people who have even a cursory knowledge of the Genesis story of creation know that "YHWH Elohim ... breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Gen. 2:7
Here it is common practice to read into this (i.e., using eisegesis --: "the interpretation of a text [as of the Bible] by reading into it one's own ideas." Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) what has been the common interpretation for hundreds of years, rather than reading what the text actually says!
What it says is "man BECAME a living soul." It DOES NOT SAY that Elohim GAVE man a soul!
For what a soul is, it may be helpful to look in the first chapter of Genesis and find the same Hebrew word used FOUR times. WHAT??? A SOUL is mentioned four times in Gen. 1?? YES! A soul is simply a living creature! The Hebrew word is nephesh. In Genesis 1, nephesh refers to living creatures in verses 20, 21, 24, and 30.
Can a spirit have a soul? Elohim is a spirit, and Elohim is a nephesh! (Lev. 26:11,30; Is. 1:14; 42:1; Jer. 5:29; and more.) A nephesh can eat. (Lev. 7:18; 17:12) Some souls live in water. (Lev. 11:10, referring to "living thing") A nephesh can die (except Elohim, of course). (Eze. 18:20) A nephesh can even refer to a "dead body." (Lev. 21:11; Num. 9:6)
"The soul in biblical thought is not immortal, except when new life is conferred upon it through Messiah. Hell is therefore the place of its destruction as Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom, was of the rubbish of Jerusalem." New Bible Commentary: Revised on Matt. 10:28
As noted above, the idea of the immortality of the soul has come down to the Western mind through Plato and similar teachings. NOWHERE in the Bible is the immortality of the soul even hinted at! There are those who will point to verses such as Jer. 1:5 which says that Elohim knew Jeremiah before he was born. But Elohim knows EVERYONE before they are born! Elohim is not hampered by time! He knows the fifth and sixth generations from now, every single person who will be born, because He "(declares) the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done." (Is. 46:10) He knew you six thousand years ago! But you weren't there with Him in Heaven.
Why not? Well, somebody seems to have come up with the idea that souls originate in Heaven (Greeks, maybe?) and are instilled into the bodies of babies at the moment of birth, or even before! That is NOT SCRIPTURAL!!! Paul wrote, "that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." (1 Cor. 15:46)
Simply put, there is a BODY (soul), and then a spirit. Now, this "spirit" is not an "immortal soul."
Again, why not? When Yeshua ("Jesus's" given name) spoke to Nicodemus regarding being "born again," He said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6) There must be TWO births, the first physical and the second spiritual if we are to be a part of the Kingdom of Elohim. The Greek word translated in this passage as "again" means, according to Strong's FIRST definition, "from above, from a higher place."
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