LIFE IN CHRIST
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Subtitle: The Resurrection, Our Only Hope Of Life After Death
William Robert West
Author of “The Rapture And Israel”
Life Or Death
"The Wages Of Sin Death"
"The Wages Of Sin Is Eternal Life With Torment In Hell"
Will There Be A Resurrection From The Dead
Or Do We Now Have An Immortal Soul That Will Never Be Dead?
Life And Death Are Opposites, They Are Not Two Kinds Of Life
Death Is Death, Not Eternal Life Anyplace
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Life or Death
In John 5 and 6 when the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the great multitude that fallowed Christ heard Him say those that hears his word and believes on Him He will give life (John 5:21), they have passed out of death into life (John 5:24-29), and will come “unto the resurrection of life,” they would never have understood Him to be saying He would give a reward to already immortal souls that had been in the believers; souls that if they did exist, would have life and would always have life without Christ. It is clear that Christ is promising a resurrection to life to the persons that believed (John 5:29), not promising life to deathless souls. The death “they have passed out of” (John 4:24) is not a life of misery for souls that cannot die, souls that cannot ever be dead; therefore, cannot “pass out of death into life” (John 5:24).
Eternal life or immortality is never said to be something a person is born with, but something that only Christians will inherit in the future.
o Eternal life WILL BE INHERITED, “And shall inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). A promise, not a present possession by a person, or by the pagan soul some believe to be in a person.
o Eternal life IS A GIFT, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
o Eternal life IS NOW A HOPE, “We might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).
o Eternal life IS PROMISED, “And this is the promise which he promised us, even eternal life” (1 John 2:25).
Many continually preach, "The wages of sin is death," but then by what they preach they contradict themselves by preaching that all now have a soul in them that now has eternal life, and souls that are in unbelievers will have eternal life in Hell. If no “souls” are dead, or will ever be dead, the “wages of sin” cannot be death. Life is as essential to suffering as it to happiness; without all having eternal life there could be no eternal suffering in Hell, or any other place; therefore, believers in Hell must change, “The wages of sin is death" to, "The wages of sin is an eternal life being tormented by God"; “destruction” must be changed to mean “everlasting preservation in misery undestroyed.”
The changing of life and death
HENRY HAMLET DOBNEY, “How was life to be better designated than by the self-same word itself?” “On The Scripture Doctrine Of Future Punishment,” page 193, 1850.
"Life" has been changed to mean only a "reward," or “happiness” for a soul that has life and cannot die.
How is it that when Christ promised “life” to those that believed Him if He did not mean “life?”
The argument is made that all already had “life” and that when Christ promised “life” to those that believed Him that He was only promising happiness to those that already had “continues existence”. Life is existence. Those that do not have “life” do not have any existence. Those to whom Christ does not give “life” will have no existence.
o There cannot be “life” without existence.
o There cannot be existence without “life”. A soul cannot exist in misery if it does not have “life.” A soul cannot be endless tormented if it dose not have endless existence.
o Death is not a living existence.
“I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:26-29).
o The Father has life.
o The Son had life with the Father (John 1:1-10), but give it up and became a man and He died in man’s place (Hebrews 2:14-16); God raised Him up from death and give Him the life He had had before He became a man.
o Those that believe and obey Christ will be resurrected to life (John 5:29). After the resurrection they will not die, will not have tears, death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4); there will be endless happiness in Heaven, but to have the endless happiness they must have endless life, but no one will live without the resurrection to life.
"Death" has been changed to “life”
o Changed from death to an endless life of miserable existence.
o Changed from death to eternal life being tormented by God.
o Changed death to be a deathless death.
o The orthodox view changes death into a different mode of life, a deathless death. “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 is changed to mean the wages of sin is not death, but the wages of sin is endless life with endless torment.
o Changing “life” to happiness and “death” to endless life in misery is nothing more than feeble attempts to make a person have a soul in them that leaves a person at the death of the person, and that soul has eternal life even if the person a soul had been in did not believe in Christ.
o Death is the opposite of birth, just as birth is the beginning of life death is the ending of life; just as we know the day and hour of birth, the day, and hour of death of death will be known. Neither birth nor death is a continuous action that never ends, but for unconditional immortality to be true death must be changed into a never ending dying but never dead, which we are told is not death but an endless life being tormented by God; told that death is life!
o The Greek in which the New Testament was written is one of the best and most expressive languages the world has known. If the Greek had no words to express the ideas of happiness and misery, then the use of life to mean happiness and death to mean endless life in misery would have been an exceedingly poor choice. They are saying that they will accept happiness from Him, but “no think to life; we already have endless life and do not need life.”
o Death does not mean life in misery; a dead person has no life or misery after their death. Life or death mean existence or non-existence. Death and an endless life of misery are not even close to being the same thing.
o Many persons have life but little or no happiness. We may possess life without happiness, but we cannot possess happiness without life; life and happiness are not the same thing.
o Life is necessary to both happiness and misery; there is no misery without life.
Eternal life is a conditional gift to the saved at the resurrection and judgment; it is not something that every person is born with, only those in Christ will ever have it. “He that has the Son HAS ETERNAL LIFE. He that has not the Son HAS NOT LIFE”; therefore, cannot have immortality (1 John 5:12); how could it be said any clearer that those that do not believe in Christ dose not have eternal life? "He that hears My word, and believes Him that sent Me, has eternal life, and comes not into judgment, but has passed out of death into life" (John 5:24).
Life and death are two of the most misused words in the Bible. Many are unwilling to believe that when God said, "The wages of sin is death" that He did really mean what He said, that death is death, death is not eternal life in some place other than Heaven and being tormented by God. Death is not life, not a life long imprisonment with torture. Death is death; not a better life in Heaven, or a worse life in Hell; it is life or death. Death is the exact opposite of life, and death cannot be changed to be eternal life with torment. For a person to have an immortal soul from birth, death as the wages of sin must be explained away. Innate inborn immortality is hostile to God's word. If a person is born with an immortal "immaterial, invisible part of men" (W. E. Vine) that is not subject to death, and this "soul" is the only being that will survive death, the law of God would have no power over whether that soul lives or dies, for according to innate inborn immortality a soul cannot die; God can only say how or where this "immaterial, invisible part of men" is to live if a soul is not subject to death, and it is only this soul that will always live some place.
"He that hears my word, and believes him that sent me, has eternal life, and comes not into judgment, but has passed out of death into life…they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life" (John 5:24-29). It is a person, not a soul “that hears my word, and believes” that has eternal life, not a soul that has passes out of one kind of eternal life into another kind of eternal life, but a person (“he”) that has passed out of death into life. If there were a soul that now has eternal life, it could not be resurrected “out of death into life.” The life could not be literal (real) life if the death was not literal (real) death.
"It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). "For the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs 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 judgment" (John 5:28-29). We now bear the image of Adam, and like Adam, we all will die, but both the saved and those not saved will be raised at the second coming of Christ. The saved will bear the image of Christ and have life forever (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). The church at Smyrna was told, "Be you faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life...He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death" (Revelation 2:10-11). Throughout the Gospels, Christ promised life to all who believed Him. Paul says, "His servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness" (Romans 6:16). "What fruit then had you at that time in the things whereof you are now ashamed: for the end of these things is death. But, now being made free from sin and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life" (Romans 6:21-22). As clear as human language can be, Paul says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
JESUS THE BREAD OF LIFE (John 6): After Jesus fed the five thousand He taught them that He is the bread of life that came down out of Heaven. The bread He gave the five thousand preserved life for a short time, the bread He give them from Heaven preserved life without end. “I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever” (John 6:51). Bread is not a symbol of happiness but a preserver of life, if a person has no food that person would die. Believing in Christ gives life to the person that believes, and without Christ that person will die. Endless life depends on having Christ, the bread that came down out of Heaven; without Christ a person will have no life, will perish just as a person that has no food. “You have not life in yourselves. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:53-54). It is the person that eats and drinks, it will be the person, not a deathless soul that will be raised up from the dead at the last day. Those not in Christ will not “live forever.” Christ gives to the person “that eats my flesh and drinks my blood” exactly what He said, life, not a reward to a soul that already has life.
o It is the person that if he or she eats that person will live.
o If the person does not eat, he or she will not live.
o The literal endless life of a person depends on receiving Christ and being faithful to Him.
o “He (the person) that eats this bread shall live for ever” (John 6:58). John 6 is speaking of the person that believes or dose not believe. Nothing is said about a deathless soul.
o It is the literal life or death of a person at the last day, the Judgment Day, not the well-being, or the lost of well-being of a soul that has life and cannot die even if the person that soul was in did not believe in Christ.
In Romans 6:23, the issue is:
LIFE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -OR - - DEATH
Not life in one place-Heaven–OR–life in another place-Hell
Death is the absence of life-–NOT–another kind of life
(1) Not either a better life–OR–(2) a worse life in misery
All who obeys Christ and "overcomes," will at the judgment be given the crown of life, and shall not be hurt of the second death (Revelation 2:11). The clear implication is that anyone who does not overcome shall be hurt of the second death at the judgment. "He that overcomes shall inherit these things: and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death" (Revelation 21:7-8). Death dose not mean life; to have a conscious existence there must be life, not death. The dead do not have conscious existence; if they did have an endless existence they would not be dead.
o The first death is not any kind of life.
o The second death is not a second life of any kind of life any place.
o Both the first death and the second death are death, neither death means life.
There may be more in the New Testament on life and death than any other subject. If God can destroy a person, the whole person, Matthew 10:28, unconditional immortality cannot be true. If a person can lose his life (Matthew 10:39) unconditional immortality cannot be true. Those who believe there is something that is in a person, and believe that this something cannot die knows "the wages of sin" (Romans 6:23) must be changed to be something other than death, for if "death" means "death" the sinner will die, he cannot live forever in Hell. The Bible teaching on death must be done away with or there can be no Hell; Christ is made to say God will destroy souls that cannot be destroyed.
John 3:16: It is “perish” or “life,” to “perish” is not to live, “perish” is not to have a good life in one place, or a bad life in another place. If all have a “soul” in them that now has eternal life, and it will always have eternal life and cannot perish, why did God give His Son that the “soul” of all who believe on Him would have eternal life and not perish? How could the gift of God be life to the deathless souls if these souls already have eternal life? Eternal life is only for the persons that believe. Just as sure as those that believe on Christ will have eternal life, the persons that do not believe on Christ will not have eternal life any place. Life will be received in the future (John 3:16). The gift of God to those who believe on His Son is eternal life (John 3:16), and this gift is something they did not already have; not something ALL were born with. If all have eternal life from birth, even those who do not believe, how could life be a gift only to believers? When those who believe that all now have a “soul” that is inside of them and this soul now has eternal life read the Bible, and change "life" into "a reward" and they must change death, die, perish, destroyed, and destruction into "endless life." To them, the Bible cannot mean what it says and they must change it.
Only those that believe will be given eternal life, life that those that are not in Christ will never have, is changed by those who say they do not change God’s word, changed to be to all are born with something in them that now has eternal life, and only whatever a soul is that is in a person, only it will live forever, either in Heaven or Hell. Life could not be given to a soul that is already deathless. “Should not perish, but have eternal life,” it is a person that will perish, or will have eternal life.
(1). The unbelieving person that will perish will not have eternal life anyplace.
(2). The believing person that will have eternal life will not perish.
C. S. LEWIS: “You either perish or you don’t perish.” “The Problem of Pain.”
When a newspaper says, “Twenty persons perished in a plane crash,” twenty persons died, perish means die. Perish is not eternal life with a “lost of well-being,” perish is not eternal life in torment, perish is not any kind of life anyplace.
1 John 3:11-12: “God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has the life; he that has not the Son of God has not the life.” The immortal soul doctrine, that all are born with a soul that has eternal life, makes John be completely wrong when he said, “He that has not the Son of God has not the life.” How could those that have not the Son and; therefore, has not life have immortality without life? Would they not be like an immortal rock that will always exist but has no life, no thoughts?
John 11:25: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever lives and believes on me shall never die." If no one “shall never die,” then why did Jesus promise something that all, even sinners already had? "And declare unto you the life, the eternal life" (1 John 1:1). Only those who are raised with Christ through baptism (Romans 6:4-5) have life. Only those in Christ are the only ones who, “Though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25), there will be no life or immortality for those that are not in Christ, no immortality for those that die in sin. Christianity without a resurrection to life for those in Christ is inconceivable.
The gift of God is eternal LIFE, but only to those in Christ. God's gift of LIFE, life could not be a gift to a soul that has life and can never not has life; God’s gift is not just a reward to a soul that was born with eternal life and cannot die.
Psukee (life) is the only word that is translated soul in the New Testament. The adjectives eternal and everlasting (aionios–ageless) are never used with psukee. Psukee is translated: life 40 times, you 1 time, us 1 time, mind 3 times, heart 1 time, heartily 1 time, soul 57 times in the King James Version, but much fewer times in most translations; soul 23 times in New International Version in 2010–2011 update, and 0 times in some translations. (see “THE DYING USE OF ‘SOUL’ IN THE NEW TESTAMENT” in chapter one, also the dying translation of nehphesh into soul in the Old Testament). Psukee (life) is the natural life of a person or animal (Revelation 8:9; 16:3). It is the life common to all living creatures, man, and all animals. All living creatures by natural birth have psukee (life) from birth to death. "The first man Adam become a living soul” (1 Corinthians 15:45 in King James Version, “living being” in most translations). Psukee is the same as nehphesh in the Old Testament; Adam became "a living soul"–nehphesh–a living being (Genesis 2:7); nehphesh is the life Adam had in common with animals and all living creatures, life that can be destroyed, saved, lay down, end, loss, put in danger, or die.
Psukee is used is used about 105 times in the New Testament, with 50 of them in the four gospels. In spite of the belief of the King James translators they were compelled to translated it “life” 28 of the 50 times, “us” 1 time, and “soul” only 21 of the 50. Life and soul are not synonymous in English; they do not mean the same thing, life and soul are not even close to being the same thing. In trying to put Plato’s teaching into the mouth of Christ they were forced to translate the same word into two words that are not even close to meaning the same thing; baselessly they used “life” when it was speaking of animal life and “soul” when it was speaking of mankind. Unfortunately most English readers never see what the translators did, that they made psukee be both (1) any earthly mortal life that will die, (2) and the same word, psukee, be immortal souls that cannot die; PSUKEE IS MADE TO MEAN BOTH WILL DIE AND CANNOT DIE! Psukee is not both (1) sometimes a mortal being that must dies, (2) and sometimes an immortal being that cannot die, if it did mean both there would have been no way the translators could have known when a psukee was a deathless immortal being that cannot die, and when a psukee was a mortal being that cannot keep from dying. In spite of their belief that souls are immortal and cannot die they were forced to translate psukee as mortal life that can die more times than they were able to mistranslate it as Plato’s immortal being. “Whosoever will save his life (psyche) shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life (psyche) for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul (psyche-life)? Or what shall he give in exchange for his soul (psyche-life)” (Matthew 16:25-26); they made psyche mean both (1) animal life, mortal life that they believed must die, (2) and an immortal, immaterial soul that they believed cannot die. When rightly translated, psyche always means the life of a mortal being, either the life of a person, or the life of an animal.
Zoe (life) (Strong's word 2227, “Zoopoico...make alive, give life, quicken”) Zoe (life), endless life is a gift from Christ to those who believe, the life He gives to those who are His; an ageless life that those that are not His will never have. "Zoe" is used about one hundred thirty times, and is translated "life" every time. It refers to the life given by Christ to believes in all but about ten of the one hundred thirty times, and in those ten it is life or existence in this life time, “Seeing He Himself gives to all life (zoe), and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25; Luke 12:15; 16:25; 1:75; James 4:14 and about five more). All life (zoe) of ever living thing on this earth is a gift from God to both persons and animals.
Christ gives life (zoe) to believer’s now, a life that will be continued after the resurrection in the ages to come (John 6:40); a life that will last beyond this earthly life that nonbelievers do not now or will ever have. Life (zoe) that Christ gives to a believer is endless existence for a believer as opposed to non-existence or death for a nonbeliever; neither endless life nor any kind of endless existence are not once used to describe the future state of the lost, not to a lost person nor to a soul that many believe to have been in a lost person. Aionios life is never used with the word “psuche.” The penalty for sin is death, but Christ made the atonement for our sins by his death; endless life for a believer is only through Christ’s atonement, and without His atonement there will be only death, not endless life anyplace with or without torment. The wages of sin is death, and Christ has not made the atonement for the sins of the wicked that never believe Him, and there is no life for them; neither a person nor a soul cannot be endlessly tormented if they have no life.
o "Shall inherit eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" Matthew 19:29.
o "That whosoever believes may in him have eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" John 3:15. The only way to have eternal life is through believing in Christ, not by birth, not being born with an immortal soul that is in you that already has eternal life even if the person a soul is in never believes in Christ.
o "Whosoever believes on him should not perish, but have eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" John 3:16.
o "He that believes on the Son has eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe); but he that obeys not the Son shall not see LIFE (zoe),” John 3:36. He or she that obeys not the Son is not now immortal, and will never be immortal in Hell or any place, will never have eternal life any place. If this is not speaking of the person, but is speaking of an immortal soul that “shall not see life,” then how is it that the immortal soul that we are repeated told is deathless, but that deathless soul “shall not see life?”
o "The water I shall give him shall become in him a well or water springing up unto eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" John 4:14.
o "Fruit unto LIFE (zoe) eternal (aionios) John 4:36.
o "Son also gives LIFE (zoe)" John 5:21.
o "He that hears my word, and believes him that sent me, has eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe), and comes not into judgment, but has passed out of death into LIFE (zoe)" John 5:24.
o "That you may have LIFE (zoe)" John 5:40.
o "Unto the resurrection of LIFE (zoe)" John 5:29.
o "Food which abides unto eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" John 6:27.
o "Should have eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe); and I will raise him up at the last day" John 6:40.
o "And I give unto them eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" John 10:28. He is not giving them life that they had, or life to a being that is in them that had eternal life at the birth of the person it was put in, but life that they did not have before the new birth. When Jesus said, "He that believes not the Son shall not see life," will these that shall not have eternal life have eternal life in torment?
o "He should give eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" John 17:1-3.
o "And that believing you may have LIFE (zoe)" John 20:31. This life is a free gift given to the person that believes; it is not a gift of life to a soul that those that believe in unconditional immortal tell us that soul already has life, and according to them all souls will always have life someplace.
o "The free gift of God is eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe) in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23.
o "Believe on Him unto eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" 1 Timothy 1:16.
o "Lay hold on the LIFE (zoe) eternal (aionios), whereunto you were called" 1 Timothy 6:12.
o "May lay hold on the LIFE (zoe) which is LIFE (zoe) indeed" 1 Timothy 6:19.
o "Abolished death and brought LIFE (zoe) and immortality to light" 2 Timothy 1:10.
o "In hope of eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" Titus 1:2.
o "We might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal LIFE (zoe)" Titus 3:12.
o "Shall receive the crown of LIFE (zoe)" James 1:12.
o "Declare unto you the LIFE (zoe), the eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe), (Christ) which was with the Father" 1 John 1:2.
o "And this is the promise which he promised us, even the LIFE (zoe) eternal (aionios)" (1 John 2:25). At the resurrection the saved shall put on immortality (eternal life). This is so sure that it is spoken of as if we now have it.
o "And in the world (age) to come eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" Mark 10:30.
o (1) "God gave unto us eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe), (2) and this LIFE (zoe) is in his Son. (3) He that has the Son has the LIFE (zoe); (4) he that has not the Son of God has not the LIFE (zoe)" 1 John 5:11-12. No invisible immaterial soul in a person that is not in Christ now has eternal life, or the promise of eternal life.
o "And the end, eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" Romans 6:22.
o "Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" Jude 21.
o "That of all that which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day" (John 6:29). "For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholds the Son, and believes on him, should have eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe); and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40). "And I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44) "And I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:54).
o "Who will render to every man according to his works: to them that by patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe)" Romans 2:7.
o "I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE (zoe)" "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the LIFE (zoe): he that believes on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever lives and believes on me shall never die" (John 11:25-26).
o "Our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought LIFE (zoe) and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). Christ is the Word of life. "Concerning the Word of life (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father)" (1 John 1:2). Only those raised with Christ through baptism have the promise of eternal life and will not be subject to the Second Death.
LIFE, NOT IMMORTALITY IS TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE, A RESURRECTION TO LIFE FOR BELIEVERS, OR A RESURRECTION TO JUDGEMENT FOR UNBELIEVERS (John 5:28-29). The promise of eternal life at the judgment only to those who believe in and obey Christ is positive proof that no person does not now have immortality, but this promise of life to the faithful is so certain that it is often spoken of as something believers now have; “He who believes in the Son has eternal (aionios) life (zoe); but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life (zoe)” (John 3:36); life depends on having a relationship with Christ; “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life (zoe) is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life (zoe), is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4). A born again person cannot be given immortality at the judgment if all are now immortal and cannot die for all souls, both souls in the saved and in the lost, would now have eternal life. The theology that says a person is born with an immortal soul in them that is deathless gives life to all and robs Christ of giving the gift of life only to all who believes, it gives life to all souls that are in all, to even the worst sinners at birth. These passages make no sense if we are born with a soul that has life, and that can never die, and this soul that is not subject to death is all that will ever be in Heaven. This theology makes Christ give life only to a soul that already is immortal, already has eternal life and it cannot die. Immortality is conditional on being in Christ; there is no eternal life except to these in Christ. It would be nonsense for Christ to promise life in the age to come to a deathless soul if that soul couldn’t not have life. “God gave unto us eternal (aionios) LIFE (zoe), and this LIFE (zoe), is in his Son. He that has the Son has the LIFE (zoe); he that has not he Son of God has not the LIFE (zoe),” (1 John 5:11-12). Yet we are told that “he that has not the Son” has a soul that now has life, that it is not “us” but “it” that now has eternal life.
Because those that believe still die, many apply this promise of life only to a soul, not to the person.
(1). If this life was to a soul, not the person, then a soul that is in the person that does not believe will die; therefore, it would make souls that are in all that do not believe in Christ be both mortal and will die.
(2). If, as we are told, all souls have always been immortal and can never die, then this promise of life does not give anything to a soul that it did not already have. It would be a useless, empty, meaningless promise to a soul that already had life, and that soul could never die, that a soul could never be without life even if the person did not eat the bread Christ gives.
(3). It is mortal man that is “faithful unto death” that is promised life, not an immortal something that has always and always will have life even if it were not “faithful unto death”. To change the person (“he” and “everyone”) that is given life for believing to being an “it” that already has life even if “it” never believe is not “speaking where the Bible speaks and keeping silent where the Bible is silent.”
(4). The “he” is the person that believes that “shall live forever.” There are all kinds of attempts made to change this from “he” to “it,” change it to being all soul will live forever, either live a better life, or live a worse life; the person living forever just will not work with unconditional immortality, therefore; it is a must with them to change this from a person being given life to a soul that has life even if the person does not eat of “this bread,” after all, according to them it is only a soul that will live forever, not the person.
Eternal life is the gift of Christ only to those who obey Him, not something all mankind now possess without obeying Christ. Innate immortality denies that Christ will give eternal life to those that believe by teaching that all souls already have eternal life; eternal life cannot be given to a soul that already has eternal life. It cannot be changed to a better life in Heaven, or a worse life in Hell; it is life of death, not life or life. We can choose between life and death, not a better life, or a worse life of torment.
EDWARD WHITE: “The second line of doctrine which runs throughout the gospel of John from the first paragraph to the last, is that this Incarnation of the Divine Logos of God has for its object TO GIVE LIFE ETERNAL TO MANKIND. This is repeated more than thirty times in the most emphatic manner. And if the epistles of John are added to the account, it will be found that nearly fifty times does this apostle declare the gift of LIFE, or LIFE EVERLASTING, to the end of the incarnation…The statement if reiterated in every possible form that His work on earth is to give life, everlasting life, to prevent men from dying, from perishing.” “Life In Christ,” Chapter 17, Section 2, 1875, http://www.robertwr.com/LifeInChrist.htm
HENRY HAMLET DOBNEY: “The holders of the popular doctrine, proceeding on the assumption that all man have eternal life, in the literal sense, must of course deny altogether that the idea of existence is even included in the terms ‘life,’ ‘everlasting life,’ and the like. For seeing, according to the common notion, that the wicked have everlasting life (taking the phrase literally) as well the righteous, when this is promised to the followers of Christ, as something peculiar to them and unutterably glorious, they must perforce affirm that the phase is used metaphorically, and only so.” “On The Scripture Doctrine Of Future Punishment, An Argument,” page 180, Kessinger Legacy Reprints, 1850.
WHEN DO WE RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE? Paul writing to Titus said, “In hope of eternal life, which God who cannot lie, promised” (Titus 1:2). Eternal life will be given at the Day of Judgment to those who “seek for glory and honor and incorruption…in the day when God shall judge the secrets of man” (Romans 2:5-16); could it be said in a more positively way that immortality is something Christians “seek for,” and not something that they or souls now have? “Should have eternal LIFE (zoe); and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40). Those who are believers will “sleep” unto all believers are raised up to eternal life at the second coming. This life is so certain that it is often spoken of as if believers now have it.
o Will be received in the future (John 3:16), “but have” is future tense.
o Will be inherited (Matthew 19:29), not something that a “soul” now has. “Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
o Is the gift of God (Romans 6:23) only to those who obey God, not something that souls that are in all sinners now have?
o We now have the hope of eternal life in the future (Titus 3:7); something only believers shall receive, but sinners never will have eternal life.
o Eternal life is promised (1 John 1:25). If all have it from birth, then life could not be the gift of God promised only to believers.
o Christians are “waiting for our adoption…if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:23-25). Are we waiting and hoping for something we already have?
o “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
o When Christ, who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).
o “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). The crown of life is not given before the second coming of Christ (2 Timothy 4:8).
Summary: If there were now a soul in everyone that is immortal and deathless, that soul could not be given life even if the person it was in was a believer, it could not be given life or immortality at the resurrection, it would make much of the New Testament be complete nonsense. It there were a soul that is now immortal and deathless, that soul would not be subject to death, it could not die, it could not pay the wages of sin which is death, it could not be resurrected for it would not be dead. All deathless souls, even these in the lost, would now have eternal life; all would now be immortal and have no need for Christ to have died in their place to give them eternal life. The immortal soul doctrine that all have a soul that is immortal, that all now have eternal life is a gospel that is totally different than the gospel of the New Testament (Galatians 1:6-9), which teaches that only those that believe and obey Christ will be given eternal life and immortal, and that no one now has, or will have eternal life without the resurrection.
BREAD FROM HEAVEN–THE RESURRECTION–ETERNAL LIFE: “’Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal’. Therefore they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’ So they said to Him, ‘What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’ Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.’ Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.’ Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread that came down out of heaven.’ They were saying, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven?’ Jesus answered and said to them ‘Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread, which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.’ Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, ‘How can this man give us His flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever’ (John 6:26-58). The fathers were given bread in the wilderness, but that bread was only to sustain earthly life for a little time, while the bread of Christ gives endless life; those who eat of it will be resurrected to life that never ends.’”
o Those that eat the bread in the wilderness died.
o Those that eat the bread that Christ gives will never die.
o This is speaking of the persons that died in the wilderness, and the persons that will not die if they eat the bread Christ gives. If it were speaking of an immortal something that cannot die that had been in a person, then Christ would be giving no life that these immortal souls did not already have.
J. M. DENNISTON: “The one thing really announced is that, through Christ the living Bread, there comes to believers an endless duration which did not come by the manna–the clear understanding being that in no other way than through that Bread can such duration be theirs…life, including existence, comes to us only through the Son as the Bread of Life.” “The Perishing Soul According To Scripture,” pages 55-56, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1874.
The usual orthodox argument is that to be dead dose not mean to be without an existence, to be given life does not mean to be given existence.
o Death is changed to life separated from God.
o “Shall live” does not mean life, but is changed to mean for a deathless soul finds favor with God.
There cannot be life without existence, or existence without life.
o Existence is life, to existence is to be alive.
o Life is existence; when Christ gives endless life to believers He give endless existence.
For a person to have life, or for a person to have existence is exactly the same thing. If there were souls that have endless existence, to say Christ gives them life would be to say Christ gives them nothing.
Those who do not eat of the bread Christ gives will die; to teach that all will live some place is to teach that all that does not eat of the bread Christ gives will have life that is just as eternal as those that do eat; therefore, even if they do not eat of this bread of life they can never die; only the place where they will live their eternal life they already had will be in a different place then those that do eat it, but both will have life, both will have existence. “Even as You gave Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life” (John 17:2).
While it is beyond all doubt that there will be endless happiness in Heaven, life cannot be changed to be only happiness, death cannot be changed to be endless existence being tormented by God. In this world there can be life without happiness, there cannot be happiness without life. In Heaven there will be both endless life and endless happiness.
IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION ONLY BELIEVERS WILL BE GIVEN LIFE.
The tree of life (Revelation 2:7; 22:2; 22:14)
The crown of life (Revelation 2:10)
Name written in the book of life (Revelation 20:12; 20:15; 21:27; 22:19)
A river of water of life (Revelation 22:1-2)
Those who are not in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15), “which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
In the Book of Revelation it is life for those in Christ, death for those not in Christ. God “will take away his name from the tree of life” (Revelation 22:19).
Eternal life is a gift from God (Romans 6:23) only to believers. Death is the oppose of life, not another kind of life. Life is the oppose of death.
ARE THE DEAD REALLY DEAD?
IS DEATH THE ABSENCE OF LIFE?
OR IS DEATH ETERNAL LIFE WITH TORMENT?
IS DEATH DEATHLESS, DOSE DEATH REALLY MEAN DEATH?
DEATH for believers has been changed and made into instant glorious LIFE with Christ with everything that is promised at the resurrection. Platonic theology makes death into the best of friends. Death has been made into an illusion where when a person dies that person is not dead, but is more alive then when he or she were alive; death is made to means more alive than life does. If, as we are repeated told, death is not death, but death means eternal life some place, them what word could have been used to mean completely dead? There is not one word that we would not be told that it does not mean to be actual dead. If death were not death, what would it take to be dead?
Salvation is from death, not from torment by God for souls that cannot die. Whether it is in plants, animals, or person, death by definition is the absence of life; there is no life in a dead plant just as there is no life in a dead person; eternal life with torment in Hell would mean that there is no absence of life, that there is no death; death is not an eternal deathless life of being endless burned in fire by God. Death is death, not life. If death were death it would completely destroy the pagan immortal soul doctrine that the real person dose not die, but goes on to live endlessly without the resurrection. The breath of life is given by God, it is a priceless blessing; death is the removal of the priceless life that came from God; death ends life; the second death, the end to all life will be a terrible punishment for sin. It is life or death, not a bad kind of life in one place, or a good kind of life in another place, death is not any kind of life; if death is not literal real death then life is not real life. Death being life is a change to God’s word made by those that say they do not change God’s word; a change they must have to make God be an eternal tormentor.
o Life is changed from life to endless joy for a deathless soul.
o Death is changed from death to life, changed to endless life being tormented by God.
According to the immortal soul doctrine, that a soul that is in a person has never been subject to death, it cannot be dead, at the death of the person a soul had lived in, that soul only changes the place where it lived while it is in a person for a better place to live without the person.
o The penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23), not eternal life in Hell for a soul that is not subject to death. This passage is preached continually, but very few that preach it believe it. They preach, "The wages of sin is death," and in the same breath preach a person has a deathless something in them that cannot die, and the wages of sin for that deathless something in a person is not death; according to them “the wages of sin” is life, an eternal life of being tormented by God in Hell for a soul that cannot be dead.
o If “the wages of sin is death,” then after the penalty, the second death, there will be no life; death is total nothingness, no awareness of anything, no love, no hope, no relationships, no joy, no torment, no thoughts, no nothing. Eternal death is eternal punishment, the punishment last as long as the death. Eternal suffering would be a saving from the wages of sin, a saving from death.
o “Whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” Romans 6:16.
o “For the end of these things is death” Romans 6:21. Death for a deathless soul?
o “For godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation, a repentance which brings no regret: but the sorrow of the world works death” 2 Corinthians 7:10.
o “Sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death” James 1:15.
o “And you shall call His name Jesus; for He shall save his people from their sins” Matthew 1:2.
o “Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:2.
o “That He might redeem us from all iniquity” Titus 2:14.
o “Who delivered us out of so great a death” 2 Corinthians 1:10.
o "Will save him from death" New International Version, James 5:20.
o “For to be carnal minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” Romans 8:6.
o “But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, than shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). If, as we are repeatedly told, a soul never dies, and only a soul will be in Heaven, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50), then how would it be possible for death to be “swallowed up in victory” if death is not death, if a soul cannot be dead, what would be “swallowed up?” If death is endless life separated from God, how could life separated from God be “swallowed up in victory” if life for souls separated from God with a separation that will never ends? The victory is not a victory over Hell; it is a victory over death. The victory is not a deathless soul saved from endless life in Hell; the “victory” is a person saved from death.
It is difficult not to understand this passage; it is difficult to explain away “the wages of sin is death;” difficult to change “death” to “life.” All attempts to explain death out of the Bible fall far short. Death is death, not an eternal dying, but never dead; death is not eternal life with torment for a soul that we are told had been in a person.
Death and life in torment are not synonymous terms; a dead person cannot be tormented. Salvation is from death; there is no passage that says anything about being saved from an eternal life of torment. All have sinned; for all that has not been saved from death were saved by the death of Christ, the wages of sin is death. Death is God's penalty for sin; how could God have said this anymore clear and simple? The gift of God canceled the wages of sin and gives life. The free gift of God is not changing one kind of life for another kind of life, or life in one place for life in another place. It is giving life in place of death. This is made possible not by Christ being eternally torment for us, but by Christ dying our death for us. The free gift of God is life, not just a change of address from Hell to Heaven for a soul that already has eternal life and cannot die. NO PROCESS OF DYING IS NOT DEATH UNTO THE PERSON IS DEAD; DEATH IS NOT DEATH UNTO THERE IS NO LIFE IN THE PERSON. Any process that goes on forever without ever coming to an end is not death. The “wages of sin” is not death if there is no death. If “the wages of sin is death” the penalty of the law has not been inflicted on any that are not dead. The immortal deathless soul doctrine must make death not be death but changes death to an endless imprisonment for a deathless soul that will be endless tormented by God; them for a soul there is no such thing as an actual death, the theology of those that believe in Hell requires that they change God’s word to make it sustain their teaching of a deathless soul.
Death is changed into two doors that open instantly into two parallel endless lives.
1. Door one: opens into instant endless life in Heaven.
2. Door two: opens into instant endless life in Hell. Death is changed from death to life, to an unending life of endlessly being torment by God.
o Both doors change death into life without a resurrection of the dead, and without a Judgment Day.
"Shall save a soul (psukee–life or person) from death" "Will save him from death," New International Version, James 5:20. The person saved is saved from death, not saved from an unending life of torment. It is the person that is converted that is saved from death, not a deathless soul that had been in a person that is dead, not a soul saved from a death that a soul could not die, not a deathless soul saved because the dead person it had been in had been converted. From the many sermons I have heard, and the many books I have read, the belief of most Protestants is the conversion of the person will give endless life in Heaven to a soul, but nothing to the person the soul had been in. The mistranslation of psukee into soul in the King James Version makes a soul that is believed to be deathless be saved from death.
When the second death is changed from death to endless life with torment then who or what will have the endless torment, it has been changed from the person that sinned to a soul that had been in the person that sinned having endless torment because the person it has been in sinned.
"Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls (life–psukee)" 1 Peter 1:9. "Sin unto death" Romans 6:16: Not sin unto an eternal life of torment.
"What fruit then had you at that time in the things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life (at the judgment). For the Wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life" Romans 6:21-23; death is not a gateway to a better life; death is an "enemy," and our only hope for life is the resurrection, not death being life. "For you shall be recompensed in the resurrection" (Luke 14:14), not recompensed instantly after death.
"Be you faithful unto death (end of this life) and I will give YOU the crown of life (at the judgment)...shall not be hurt of the second death" ("I will give you," not life to a soul that is in you) Revelation 2:10. And with the world they shall "passes away" 1 John 2:17.
"For if you live after the flesh, YOU MUST DIE; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, YOU WILL LIVE" Romans 8:13 ("You" must die, not something that is in "you" must die). Why did Paul not say, “If you live after the flesh, you must be tormented”? Did Paul not know there is a big difference in dying and in living in torment; did Paul not know that if you die you cannot be tormented? In “You must die,” the dying is in the future and is a penalty.
"We have passed out of death into life” 1 John 3:14. “We” not “it” passed out of death into life.
Death is so sure to those not in Christ that they "abides in death" 1 John 3:14.
"If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable. But now has Christ been raised from the dead, the first fruits of them that are asleep. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all DIE, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:19-23). In the plainest language possible, Jesus said, "If you believe not, YOU shall die in your sins" (John 8:21-24). Many read this passage and see, “If you believe not, your soul that cannot die shall die.”
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:23). There are two reasons why the sinner will die in this passage. (1) They will receive the wages they earned for sin, which is death. (2) Eternal life, immortality, is given only to those who are in Christ. There is not one text that says the lost will ever be given the gift of immortality.
J. W. McGARVEY: “But now having been made free from the slavery of sin, and having become a servant of God, your present reward is the blessedness and joy of a clean life, and your future reward is life eternal. And this is obvious, for, following my figure of slave, masters and wages to the end, the wages which men earn and receive from your former master, sin, is death; but the wages which you cannot earn, or deserve, but which God freely gives you for serving him, is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Commentary on Romans 6:23, Standard Publishing Company 1916.
Those who believe in eternal torment are saying:
o To the unsaved that they already have eternal life, but they will spend it in the wrong place.
o They are saying to the lost that they can never die, but that they will live an unhappy everlasting life being tormented by God.
o They are saying the lost will be in Hell, and they will be just as alive as those in Heaven, and in no sense can the lost to be said to be dead; in no plain common sense language can the wages of sin be said to be death to an immortal being that cannot be dead; if it were dead it would not be an immortal being.
o They are saying that death cannot be death, but that death is only a transfer of life from this realm to life in another realm. For a person to now have an immortal soul that can never die, death, particularly the second death must be changed to a second life. Those who believe men are now immortal must take death out of the Bible. Death is not life. In all the repeatedly times Christ promised eternal life to believers, He must be made not to mean that what He promised is not eternal life, but He promised only a reward or happiness. “Life” and “death” cannot be twisted to mean the same thing, but the immortal soul doctrine says both are the same, that the “wages of sin” is eternal life in Hell. 1 John 3:5 says, “No murderer has eternal life abiding in him,” but the immortal soul doctrine says, “Yes, there is an immortal soul in a murderer that has life abiding in it, and life will abide in that soul forever in Hell.” This doctrine that gives eternal life to all souls is a complete contradiction of the Bible doctrine that says Christ gives eternal life only to person that believe.
"WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH," not an eternal life of torment for a “soul” that cannot ever be dead (Romans 6:23). Death is not life in a different form; death ends life, and without the resurrection death means the utter destruction of life to both believers and unbelievers. Death is to be abolished at "the end" (1 Corinthians 15:24-26) by casting it into lake of fire. Jesus endured the wages of sin in our place so that we would not have to. Christ could not be our savior, if the wages of sin is eternal torment. Jesus died in our place (Romans 3:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:21-22; Hebrews 9:12-15; 1 Peter 1:18-19), but He did not endure eternal torment in our place; therefore, if the wages of sin were an eternal life of torment Christ could not be our savior; He would not have paid our debt. He did "taste of death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9); He paid our debt in full with His death. When today's theology says that death is only life in a different place, and death is not really death, then it makes our salvation impossible by making the death of Christ not to have happened if there is no death, it makes Christ not have died for our sins.
1. It destroys the Bible doctrine of the wages of sin being death.
2. It destroys the Bible doctrine of a Judgment Day to come by making all be judged at death.
3. It destroys the Bible doctrine of a resurrection by making no soul be dead to be resurrected from the dead.
4. It changes the gift of God from being life to all the faithful to the gift of God is only an escape from eternal torment in Hell for souls that were born with eternal life.
ROBERT TURNER: "Sin separates us from God, and 'the soul that sinneth, it shall die.'" Florida College Annual Lectures, page 172, 1986. Which one is he saying? (1) That a soul that sins lives forever separated from God, (2) or that "The soul that sins shall die." The two are a total contradiction of each other and both cannot be true, but many are so blinded by their theology that they are unable to see the contradiction, that he is saying both a soul cannot die and a soul that sins will die.
o "For the end of these things is death...for the wages of sin is death" King James Version.
o "For the outcome of these things is death...for the wages of sin is death" New American Standard.
o "These things result in death...for the wages of sin is death" New International Version.
o "These things only bring death...when people sin, they earn what sin pays–death" New Century Version.
o "And they lead to death...sin pays off with death" Contemporary English Version.
o "Things that end in eternal doom...for the wages of sin is death" New Living Translation.
o "The result of those things is death...for sin pays it wage–death" Today's English Version.
There is not the slightest sign of an immortal soul that is not subject to death in this passage; it is the person that sins that will die.
Romans 8:5-13, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Again, it is life or death, live, or die, not two kinds of life.
James 1:15: The three steps to death. (1) Lust (when it has conceived) (2) gives birth to sin (3) Sin (when it is accomplished) brings death. In today's preaching the three steps are changed to (1) lust (2) sin (3) eternal life in Hell.
2 Corinthians 7:10: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Many read this and change death to life in Hell even when there is nothing said about Hell or eternal life with torment in it; why do they not believe God? Death is not eternal life any place.
It is life or death, not reward or torment, never an everlasting life of torment with God doing the tormenting. There is so much teaching in the New Testament on life and death that it is as if God foreknew men would change the death that is the wages of sin into an everlasting life of torment, and He gives them no way to say at the judgment, "I did not know." Why do men not believe God? Death is in contrast to life; it is the opposite of life, and not just another kind of life. Death is not life in Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, or hades. Death is not life of any kind anywhere; death is death, not everlasting life with torment, not a mere change in the mode of existence; death is not life in another condition, not life separated from God. After death the unsaved cannot be both eternally dead and eternally alive and conscious; they cannot be both dead and alive at the same time. Why would God say one thing to us, and mean the opposite of what He said? Why would God say the wages of sin is death if the wages of sin is life? Today’s theology has changed God’s death into life because Plato said man has a soul that cannot be dead, that a soul will live after the person it is in is dead.
Death is understood by all to be death when we say, “The dog is dead,” but when we say, “The person is dead,” death must be changed to only be a separation but not death.
o The dog is dead–the person is dead.
o Which one is dead? How can this mean one is dead and the other is alive?
"For if you live according to the flesh, YOU will die: but if by the Spirit YOU put to death the deeds of the body, YOU will live" (Romans 8:13). “YOU” will live or die, not just an "immaterial, invisible part of man" (W. E. Vine). A person that is lost "will die," a person that is saved "will live," but we are told that a soul cannot die; therefore, the “YOU” that can live or die could not be a soul that cannot die, nevertheless this passage that says, “YOU will die” is often used to prove there is a soul that cannot die.
o Narrow way = life–Broad way = destruction (Matthew 7:13-14)
o Life, or death (Romans 6:23; 4:17; 1 Corinthians 3:22)
o Life, or perish (John 3:16)
o Life, or die (Romans 8:13)
o Life and peace, or death (Romans 8:6)
o Salvation, or death (2 Corinthians 7:10)
o Saved, or destroy (James 4:12)
o Life, or destruction (Matthew 7:13-14)
o Into life, out of death (1 John 3:14)
o Under the Old Testament Law (earthly life or death)
o Life and death (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)
o Death and live (Ezekiel 18:23)
o Death and live (Ezekiel 18:32)
The Bible says what it means, and means what it says. God inspired John to say, "Should not perish," but many say God did not mean, "perish," but "shall have an eternal life of torment." Death has been made not to exist, no one ever dies, they just pass from one kind of life to another kind of life; death is made to be a transfer of life to life in another realm.
Is the world on Satan's side?
In Romans 1:28-23, Paul gives a list of sins, and then he said, "They that practice such things are worthy of death." Not, "They that practice such things are worthy of eternal life in Hell." Will you believe them or Paul? You cannot believe both. "What fruit then had you at that time in the things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of these things is death...You have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life, for the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:21-23). The gift of God to those who believe on His Son is eternal life (John 3:16), and this gift is something they do not already have; not something ALL were born with. If all have eternal life from birth, even those who do not believe, how could life be a gift to believers? When those who believe that all now have eternal life (an immortal soul) read the Bible, and change "life" into "a reward" and change death, die, perish, destroyed, and destruction into "punishment." To them, the Bible cannot mean what it says and they must change it.
FROM WHAT ARE WE SAVED: We are saved from death by the death of Christ and given life, not saved from Hell. Christ died our death; He did not suffer an eternal life in Hell.
ADDITIONS TO THE BIBLE: “Eternal Hell,” “immortal soul,” “save your immortal soul,” and “eternal suffering in Hell fire,” are not in the Bible, but are used often by preachers and Bible teacher, and are falsely presented as being the teaching of the Bible.
The first death is the end of life of the flesh (life as it exist now). The second death then must also be the end of life (life as it will exist then), or it is not a second death, but something altogether different from death, it is a second life; those that believe there is a soul in a person that has endless life much change the second death to life; an endless life of torment is not a second death. The traditional concept is that a person has an immortal soul, which neither the first or second death can kill; therefore, death must be changed to be something other than death for that soul; death is changed to be a translation to eternal life in Heaven or Hell, the second death is changed to be only a translation from one life form to another life form, a translation from this life to eternal life in Heaven for immortal souls that are already in Heaven and already had eternal life, or a translation to eternal life in Hell to souls that are already in Hell, for we are told that they were already translated to eternal life in Hell by the first death. On about every page throughout the New Testament it is life or death, not rewarded or tormented. The unsaved die, perish, are destroyed, and are lost. The obedient are saved from death and are given life and immortality at the judgment. Why is there so much in the Bible on death if there is no death? Many have believed what their preacher or church says, and they have rejected the Bible as being untrue, although most do not realize they have put the teaching of a church or preacher over the Bible. Eternal life is frequently promised to the righteous, but never to the wicked. If the wicked do not have eternal life they cannot endure eternal torment.
Our body will be:
o "Fashion a new" American Standard Version, Philippians 3:21
o "Change" King James Version
o "Transform" New American Standard Version
o If it were going to be only a soul, not the person that will be in Heaven, then why would our earthly bodies be, “Fashion a new,” “Change,” “Transform”?
Philippians 3:20-21: "But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory...but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." If the lost will live forever in Hell, do they also have the victory over death; will not their life (not their death) be just as eternal as the saved?
Summery: If it were true that there is no real death, that death is only a separation from God, a deathless death, then there could not be a resurrection of the dead for no one could be really dead. The pagan doctrine of the immortality of a soul makes the Bible doctrine of the resurrection of the dead both impossible and useless. Any life after death depends wholly on the resurrection of the dead persons at the coming of Christ, not on a deathless soul (Luke 14:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55). THE BIBLE HAS BEEN CHANGED TO TEACH THAT DEATH IS ETERNAL LIFE. "We have passed out of death into life" (1 John 4:14). It is us (the whole person) that were dead in our relation to God, not a deathless soul that “passed out of death into life,” and that deathless soul is now alive. If we did have a soul that was dead, but that soul is now alive, it would be a contradiction of the doctrine that a soul can never die, for an immortal soul that cannot be dead would have been dead, and a deathless soul that could not be dead would have "passed out of death into life;" a soul, which we are told can never be dead would have been dead at one time, but now a soul that was a dead soul is now alive. It was the person that was dead before they were in Christ, but is now alive in Christ, it is the person that has passed out of death into life, not an undying immaterial soul that could never be dead.
Believers in immortality from birth must change the Bible to say:
Those who are destroyed are not destroyed (James 4:12; 2 Peter 2:12; 2 Peter 3:7). What kind of destruction can that be which destroys nothing? There is no similarity between destruction and endless torment.
1. Those who perish do not perish (1 Corinthians 1:8: John 3:16).
2. Those who die do not die (Romans 6:23) (Death is not death).
3. The end of the wicked is not their end (Philippians 3:19; Hebrews 6:8).
4. Those who are consumed are not consumed (Hebrews 10:27).
5. Mortals are born immortal (1 Timothy 6:16); therefore, how can there be any such thing as being mortal? There are no mortals and could never be a mortal if all were created immortal.
6. It is believed by many that the second death is not a death, that death is eternal life with torment (Revelation 21:8). That death is only a miserable condition of endless life being tormented by God, death is not an actual death; therefore, life that is given by Christ to believers is not actual life, but endless joy and well-being to a soul that cannot be dead.
Is “THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH” or “IS THE WAGES OF SIN AN ETERNAL LIFE OF TORMENT FOR A DEATHLESS SOUL?” It cannot be both. If all are immortal from birth, then death could not exist; no one will ever die; no one will ever be dead; therefore, the wages of sin could not be death. Are they really teaching the Bible when they corrupt it into saying the opposite of what it really says, or when they teach what they want the Bible to say?
Death, the enemy defeated for believers: "Jesus said unto her, your brother shall rise again. Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever lives and believes on me shall never die" (John 11:23-26); the same he that shall die is the same he that shall live, not the same soul that cannot die that shall live. "If a man keep my word, he shall never see death" (John 8:55). "I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever" (John 6:51). It is evident that Jesus was not speaking of physical death, for like Lazarus believers shall die, but unlike nonbelievers they shall have a new existence, a new life in Christ that is no longer subject to the enemy, death. After the resurrection they will have a victory over death, and the saved will be able say, "Death is swallowed up in victory, O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law: but thinks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:55-56). We are told twice that the second death has no power over believers (Revelation 2:11; 20:6); they are not subject to it and shall live forever. "Our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10); for all the faithful believers Christ defeated the enemy by His resurrection.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL: "The words of the Bible contain all the ideas in it. These words, then, rightly understood, and the ideas are clearly perceived. The words and sentences of the Bible are to be translated, interpreted, and understood according to the same code of laws and principles of interpretation by which other ancient writings are translated and understood; for, when God spoke to man in his own language, He spoke as one person converses with another-in the fair, stipulated, and well-established meaning of the terms. This is essential to its character, as a revelation from God; otherwise, it would be no revelation, but would always require a class of inspired men to unfold and reveal its true sense to mankind." Alexander Campbell, "The Christian System," page 3, Gospel Advocate Company, 1835. "It is absolutely essential to the very idea of a Divine communication in the from of a revelation, that its words and sentences be understood according to their usual sense at the time when that communication was made, and amongst the people to whom it was addressed and to whose care it was committed." An essay on "Life And Death" from the Millennial Harbinger, 1844.
E. D. SLOUGH: “When the Lord talked with men, and used human language, if he placed other meanings on the words than those understood by men, how could God teach us? Or if he used them in a figurative sense, in their last and most important application, why were we not apprised of the change...if the Bible doesn’t mean what it says, then nobody knows what it does mean.” Page 195-206, “If the people would allow the words in the Bible to teach them the same thought they get from the Dictionary, and from common use–allow God to mean the same thing when talking to us that we mean when talking to one another–these disputes would quickly adjust themselves. The condition of unrest everywhere on these issues of the Bible is ample argument that something is needed as a standard which makes words mean the same whether in or out of the Bible.” “The Indictment Of Eternal Torment–The Self-negation Of A Monstrous Doctrine,” page 42, F. L. Rowe, Publisher, 1914, evangelist, Church of Christ. This book is free on line at: www.robertwr.com/EternalTorment.htm
GEORGE STORRS: “One evil of the common theory of endless being in sin and suffering, is, it sustains the mischievous practice of mystifying, or making the Scriptures to have a secret or hidden meaning, in the plainest texts. This mischievous practice was brought into the church, almost as soon as the Apostles had left the world. The converts from heathenism seemed intent on uniting heathen philosophy with Christianity. Hence they must find an abundance of mysteries in the Scriptures; and the practice of allegorizing, i. e. making the language to contain something that does not appear in the words, commenced and generally prevailed, before the third century. This was done, doubtless, with a view to lead heathen philosophers to embrace Christianity, as affording them a fruitful field for their researches. But it led the church astray into the wild fields of conjecture; and every lively imagination could find hidden wonders in the Bible, while the plain literal meaning of the text was disregarded. That fatal practice increased from age to age, till the simplicity of the gospel was totally eclipsed, and the obscuration has not wholly disappeared to this day…The common method of making the terms life and death mystical, or figurative. i. e. to mean something more, and far different from what appears in the literal and obvious signification of the words, I conceive is unwarranted by the Scriptures, and tends only to throw confusion upon the plainest subjects of the Bible, and also to take away the force and beauty of very many otherwise clear and intelligible portions of God’s word.” “Six Sermons On The Inquiry, Is There Immortality In Sin And Suffering?” Page 131-132, Bible Examiner, 1856.
J. M. DENNISTON: “Many seem to think that they can at once demolish all our arguments by a simple application of such statements as–‘to be carnally minded is death; to be spiritually minded is life and peace;’–the inferences which they draw from them being these, (1) That neither does life refer to existence, nor death to the cessation of it. (2) That life signifies simply a right spiritual condition, and death a wrong one. (Which two conditions, extended into the next world, and there developed, become respectively everlasting life and everlasting death. Hence, it is maintained, all the statements in the New Testament as to the ‘living,’ the ‘never dying,’ the everlasting life’ of believers have no reference at all to the continuance, but only the character of their being;–while the multiplied assertions and descriptions of the ‘perishing,’ ‘destruction,’ ‘death’ of the ungodly do not mean what such language invariably means elsewhere–in the Bible or out of it–but, instead of that, endless evil and misery of souls that are imperishable. A serious conflict indeed betwixt the Old Testament and the New in their employment of the same language–yes, betwixt the New and everything else, not excepting them self!” “The Perishing Soul According To Scripture,” page 68, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1874.
EDWARD WHITE: “That the persistent resolution, through many ages, to strip these converse terms Life and Death, in their application to Christ’s work and Man’s destiny, of their proper signification, has resulted in eclipsing fully one-half of the light of the Sun of Righteousness, of the glory of Christ, of the truth of Christianity…But, indeed, this has been the delusion alike of Jews and Gentile, that the Bible scarcely ever means what it says…The notion is deeply rooted that when God speaks, as in the person of Christ, the Incarnate WORD, scarcely any of His words are to be taken in their obvious sense. Surely the rule of thought ought to be the opposite, and we ought to think that He who was the Truth as well as the Life employed human speech in its most direct signification.” “Life in Christ,” chapter 17. Free on line at: www.robertwr.com/LifeInChrist.htm
THOMAS DAVIS: “Putting together all the passages which teach, either expressly or constructively, that the end of sinners is absolute destruction, the number may be counted by hundreds. Sometimes the word used is ‘destruction’ itself; and destruction, we say, cannot mean endless preservation in misery. Sometimes it is ‘death;’ and death, we say, cannot mean eternal life in suffering. Sometimes it is being ‘burnt up like chaff;’ and being burnt up like chaff, we contend, cannot mean being kept unconsumed, like the bush of old, in the flames. Sometimes it is ‘being devoured’ (as in the Scripture, ‘Judgment and fiery indignation shall devour them’); and being devoured, we assert, cannot rightly be thought to signify being kept whole and living to undergo suffering for ever. So of several other expressions, such as ‘to perish,’ ‘to be slain,’ ‘to be killed,’ ‘to lose life,’ ‘to be consumed,’ ‘to reap corruption,’ ‘to be blotted out,’ ‘to be rooted up,’ ‘to be cut off,’ to be cut down,’ ‘to be dashed in pieces,’ ‘to be lost,’ ‘to be ground to power,’ ‘to be cut asunder,’ ‘ to be cast away,’ ‘to have the house broken up,’ ‘to be torn to pieces,’ ‘to be put away as dross,’ ‘to melt away,’ ‘not to abide for ever,’ ‘to be as nothing.’ Many of these are doubtless figurative phrases; but if they do not indicate finality, no language would suffice to do so.” “Endless Sufferings Not The Doctrine Of Scripture” pages 16-17; Longmans, Green, and Co. 1867.
PHILIP E. HUGHES: “It would be hard to imagine a concept more confusing than that of death which means existing endlessly without the power of dying.” “Facing Hell: The Story of a Nobody,” page 223, Paternoster Press, 1998.
Those who believe men are now immortal have to make the words that God used not mean what they say. Is it not unreasonable to make words in the Bible have a meaning attached to them that is unlike the way they are used in any other book in the world, unlike the way they were used in the language of the people God was speaking to?
Death is a lost of life, not an endless life of a lost of all joy, happiness, and well-being. To Traditionalists death is just an illusion, the dead are not dead, the dead are more alive than when they were alive; to Traditionalists the souls that were in the lost are incapable of ever being dead.
CHANGES THAT MUST BE MADE
A new meaning must be given to words to make them teach what many traditionalists want them to teach. Any person can prove anything if they are allowed to change the meaning of words to whatever they want to (if they are allowed to change death to be life, etc.).
LIFE must be changed to be not life, but to be only a reward to those who are born with something in them that already has eternal life. Is it not unreasonable to say the many times Christ promised eternal life to those that believe Him, that He only promised them only a reward, not eternal life? And just as unreasonable to say that He promised life to only to something in a person that already had eternal life and could not die. This doctrine of an immortal soul that cannot die makes Christ promise something over and over that souls already had. Throughout the Book of John Christ repeatedly promised life to persons who believed, not life to souls, and those persons who did not believe would not see life (John 3:36; 4:14; 4:36; 5:21; 5:40; 6:33, 39, 44, 47, 57, 63, 68), “shall not see life,” shall not be alive, but those that “shall not see life” is changed from persons that will not see life to souls that will see life in torment! "That to all whom You have given Him, He should give eternal life. And this is life eternal, that they should know You the only true God, and Him whom you did send, even Jesus Christ" (John 17:2-3). There could not be a stronger statement saying only those persons who believe in Jesus will have life, and those persons who do not believe will not be given any life anywhere.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL in the preface to "The Living Oracles," his translation of the New Testament said, "The reader will please to consider, that, when God spoke to man, he adopted the language of man. To the fathers of the Jewish nation he spoke in their mother tongue. By his Son, and his Son by the Apostles, spoke to every nation in its own language. When he spoke to any nation, he uniformly adopted the words of that nation in expressing his will to it. And that he used their words in the commonly received sense, needs no other proof than this, that if he had not done so, instead of enlightening them in the knowledge of his will, he would have deceived and confounded them: than which, no hypothesis is more impious. For example: were God to speak to us in English, and select from our vocabulary the words death, punishment, perpetual, and wicked; were he to use the last term as we use it, and annex to the others a significant different from that we affix to them–such as to mean life by the term death, happiness by the punishment, and a limited time by the word perpetual; and without apprising us of such a change, in their meaning...what a deception would he practice on us!”
How many changes "death" to "life," by changing "the wages of sin is death" to "the wages of sin is eternal life with torment"?
HENRY CONSTABLE: "Its uniform testimony (the New Testament) is that 'eternal life' hereafter will be the exclusive possession of the just, and that the wicked will certainly not obtain it: 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life.' Our simple enquiry is, what is meant by that Greek word translated 'life' in the passages referred to. Our Lord in addressing Himself to the Jewish people, Luke in writing a Gospel for the Gentile world, Paul in writing to Rome, the metropolis of heathenism, or Corinth priding itself on the Grecian tongue, James, Peter, and Jude writing to Christians wherever scattered over the earth, all alike use this word as universally understood. We have only, therefore, to refer to our classical dictionaries, and there we find its primary and universally accepted sense to be existence. If we want any further confirmation, let us listen to the Apostle James defining it's meaning. 'What is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeared for a little time, and then vanishes away.' On the classical usage, and express definition of the New Testament, we take our stand. Dictionaries of the New Testament, and commentators on it, may, if they please, put upon the phrase the sense of 'happiness' in the numberless passage where it occurs, but we deny to them the right to alter the meaning of a well understood Grecian word for the sake of bolstering up their baseless and horrid creed." “The Duration and Nature of Future Punishment" 1871.
Death must be changed so that it does not mean death, but an eternal life with torment for a soul that can never be dead. The dead cannot really be dead if death is only "a loss of well-being," a loss of happiness and if death were really eternal life with endless torment by God. Death must be changed to be not death, but changed to a doorway to a spiritual world where the souls that are in all, both souls that are in the saved, and souls that are in the lost are alive, and both must have eternal life; to the saved death must be changed to means an instant doorway to a greater and fuller life, but only for souls that is thought to be in them, not for the persons; to the lost an instant doorway to an eternal life of pain. In no plain language can death be said to be the wages of sin to an immortal being that cannot die.
Death is made to be not death, but a mere change in the mode of existence for a soul that cannot be dead. To many, death means for a soul to be alive, to have eternal life, but life that is separated from God, yet tormented by the God that they are separated from. To make the word "death" fit their view; they must make death figurative. The true meaning of the word “death” will destroy their view. All plain passages like Romans 6:23 (“the wages of sin is death”) must be changed into figurative language, but they cannot tell us how they know what the figurative language means, how they know death is not death, but death is endless life separated from God. They cannot tell us how they know "death" means "life." Figurative language always draws it meaning from literal language, it never means the opposite of the literal; “death” in figurative language could not mean any kind of “life.” Any word that sometime has a figurative sense must have a well-known literal sense. A basic rule of Bible study, which is accepted by most, is a word or a passage must be assumed to be literal unless the context demands that it must be taken figuratively. They cannot tell why the word “death” literally means “death” when it is an animal or a person that is dead, but “death” means “life” when it relates to a soul They cannot tell why death must be made figurative other than it would destroy their teaching that there is a deathless something in a person that lives after the person is dead if it were used with it’s true meaning, if death is really death with it's universally understood meaning. If there were a Hell, for souls in it to feel pain they could not be dead, they would literally have to be just as alive as souls in Heaven; they would have to have life just as eternal as souls that we are told are in believers.
When the death of anyone is spoken of in the Bible, the modern phraseology (they have gone to be with Christ, have gone to their reward, have gone to be with their loved ones in Heaven, etc.) is never used. Not even Abraham is said to have gone to his home in Heaven at his death before the judgment. "And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people" (Genesis 25:8 New American Standard Version). Such a radical change of death to be a life in torment is a denial of death; an attempt to evade death by saying in each person there is a deathless soul that will live after the death of the person it is in; therefore, a soul is not subject to death. It is a deliberate carefully thought out wresting of the scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). If the Bible does not mean what it says, then nobody can know what it does mean; when the Bible says, “The wages of sin is death,” if the wages of sin is not an actual real death, then who can know what the wages of sin is? Death is definitely the forfeiture of life, and without a resurrection there would never be any kind of life anyplace.
DEATH HAS BEEN CHANGED TO LIFE. Those that refused to have God in their knowledge “are worthy of death” (Romans 1:28-32), but instead of death Platonism gives them endless life in Hell being tormented by God.
Sin is “unto death” (Romans 6:16) “Leads to death” New International Version, has been changed to sinners live forever in torment.
“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), but the wages can never be paid because man teaches an immortal soul cannot die.
“For if you live according to the flesh, you must die” (Romans 8:13), but an immortality soul would have eternal life and can never die.
“For the end of these things is death” (Romans 6:21). “These things result in death” New International Version. This has been changed to, “For the end of these thing is eternal life in torment.”
“Acts that lead to death” (Hebrews 9:14) New International Version.
“His servants you are whom you obey; whether sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness” (Romans 6:16).
“For to be carnal minded is death” (Romans 8:6).
“Sin…brings forth death”(James 1:15), but we are repeatedly told that an immortal soul is not subject to death.
“For except you believe that I am he, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24), but we are told there is a soul in you that cannot die! Then what did Christ say, the person will die, but after the death of the person a soul that was in the person will live?
Those that teach death is an eternal life of torment are as one writer said, “Forced to argue that a horse could not die so dead that it must keep dying deader.” Do you believe the dead keeps on dying but are never dead? Do you believe the destroyed keeps on being destroyed but are never destroyed?
Why would God say one thing to us and mean the opposite of what He said? Why would He say the wages of sin is DEATH if the wages of sin is LIFE? How could the wages of sin be death to a soul that cannot die!
LIFE AND DEATH IN ROMANS CHAPTERS FIVE AND SIX
DEATH OF CHRIST: “For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die. But God commended his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life; and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:6-11). Can anyone read of how Christ was put to death, was burred, and resurrected on the third day and say His death was not a real death? His death was not life with a “lost of well being.” Death is death, not any kind of life anyplace, Christ died for us. When Christ died for us, died our death, He ceased to live; to have any kind of life unto God raised Him from the dead.
ALL DIE: “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned; for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:12-19). When a person dies and is burred, before the resurrection that person is really dead, and will be forever dead if there is no resurrection.
DEATH BY SIN: “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 5:20-21).
LIFE IN CHRIST: “Or do YOU not know that all of US who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore WE have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so WE too might walk in newness of life. For if WE have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly WE SHALL ALSO BE IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION, knowing this, that OUR old self was crucified with Him, in order that OUR body of sin might be done away with, so that WE would no longer be slaves to sin; for HE who has died is freed from sin. Now if WE have died with Christ, WE BELIEVE THAT WE SHALL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives He lives to God. Even so consider YOURSELVES to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in YOUR mortal body so that YOU obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of YOUR body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present YOURSELVES to God as those alive from the dead, and YOUR members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over YOU, for YOU are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:1-14). All the pronouns in this passage are to the living person, not to a soul. It is the person, not a soul that “shall also live with Him.”
SIN BRING DEATH, NOT TORMENT: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death” (Romans 6:15-21).
Is not the second death made to be nothing more that a continuation of the state they say the lost are now in, just a continuation of lost souls being alive but separated from God? Therefore, they have done away with the second death, for they tell us that the lost are already "spiritual dead," and will always be “spiritual dead,” even when the souls that had been in them are alive in Hell. The use of “spiritual dead” is not to “speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent.” There is a parallel between the two deaths, between death as we know it and the death of the lost after the judgment. Look at a dead person and there is no life; there will be no life for the lost after the second death.
JOHN HANCOOK PETTINGELL: The “Scriptural sense” or the “literal sense”? “What if the Greek and Hebrew words of the Original Scriptures will not bear these new senses that they would put upon them? What if these meanings are not to be found in their Standard Classical Lexicons? These too must be over hauled, and special ‘Biblical Lexicons’ prepared for the use of Bible scholars, with these new meanings put upon these words, and the places in the Bible particularly referred to, where these words should be taken in this new sense; and this is called the ‘Scriptural sense’ of these words!! This is no exaggerated hypothesis. The writer has such an improved (?) Lexicon attached to his Greek Testament, which he bought when a student of Theology. It was evidently prepared in the interest of the Platonic theory of the natural immortality of man, and in support of such interpretations of Scripture as this theory required. It may be instructive to give from its pages a few specimens of this sort of leaned philosophy. We open the Testament at Matthew 7:13 and read as follows:
“Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction (apbleian) and many there be with go in thereat; because strait is the gate, narrow is the way which leads unto life (zoe) and few there be that find it.’
We know what ‘destruction’ means in the ordinary sense of the word, and what apoleia means in Greek; they both mean the same thing. But we want to know the ‘Scriptural sense’ of the word. So we turn to ‘The Polymicrian Greek Lexicon to the New Testament’ in which the various senses of the words and distinctly explained in English, and authorized by references to passages of Scripture. By W. Greenfield, Editor of Bagster’s Comprehensive Bible. The Polymicrian Greek Lexicon; and after the various ordinary definitions are given, we are referred to this passage, and informed that it here means ‘perdition’ ‘misery’ etc. We look at the word perdition, in Webeter’s Dictionary, and find that its religious sense is ‘the utter loss of the soul, or of final happiness, in the future state.’ We know also, what the word ‘life’ means in English, and what the word zoe means in Greek; they both mean the same thing. But that we may find out just what the ‘Scriptural sense’ of the word is, we again consult our biblical Lexicon, where its ordinary sense is very correctly given; but we are referred to this passage, and told that it here means ‘eternal happiness.’ Now having got the true ‘scriptural’ meaning of these two crucial words, from this learned lexicographer, we now how to understand the passage it should be read thus:
‘Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to misery, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leads unto eternal happiness, and few there be that find it.’
Again, we read in Romans 5:12, as follows:
‘Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death (thanatos) by sin; and so death (thanatos) by sin; and so death (thanatos) passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’
We know well enough what the ordinary sense of the ‘death’ is, and that it means the same as thanatos in Greek, but that we may know what the ‘Scriptural sense’ of the word is, we again consult our Biblical Lexicon. We find the word correctly defined, so far as its ordinary sense is concerned, but we are referred to this passage, and told that it here means, ‘an unchanging eternal state of wretchedness and misery passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’ Hence, we are to understand this passage as though it read as follows:
‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world, and an unchanging, eternal state of wretchedness and misery by sin, and so an unchanging, eternal state of wretchedness and misery passed upon all man, for that all have sinned.’
Where, we ask, did our Biblical lexicographer get the peculiar ‘Scriptural Sense,’ which he puts upon the pivotal words, in these and other similar texts, bearing on this question? How does he know that the ‘destruction’ of the wicked does not mean destruction, but only misery, and that the ‘life,’ which is promised to the righteous, is not actual life, but simply ‘eternal happiness,’ or that the ‘death’ that is the fruit of sin, is not actual death, but on the contrary, is ‘an unchanging eternal state of wretchedness and misery.’ The classical writings of the Greeks, in the time of our Lord, and when the Scriptures were written, do not justify any such sense as the lexicographer puts into there Greek words. What authority has he then, for putting this sense into them in his Biblical Greek Lexicon? None whatever, unless it be the authority of his cotemporaries and predecessors, of the same school of philosophy, whose lead he has followed. They all have evidently, first read these meaning into these words, to make them accord with their own philosophy.” “The Unspeakable Gift,” pages 25-26.
o John 11:25: “I am the resurrection, and the life (zoe) (they change life to happiness).
o John 6:54: “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life (zoe) (they change life to happiness for a soul after the person it was in is dead).
o 1 Timothy 4:8: “Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life (zoe) which now is, and of that which is to come”. They change life to happiness for a soul after the person it was in is dead.
o Revelation 1:19: “I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death (thanato: mistranslated Hell in King James Version) and Hades (the grave).” Christ was not in endless torment the three days He was in the grave; He was dead and resurrected from the dead on the third day; He could not have been resurrected if He was alive in Hell. According to orthodox teaching no one can get out of Hell once they are in it for there is no salvation from Hell.
o The Pagan theology of both Roman Catholics and most orthodox Protestants believe that there is a soul in you that will live forever after you are dead, and that God has no chose but to endlessly torment that soul, or give it endless happiness, all because of what you, not what a soul did or did not do; to teach this they must give meanings (a Scriptural Sense) to many words that these words do not have, example, death must be given a Scriptural meaning of endless life in misery because they believe a soul is deathless. That death is used only in a Scriptural sense in the Bible to make death be nothing like death for if death is death their theology completely falls apart.
o There is nothing about “spiritual death” in the Bible; it is a made up death that is not a real death in attempt to do away with a real death, that death is endless life being tormented by God, not death, is not the wages of sin.
“But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:22-23). TO MAKE DEATH NOT BE DEATH IS A DELIBERATE CHANGE OF GOD’S WORD, A DELIBERATE SAYING NOT SO GOD, YOU ARE WRONG.
"If you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live" (Romans 8:13). The immoral soul doctrine must make die to mean exactly the same thing as live, just live in two different places; therefore, die and live both mean endless life!
(1). “You” must be changed to “your soul” will live after “you” are dead.
(2). “Die” must be changed to endless life with torment. It must be changed from speaking of you that will die if you live after the flesh, to your soul that cannot die will live forever in Hell if you live after the flesh. This passage is speaking of you the person; there is nothing about a soul that cannot die in it, or about being “spiritual dead,” it is saying the whole person shall die, the whole person will be dead. The way many read this is: “If you live after the flesh, a soul that is in you must live forever in torment; but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, that soul shall live in Heaven;” if you sin, it is not you that will be torment in Hell, but a soul that is now in you will be tormented for your sins after you are dead.
Die and live must be interpreted to both means to live forever! Who can believe it? It is obvious that die is only interpreted to mean "eternal life in torment" when it serves the purpose of the doctrine of eternal torment, and all other times "to die" really means "to die"; just as obvious that we must have someone tell us when "die" means "eternal life in torment" and when "die" really means "die"; and without this help we could never know when God intended us to understand the opposite of what He said, and when He intended us to understand what He said in the way He said it.
Destruction must be changed to be only a loss of well-being. The traditionalist argument is that the words "destroy" and "destruction" should not be taken with their established meaning, but be interpreted as "a loss of well being," or an "irreparable loss." How could anyone know this without a revelation from God? How can the Scriptures speak of the destruction of the lost if they are not destroyed? The word destruction would be meaningless if there is not a point where the destruction is complete. Why would God say He were going to destroy the lost if He knows a soul is immortal and He could not destroy it? Destruction has been changed to existing forever being tormented by God, living forever in misery. For destruction to mean existing in torment they much find a way to somehow have a destruction that will preserve the destroyed person undestroyed. “Broad is the way that leads to destruction,” (Matthew 7:13) is changed to “Broad is the way that leads to eternal life in misery” for a soul that cannot not be destroyed; Christ is comparing life to destruction, not life in one place, or life in another place. Paul said, “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction” (Romans 9:22). Anyone that is willing to change God’s word from destruction to eternal life being tormented by God has no respect for His word; they would change anything to make it say what they wanted it to say.
“Whose end is destruction” (Philippians 3:19) cannot be changed to, “whose end is endless life of torment.” Destruction means destruction, not indestructible life. It is life or death, not a high quality life in Heaven or a low quality life being tormented. Death is not life; death is death.
E. D. SLOUGH: “‘But these as natural brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things they understand not and shall utterly perish in their own corruption’ (2 Peter 2:12). What is the plain and natural sense of perish? Is it not a literal destruction? The people of the flood perished. Sodom and Gomorrah perished. Fifteen hundred in the great Titanic tragedy perished. Five hundred people in the Iroquois Theater fire perished. And thousands, tens of thousands, perish annually in one manner or another. Oh, Yes. We too keenly realize what the plain and natural sense of perish means…Peter says they shall “utterly perish,” utterly, completely, absolutely, put an end to. Why not plead for the plain, natural sense of the word then? Listen, reader, he knows his theory would “utterly perish” that instant.” “Indictment of Eternal Torment–The Self-negation of a Monstrous Doctrine.” Evangelist Church of Christ, F. L Rowe Publisher, free on line at: www.robertwr.com/EternalTorment.htm
Destroy does not mean unable to be destroyed; destroy must be changed to mean to preserve forever undestroyed. "Can never be" must be added to destroy and make it read, "Can never be destroyed." It is argued that an immortal soul cannot die; therefore, "destroy" cannot mean "destroy," and the Bible did not really mean "destroy" when it said "destroy," just as "death" cannot really mean "death," but these words must mean something; therefore, they are changed and given a meaning that is the opposite of their true meaning; many words must always be changed and used with a meaning that is the opposite of what the words mean. It is argued that annihilated in the scientific sense, that nothing is annihilated by fire; it just changes its form; it assumes that God is bound by the laws of science, that He can neither make or destroy matter, just change it form as man does; the power to create and destroy is taken from God; matter is made to be uncreated and is just as eternal as God is, that God did not create anything, only changed the form of matter in the creation. They overlook the fact that the Bible is not a scientific book, and is not written in today's scientific language, and that God made all things out of nothing, and all things will go back to nothing. Those to whom Paul was writing would not have thought that if a book were burnt up that it was not destroyed. Just as they would not have thought the elements that the book was made of was a book before they were made into a book. When destroy is applied to things it is always the end of them, they no longer exist even though the elements that were in them existed both (1) before they existed (2) and after they existed; both (1) before the book existed (2) and after the book existed.
In Matthew 10:28 there is no figurative language, but we are told that one word must be taken out of it’s literal context and used in a figurative way to mean just the opposite of its true meaning, that the one word "destroy" must be changed to mean "an eternal life of torment for souls;" one word must be made figurative, even when nothing is figurative in the context that the word is in. There is no figurative language in 2 Thessalonians 1:9, but two words, "destruction" and "perish" must both be changed to figurative, changing both words to the same meaning "an eternal life of torment" for a soul that is in you.
o In the Old Testament God destroyed many cities and nations. Sodom was completely destroyed, not just lost it’s well being; it is an example of the destruction that is coming to the lost (2 Peter 2:6).
o The lost will be destroyed, not live forever in torment.
o “Destroyed” cannot be made to mean both (1) death, going out of existents and (2) eternal life, never going out of existents; not endlessly being destroyed but never destroyed, not a destroying that God will never be able to complete.
o DEATH, when made figuratively, death is changed to eternal life in Hell for a soul that is separated from God, but a soul definitely cannot be dead, the dead could never be dead.
o DESTRUCTION, when made figuratively, is changed to a loss of well-being, an endless life of misery.
o DESTROY AND PERISH, when made figuratively, means to preserve forever. Did God intend to say imperishable when He said perish?
o SLEEP, when made figuratively, is to be awake in Heaven or Hell, but definitely not asleep, that would make their "immaterial, invisible part of men" be asleep in Hell; therefore, they have labeled this "soul sleeping." It is true that the Bible says nothing about "soul sleeping" of an "immaterial, invisible part of men," but it repeatedly says a person sleeps unto the person wakes at the resurrection, not an immaterial something in a person that sleeps; it is the resurrection that turns the death of a person into a sleep from which that person will wake up.
Perish like destruction and destroy, perish must be changed to mean, "can never perish, or never be destroyed, but to live forever in an unhappy and miserable condition in Hell." It is difficult to imagine a perpetually but inconclusive process of perishing that never ends. Forever perishing, but imperishable! To say “to perish” is to “live forever” is a complete contradiction. How can anyone believe that “parish” is synonymous with “living forever in misery?”
Do you wonder why the writers of the Bible said the lost will die, be destroyed, perish, but today we are told souls that were in the lost cannot die, cannot be destroyed, and cannot perish?
According to many, both Catholic and Protestant
1. Death means endless life in misery.
2. Die means to live in endless misery.
3. Destruction means endless life in misery undestroyed.
4. Perish means endless life in misery imperishable.
5. Sleep means endless life awake in misery for souls that were in the lost.
“If Christ has not been raised then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in our sins. Then those also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Corinthians 15:14-18). Certainly Paul did not say that those who are asleep in Christ are alive and in torment if there is no resurrection; he clearly said that they have perished if the dead are not raised, that they would forever remain dead, they had perished; if Christ was not raised there is neither a resurrection nor immortality; if Christ was not raised He has perished, and there is no savior from death; He would now be dead, and there would be no life after death for neither the saved nor the lost. Perished cannot be made to mean one thing when it is speaking of the saved, those in Christ, and another thing when it is speaking of the lost; without the resurrection perish means all that died have ceased to exist forever, and when we die we will also cease to exist. There is no way it could it be said any plainer that not one dead person will be alive anyplace before the resurrection at the second coming of Christ at the end of this Christian age.
Perished cannot mean both life and death.
o PAUL: Death, no resurrection, therefore no life after death (“have perished”) when it is speaking of those in Christ if there is no resurrection.
o TODAY: Eternal life in torment, life with a loss of well being that can never perish when it is speaking of souls that were in lost persons.
o Why would their labor be in vain if there is no resurrection if a soul is immortal and alive without a resurrection?
H. L. HASTINGS: “We shall be guided by the literal meaning of these word, refusing to give them a strange or unusual signification for the purpose of saving or up building a cherished theory.” “After The Verdict,” page 4, 1982.
JACOB BLAIN: “When I read that all who came out of Egypt over twenty years of age–of the fate of Sodom and Pharaoh’s army–of the 2,000 swine which ran into the sea, I shall not go to the learned to find out whether they died, or were only made miserable, when it is said they ‘perished’ and were ‘destroyed.’” “Death Not Life: Or, The Theological Hell and Endless Misery Disproved,” page 21, Public domain.
If perish and destroy means to live in misery, as preachers say, then beasts live in endless woe, for the terms are often applied to them. It is a perfect contradiction in language to say a thing is to be “consumed,” “devoured,” “burned up,” &c., if it is indestructible, as many say a soul is.
FRED THOMPSON: “Without the Divine gift of immortality man is doomed to die, perish, cease to exist. His mortal condition is terminal. Immortality is neither a part of his nature nor an unconditional bestowal of God. Only those who meet God’s terms are beneficiaries of the promise. Thus, not to be included in the company of the saved is to be excluded from life.” “What the Bible Says about Heaven and Hell,” page 299, College Press, 1988.
o “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
o If there is no resurrection, “Then those also how have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Corinthians 15:18). Perish would be the same to both those that are saved and those that are lost, neither one would have eternal life with a lost of well-being. “Whose end is destruction” (Philippians 1:28). “End” cannot be changed to “endless.” “Destruction” cannot be changed to eternal life with “a lost of well being.”
ASHLEY JOHNSON, Founder and president of the Johnson Bible College: “’Perish’! ‘Perished’!! And ‘Perishing’!!! What do these words mean? They occur in the sacred scriptures about one hundred and forty times. Again, I ask what do they mean? I answer in every reference the word carries the thought of destruction, in numerous cases, utter annihilation, utter destruction. Let us suppose that all we can know of the destiny of the ungodly we must get from the passages in which these words are found. What would we conclude? Eternal conscious punishment for all the wicked, without regard to how wicked? Not if there is any meaning in the language? The word is used in the scriptures in the exact sense in which the word as it stands in English is used, or its corresponding word in every language and dialect. We say: ‘His hand has perished.’ We say: ‘For want of rain our crops have perished.’ We say: ‘Babylon has perished.’ We say: ‘The seed we sowed perished because it was without life.’ What do we mean? We can only mean one thing. Absolute destruction! So far as we know God has but one way of communicating with man; namely, language. This language is clear, pointed, unmistakable. Christianity has life, or immortality, and he offers it to men here, and those who reject the light and the life must perish. Here is the definition by one of the greatest lexicographers in history: ‘To go or run through, come to nothing, perish.’” “The Resurrection And The Future Life,” page 420-421, Knoxville Lithographing Company, 1913.
Fire causes things to disappear; it completely destroys useless things like chaff. We know what fire is and what it does, fire consumes, devours and destroys; fire is used in the Bible as a symbol of utter destruction, never as a preservative; no life can survive in fire, no life can continue to live in fire; there is no life that is not utterly destroyed by fire. Fire brings death to any living thing making it the perfect symbol of a complete end of life. For today’s theology to be true fire must be changed into figurative language of something that is nothing like fire, something that is altogether different from fire, something that preserves and cannot consume, fire must be changed to a fire that cannot kill any living thing. With the kind of "fire" that we are told will be in Hell you would only have to put wood in your fireplace one time and it would heat your house forever. It took some thought to come up with a fire that does not do what fire does, a fire that burns but never burns, which consumes but never consumes. Literal fire destroys, consumes; in figurative language there is always a parallel; if it were figurative language total destruction would be symbolized, just as real fire consumes the chaff, the wicked will be consumed, devoured, destroyed by the wrath of God (Hebrews 10:27). If being consumed as chaff is consumed by fire does not denote the utter destruction of both the chaff and the wicked there is no language that would. No life can exist in fire.
It is argued that an immaterial soul cannot be destroyed by fire and worms; if there were an immaterial soul that fire cannot destroy then that soul that could not be destroyed by fire, that soul could not be tormented by fire, this argument is self destructive.
In neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament fire is not used by God to eternally torment an immortal soul after the death of the person it had been in.
FIRE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
(1). Consumed the burnt offering, no one thinks the burnt offering was torment (Leviticus 9:24).
(2). Consumed Nadab and Baihu, “And they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 11:1-2)
(3). “Fire also came forth from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense” (Numbers 16:35), consumed, not tormented.
(4). “And it shall be that the one who is taken with the things under the ban shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him.” Zerahites, his family, and all that belonged to them were burned with fire (Joshua 7:15-26).
(5). “Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty” (2 Kings 1:10-12).
(6). "Therefore thus says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, mine anger and my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, upon man and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched" (Jeremiah 7:20). If this was the Lord’s anger being poured out in Hell, it would make beasts, trees, fields, and the fruit of the ground be in unquenchable fire in Hell. In Jeremiah 17:27 it is “the palaces of Jerusalem” that would be destroyed by an unquenchable fire; are “the palaces of Jerusalem” now burning in Hell or any other place?
(7). Ezekiel speaks of Judah being destroyed by Babylon using the imagery of a forest burning. "And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop your word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest to the field in the South; and say to the forest of the South, Hear the word of Jehovah: Thus says the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall consume every green tree in you, and it shall devour ever green tree in you, and ever dry tree; the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt thereby. And all flesh shall see that I, Jehovah, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched" (Ezekiel 20:47-48). This fire that could not be quenched by mankind was not in Hell, it was not a literal fire, it was God using Babylon to destroy Israel for their sins (Ezekiel 21:19; Nehemiah 1:3).
(8). Living people on this earth go out to look at dead bodies that were slain by the Lord and were being consumed by an unquenchable fire (Isaiah 66:15-24). No one could put it out, but when it had did what the Lord wanted it to do it went out, it is not burning today.
(9). Cities, nations, people, Israel, Israel’s enemies, and fortresses were consumed and destroyed by fire, Hosea 8:14; Amos 1:7; 1:14; Jeremiah 17:27; 49:27; Numbers 21:28; Obadiah 18; Joel 2:2-3; Isaiah 1:31; 34:6-15; 47:14; Malachi 4:1-3; 1 Kings 14:10; Ezekiel 20:47-48.
FIRE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
(1). Fire will burn up the useless chaff of wheat (Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17)
(2). Fire will burn up the weeds, tares and bad fish (Matthew 13:30-50)
(3). Fire will burn up the withered branches (John 15:6)
(4). God will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Luke 3:16-17)
o When fire burns up broken off branches, dead weeds, and stubble, they are already lifeless and worthless; it is not torment, but the outcome of being useless. Chaff, tares, weeds, stubble, dry branches are highly combustible materials that are soon completely destroyed by the fire, but the “figurative fire” of today’s theology is nothing like fire, and the “figurative fire” of theology burn up nothing.
o The burning up of weeds is the complete destruction of the weeds, fire as we know it destroys; it is not possible to say the weeds continue in existence after they were burned up. Complete destruction of weeds, chaff, or branches by fire cannot be symbolic of an endless life of torment of something that cannot be destroyed; anything that is burned up cannot be changed to or made to be symbolic of forever existing.
o The above parables may be symbolic speaking of the destruction of Israel.
(5). The end of worthless ground is to be burned (Hebrews 6:7-8).
(6). Fire totally destroyed, not forever tormented Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7; 2 Peter 2:6-9; Luke 17:28-29).
(7). “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-17). “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
(8). “But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men…But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:7-9).
(9). “The lake of fire which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
(8). SPIRITUAL DEATH
Spiritual death is not found in the Bible, but it has been added, and it is used repeatedly in today's preaching. To escape from death being death the word “spiritual” is added to death despite the fact that “spiritual death” is not in the Bible. The wages of sin is not spiritual death, which we are told would be a death that is not really a death to a soul if a soul or a spirit can never be dead. The wages of sin is death to the person whom sins are not washed away by the blood of Christ. If adding to God’s word were a sin, why would both adding “spiritual death,” and preaching “spiritual death” that is not in the Bible not be a sin? Many who say they, “Speak when the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent,” then add “spiritual.” Romans 6:23 is changed to, “The wages of sin is spiritual death.” What is spiritual death?
o If physical death is the end of all life of the body.
o Then spiritual death would be the end of all life of a spirit.
o Death would be death to both, not death to one, and eternal life to the other. Death is death; death is not eternal life anyplace.
Spiritual (pnumatikos) is used in the New Testament 21 times in the King James Version, but "spirituality death" not one time, yet many preach it continually. From where did they get this? Do they mean a spirit is dead? If they mean "lost," why do they use an unscriptural term that does not say what they mean? In his review of my "From Where Came Hell" Csonka says, "We are spiritually dead when, as Isaiah says, 'your sins have separated you from your God,'" Guardian of Truth, (now “Truth Magazine”) January 5, 1995, page 17, (Isaiah 59:2). He must know that Isaiah is speaking about "the house of Jacob their sins" (Isaiah 58:1) "A nation" (Isaiah 58:2). This is about a nation that had left God being separated from God, and there is not one word about any kind of death of a person in it, but he reads it in. He changes this from a nation (Israel) being separated from God to a person "we" being separated from God, and then changes this person "we" from a living person separated from God to a soul that is not really dead, but alive and this soul has eternal life in Hell forever separated from God. Has he heard this verse misused so often he does not know that he is misusing it? He must add changes to changes to make the nation of Israel be a deathless soul that was in a person, but he did not seem to know whether he wanted it to be (1) a soul that is alive in Hell that had been in a dead person, (2) or a living person that is "spiritually dead."
If there were such a thing as "spiritual death," it would have to be when a spirit had no life for if it still had life it would not be dead. If a soul were living somewhere with eternal life, how could that soul be dead? It could not be "dead" if it were "alive." Most who believe in Hell say after the resurrection the second death will be a "spiritual death," that a deathless soul will be alive but separated from God, not a real death; the second death must be changed to something other than death.
Do they not make the second death be nothing more that a continuation of the state they say the lost are now in, just a continuation of the lost being separated from God? Therefore, they have done away with the second death, for they tell us that the lost are already "spiritual dead," and will always be “spiritual dead,” even when the souls that had been in them are alive in Hell. The use of “spiritual dead” is not to “speak where the Bible speaks, and being silent where the Bible is silent.” There is a parallel between the two deaths, between death as we know it and the second death of the lost after the judgment. Look at a dead person and there is no life; there will be no life for the lost after the second death.
Sleep could not really mean sleep; asleep must be changed to awake. If souls are being tormented in Hell, how could they in any way be sleeping? All the dead persons are sleeping unto the resurrection; it is the resurrection that turns death into a sleep from which the person will awake, without the resurrection death would be the end of life. The metaphor of the dead being asleep that is used repeatedly in the Bible is made void and foolishness by the doctrine of an immortal soul being awake in Heaven or Hell before the resurrection. The Bible does not use words in such a self-contradictory manner. Death is referred to as sleep about 67 times in the Bible, about 47 in the Old Testament, and about 20 in the New Testament with both the righteous dead and the unrighteous dead being asleep; asleep does not mean awake, not awake in Heaven, not awake in Hell. The second death is never called sleep; there will be no waking up from it.
BILL REEVES: "The body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His glory (Phil. 3:20, 21). We do not expect this at the moment of each one's death, for at death we sleep in Jesus and rest, but when He comes from heaven." Truth Magazine, February 15, 1973.
“May they rest in peace” that is often on graves would make no sense if the person in the grave was not asleep, but were awake and enjoying Heaven or suffering in Hell. Sleep would be a very inappropriate and misleading word if the dead were awake in Heaven, if they were more awake than we are. That a person sleeps between death and the resurrection, and then wakes up at the resurrection makes going to Heaven at the time of death not possible; innate immortality and being asleep are contradictions, both cannot be.
"And I will kill her children with pestilence" (Revelation 2:23). Kill is used interchangeably with die and destroyed. "To be killed," "to die," "to be destroyed."
Summary: Death and all these words must be changed into figurative language even when they are in plain passages. All these words must be given a theological meaning that is not found in the words, but we are never told how they know what this theological meaning is. But one thing is clear, if they did not change them into figurative language, their theology would be destroyed. Death, destruction, destroy, and perish are simple words, and there is no hint of them being figurative language when they are used in plain passages; therefore, they must be taken in their simple literal meaning. These words cannot be changed to be figurative, and given a meaning not found in the words to save a theologically that is not in the Bible. They can and; therefore, must be taken literally. The only reason these words are made to be figuratively language is that if these words are taken with their literal meaning they make the doctrine of an immortal soul and eternal life in Hell not possible.
When figurative language (Lake of Fire) is made literal, then the literal language must be changed to agree with the figurative language that has been changed into literal language. If not, the Bible would say in one place that destruction is not destruction, and in many others that destruction is destruction. Death is not eternal life in Hell. When we say anything, a plant, animal, or person is dead, we do not mean that plant, animal, or person is alive and being tormented. Death must be made to mean one thing when it is a plant or animal that is dead, and another when it is a person that is dead. There are no stronger words that could have been used to say the end of the wicked is a total end of existence; death is ceasing to live. Is there any word God could have used that they would not say it does not mean what it says? No, there is not a one that would not be changed if it would conflict with their Platonic theology.
R. F. WEYMOUTH: "My mind fails to conceive a grosser misinterpretation of language then when the five or six strongest words which the Greek tongue possesses, signifying 'destroy,' or 'destruction,' are explained to mean maintaining an everlasting but wretched existence. To translate black as white is nothing to this." “Life In Christ,” page 365. R. F. Weymouth is the translator of "The New Testament in Modern Speech."
DR. C. CAMPBELL, who believed in eternal torment said, "If the words and phrases employed by the apostles and evangelist, in delivering the revelation committed to them by the Holy Spirit, had not been agreeable to the received usage of the people to whom they spoke, their discourse being unintelligible, could have conveyed no information, and consequently would have been no revelation to the hearers." “Preliminary Dissertation,” Part 1, Sect. 1, 1854.
EDWARD WHITE: "There must exist some argument of almost overpowering influence which has thus determined the interpretation of masses of language to a sense exactly contrary to its natural meaning. For the process by which such terms as death, perishing, destruction are made to stand for the idea of endless misery, is one so remarkable as to arrest attention and demand instant inquiry. A corresponding action on the word 'life' so often used in the Bible to denote the eternal reward of the saints would result in making it stand for the strange idea of a happy extinction, or a blessed abolition of existence–an euthanasia. The radical idea of destruction, that is extinction of being, if first taken out of the term Death; then the word is made to stand for its opposite, eternal being; and then the associated idea of misery is grafted upon the stock of the converted primary; the result being, that destruction stand for endless misery. An exactly parallel treatment of the promise of Life, therefore, will result, first, in taking out of it its radical idea or conscious existence–next, in making it stand for its opposite, extinction–and lastly, in joining the idea of happiness with the converted primary,–so that you obtain the complex result of a happy extinction. It would require some argument of overmastering force to persuade nine-tenths of the scholars of Christendom to perform this operation upon the promise of life to the righteous. "Life in Christ," 1875, At: http://www.robertwr.com/LifeinChrist.htm
GEORGE STORRS: “The next principle of interpretation I would lay down is that it is a truth, from which we are not to depart without the clearest evidence, that words are never used to mean more than their primary signification…Not to adhere to this principle is to make revelation no revelation. Those who abandon it may as well admit, at once, that the common people ought not to have the Bible, for it will only lead them astray. Why should Protestants boast over the Catholics in this respect? Do not both, virtually, claim that the language of Scripture is mystical, or has a meaning that does not appear in the common signification of the words? And, therefore, the Priests must interpret them to the people? Might we not as well give our Bibles altogether into the hands of these interpreters? Especially, if the plain common sense meaning of words is not to be followed, when there is no clear necessity for departing from it…What should we think of a law that says, "For murder thou shalt die," if we were told the meaning is not, that the transgressor shall actually die, but be kept alive in indescribable torments, protracted to the greatest possible extent? Would any man think he was fairly dealt with by such an administration? And would he not have just cause of complaint at the want of definiteness in the terms used to denote the punishment threatened!” Sermon One, page 13.
JOHN LOCKE: "By death some understand endless torments in hell fire; but it seems a strange way of understanding a law, which requires the plainest and directs of word, that by death should be meant eternal life in misery."
DEAN ALFORD: "A canon of interpretation, which should be constantly born in mind, is that a figurative sense of words is never admissible except when required by the context." Commentary on Acts 10:42.
"Death" used in a figurative sense to be "eternal life separated from God" is never required by the context but that "death" means "eternal life" is a must for today's theology. Today's teaching is that the Bible almost never means what it says and must be interpreted, and one of the ways it must be interpreted is to explain the meaning of death to be life.
H. L. HASTINGS: "Eight times he (Paul) speaks of the wicked as destined to perish. Death is used to express their destiny seven times; nine times they are spoken of as being destroyed, once as devoured by fire, and once as burned. Not one of these words has, in the original or the translation, the meaning of eternal torment. Not one of them means any such thing in common conversation, and it is only by a 'theological' or false definition, alike repugnant to the laws of language and common sense, that such an idea can be conveyed by such language. Paul does not tell us that he used these words in a peculiar or theological sense. No Greek would have supposed so, had they heard him; and we are led to conclude that as Paul would not use words calculated to mislead; therefore, we should take these words in their most obvious and current signification. Paul did teach the utter DESTRUCTION or PERISHING, or DEATH, or EXTERMINATION of ungodly men…No stronger expressions can be found in Greek or English, to denote the utter extirpation of the ungodly. If these words can be evaded or explained away, then, if the doctrine be ever so true, it would be impossible to teach it. If these words do not convey the idea, than no words can be made to do it." “After The Verdict,” page 30-31, reprinted 1982.
The Bible must be made to use words with a meaning that is opposite than what the words means. The theological use of these words today is the same as saying white is black, sweet is bitter, night is day.
The only way the force of these words can be broken is to deny that life means life, and deny that death means death. With definitions such as are given by today's theology, anything, whatever anyone wants can be proved, and whatever anyone does not want can be disproved. To put eternal torment by God in an eternal Hell in the Bible is the exactly opposite of what the scripture clearly say, and it must be read into the Bible.
Those who believe in Hell give God the power to "destroy both body and soul in Gehenna," but only after they put their own meaning on both destroy and Gehenna, and they say the meaning of both destroy and Gehenna is an eternal life of misery and suffering in Hell being tormented by God.
There is no way that anyone could know that death is not death, but that death is eternal life in torment. How could the wages of sin be death when souls that had been in sinners will have an eternal life in Hell? Without a revelation from God, no one could know that God meant only a loss of well being when He used these words If Hell exists then death cannot be death; if death is death there cannot be a Hell.
THE MISSING WORDS
Words that are not in the Bible, but are preached today as if they were on every page, (1) Immortal soul (2) Hell (3) An eternal life of torment (4) spiritual dead. The Bible is made to say what the readers want it to say, and their faith (what they believe) is only a projection of their own desires. Many words, life, death, die, dead, destroy, perish, destruction, consumed, kill, end, burned up, and sleep, must be redefined in a way that the world does not use them. We must have "a class of inspired men to unfold and reveal its true sense to mankind." The belief that men are born with an immortal soul in them it and can never die makes death impossible, and death must be redefined as a different kind of life in a different place. This is just what they have done by saying death does not mean to be dead, but death means a soul is alive and living a deathless eternal life being tormented by God. Anyone who reads the Bible believing that a soul is an "immaterial, invisible part of a person" (W. E. Vine) that is immortal and can never die, is compelled to change all texts that speak of the lost being destroyed to mean that souls are only tortured forever but cannot ever be destroyed. "Destroy" cannot be understood, "In the fair, stipulated, and well-established meaning of the terms," (Alexander Campbell). Interpretation of parables, symbols, and figurative languages are made to be superior over plain statements. What is clear language must be made to agree with what is thought to be said in the symbolic language.
CHANGES THAT MUST BE MADE BY THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN ETERNAL LIFE IN HELL MUST MAKE TO MAKE THE BIBLE AGREE WITH THEM. If there were a deathless soul, changing the meaning of these words is the only way in which the force of these words can be broken is to make them mean the very opposite of there true meaning.
GOD SAID IT THE WAY HE MEANT IT
1). Life is life, not just a reward to an immaterial invisible being that is in a person that now has eternal life and can never be dead.
2). Death changed to life with torment. Death is death and it is the opposite of life, not a different form of life. Not eternal life being tormented by God; death is not eternally dying but never dead.
3). Destruction is destruction. Destruction does not mean there is something in a person that can never be destroyed. Destruction does not mean kept alive in eternal torment. Not after being destroyed by God for thousands of years yet are no more destroyed then when God first began the destroying.
4). “End” changed to be endless. End is end, not going on forever without an end.
5). Kill is to end life, and does not mean never able to be killed, never able to end life.
6). Burned up is burned up, does not mean never able to be burned up.
7). Consumed is consumed, does not mean never able to be consumed.
8). Perish is perish, not just a loss of well-being to those who cannot perish.
9). Sleep is sleep, not to be awake in Heaven or Hell.
10). Die changed to live. Die is to be alive. A soul cannot die.
11) To “lose life” changed to be preserved alive in a miserable existence.
12). “Burn up” changed to burning without end.
13). “Destroy” changed to preserved without ever being destroyed.
14). To be devoured, to perish, and to be consumed, all these must be changed to being immortal and indestructible.
15). Traditionalist must change the Bible to say the opposite of what it says. “He that believes on the Son has eternal life; but he that believes not the Son shall not see life” (John 3:36) must be changed to, “He that believes not the Son was born with eternal life, and that person will see life in Hell where he will live forever.”
16). “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and few are they that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14) must be changed to, “For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life in Heaven, and most souls shall see life in Hell.”
17). “For God so loved the world that He give His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16) must be changed to, “Souls that had been in all will have eternal life someplace, in Heaven or in Hell.”
18). “Even He who is able to save and to destroy” (James 4:12) must be changed to, “Even He who is able to save alive in Heaven, or save souls alive and undestroyed in Hell.”
19). “For he that sows unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that sows unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 5:8) must be changed to, “Both shall reap eternal life, just not both in the same place, some eternal life in Heaven, some eternal life in Hell.”
20). “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23) must be changed to, “For the wages of sin is eternal torment in Hell for those who were born with eternal life, and the gift of God is eternal life must be changed to an escape from eternal torture for a ‘soul’ that already has eternal life, and a reward for the ‘soul’ that is in you that now has eternal life.”
The changes that must be made by those who teach eternal life in Hell for a deathless soul could be extended to many pages, but this should be enough for anyone who loves the truth more than the “doctrines and precepts of men” (Matthew 15:9).
These words do not teach what many believe; therefore, they must change the meaning of these words to make the Bible say what they believe, changed to be the opposition of their meaning (death changed to endless life in endless torment, etc.), changed even by those who say they do not believe the Bible should be changed. Why we are told that the words used in the New Testament must be changed–they give us no reason but that the belief in Plato’s pagan philosophy requires these words to be given a new meaning that is the very opposite of there true meaning, death cannot be death if Plato’s immortal soul was true, destruction cannot be destroyed but must be changed to be an undestroyed soul that just lost its well being; death cannot mean perpetual endless life. In the traditional teaching we are told death cannot be death, death must be changed to be anything but death; “the wages of sin is death” must be changed to be “the wages of sin is some kind of endless miserable life.” The deathless soul doctrine makes Christ not to save us from death, but to make a deathless soul not live in torment; Christ did not give His life to save a soul, according to them Christ gives life to save no ones life from death, or save no soul from death, but He just give His life to change where a soul will live the life that a soul already has. The orthodox position is that Christ gives happiness only, not life to a deathless soul that Christ does not save from death; they must substitute (1) happiness in place of life, (2) torment in place of death.
The reinterpretation of the many words used that mean the end of life has no equal. Other reinterpretations are based on the changing of a few passages; Peter being the first Pope is based mostly on a reinterpretation of Matthew 16:18; but for souls to be deathless and tormented forever, there had to be many plus many more changes and many adding to God’s word. Was Paul trying to deceive by using the word "destruction," and today's theology has to correct him by saying, "No Paul, you really meant to say everlasting torment"? Destruction does not mean to preserve alive undestroyed being eternally tormented by God.
"And you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15). Was John wrong when he said no murderer has eternal life? If, as many say, there is a "soul" in all mankind has that is now immortal and cannot die, then all the murderers would now have an "immaterial, invisible part of man" (W. E. Vine); without eternal life a murderer cannot have an immortal soul; if he did have an immortal soul, he would have eternal life abiding in him; if he does not have eternal life abiding in him he does not have an immortal soul. To teach all have a soul in them that is eternal and it can never die make there be a soul in them and it now has eternal life, it can only be a question of where that soul will spend it’s eternal life. John said, "And this is the promise which he promised us, even the life eternal" (1 John 2:25). "We have passed out of death into life...no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:14-15). Is there anyway John could have said any clearer that a murderer does not have an immortal soul that now has eternal life, that murderers have not “passed out of death into life”?
ROGER D. CAMPBELL: In “Seek The Old Paths,” printed by Leoni Church of Christ, Brother Campbell has an article, “The Reality Of Death,” but then says only the body dies, death is not real to the soul. He said, “Death is the closing chapter of one phase of our existence – the earthly stage. However, there is an eternal aspect of out being, as each human has a spirit that will never pass through death or go out of existence.” He makes no different in the souls he thinks are in the lost and the souls of the saved, he used Ecclesiastes 12:7 to prove all souls return to God at the death of the person they were in without the resurrection. Volume 28, number 4, page 29.
DEATH IS NOT HELL
A dead person cannot be tormented; they can feel no pain. Only the living can be tormented. If Hell were a real place, souls in it would be alive, not dead; their life would be just as eternal as the souls that had been in the saved.
1). Death makes Hell impossible.
2). Hell makes death impossible.
3). Hell makes the resurrection of the dead impossible.
If there is no death, there cannot be a resurrection of the undead. If there is no resurrection, we have no hope 1 Corinthians 15:16-19. Can there be a doctrine more harmful than the doctrine of Hell, which takes away our resurrection; therefore, our hope of salvation?
WHAT THE DEAD DO NOT DO?
1). There is no activity (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
2). They do not have plans (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
3). They have no wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
4). Their bed is in darkness (Job 17:13).
5). They do not mention God (Psalm 6:5).
6). They give God no thanks (Psalm 6:5).
7). They have no thoughts (Psalm 146:4).
8). They know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5).
9). The wicked are silent, no speech (Ps. 31:17).
What do the dead do, think, and know? Nothing. Does anyone think this is a picture of Heaven or Hell? Without the resurrection the dead would never know anything after death, would never have any kind of life (1 Corinthians 15:12-22).
Unwilling to accept God's word: Inspired writers speak often about death being a sleep, and about its unconscious nature. "His breath goes forth, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psalm 146:4). If Solomon had said, "Their love, as their hatred and their envy will continue...for there is work, and device, and knowledge, and wisdom, in Sheol, whither you go" (Ecclesiastes 9:5-10), then those who teach a immaterial, invisible soul that is alive from our death unto the resurrection could rightly say this ends all debate on this subject. But, when it is put the way God inspired it they reject it. If you try for the rest of your life, you would never be able to say any stronger than Solomon that there is nothing after death, and without the resurrection taught by Christ there never would be life after death. Unconditional immorality must have knowledge in sheol, the grave; therefore, many plain statements that there is no knowledge in the grave must be rejected, and many plain statements that death is a sleep must be rejected. See Isaiah 38:18-19; Psalm 115:17; 6:5; John 11:11-14; Daniel 12:1-2; Job 14:12-15; 1 Corinthians 15:20.
Some say that Ecclesiastes is the view of those in the world, the way they see life when God is left out, but it is not the way a child of God sees life. Ecclesiastes has statements that are so conductivity to a soul being immortal that many try to make the whole book not be the truth, but it is only "life...viewed from the perspective where God is left out." Because it was conductivity to his belief that salvation is by faith only without works, Calvin did with the book of James the same as many do to Ecclesiastes. There is much in Ecclesiastes that cannot be said to be the way those in the world look at life (see Ecclesiastes 12:1, 12:13, and many other statements throughout the book), but to do away with these statements, they are willing to do away with all. If Ecclesiastes is "life...viewed from the perspective where God is left out," why is it not use it that way when Ecclesiastes 12:7 is used to prove the "soul" is immortal? If Ecclesiastes is, "life...viewed from the perspective where God is left out," then nothing in the book is the truth. Was a book that is not the truth inspired by God? If the book is only "life...viewed from the perspective where God is left out," what good could it be to those that read it? Then why do we have this book in the Bible? Because it is not true that it is only the way the world sees life with God left out.
Death that never dies! The living dead! The undead dead!
If this sounds like something out of a horror film, it is the teaching of many about some deathless something which is an "immaterial, invisible part of man" (Vine). If there is something in a person that can never die, the lost could never be dead; common sense tells you that an immortal being can never die, that deathless soul would have no need of a savior to die in its place to keep it from dying. Death is not life, whether it is good life in Heaven, or bad life in Hell. To die is not to live. There cannot be life after death without a resurrection that ends the death.
FIRST RESURRECTION–SECOND DEATH
"He that over comes shall not be hurt of the second death" (Revelation 2:11, 20:6). The first resurrection is when a person is "born anew...born of the water and the Spirit" (John 3:3-5). "And you did he make alive when you were dead...made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved), and raised us up with him" (Ephesians 2:1-6; Galatians 2:18-19; 3:1).
1. "But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead...for he raised us from the dead along with Christ" (Ephesians 2:4 New Living Bible).
2. "But God, rich in mercy, for the great love he bore us, brought us to life with Christ...He raised us up" (Ephesians 2:4 New English Bible).
The first resurrection is when a person (not a soul, whatever a soul is thought to be) puts on Christ, "We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead" (Romans 6:3-4). “And you did he make alive, when you were dead through your trespasses and sins…even when we were dead through our trespassed, made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with him” (Ephesians 2:1-10), it was “us” “we” that were dead and made alive, not a soul. "I say unto you, the hour comes, and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live" (John 5:25). The first resurrection is when a person “like as Christ was raised from the dead" when they were buried through baptism and resurrected to a new life in Christ, a resurrection to a life that the unsaved will never have; a life that begins when a person is buried through baptism and “And you did he make alive when you were dead...made us alive together with Christ.” Just as the resurrection at the coming of Christ will be, it is a resurrection that will happen only one time; it is the person that is resurrected, not a pagan immaterial, deathless soul. The endless life that begins when a person comes up out of the water or baptism, “That like as Christ was raised from the dead" (Romans 6:3-4). “If then you have been raised up with Christ…you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4). Life after the resurrection for “those alive from the dead” (Romans 6:13) is not a different life but a continuance of the life that began when a person was “raised up with Christ” when baptized. From the first death our life “is hid with Christ,” it is in his keeping and at His coming that our life “will be revealed with Him in Glory.” All the faithful in Christ have been raised from the dead when we were “buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and now have life as long as they remain faithful and “shall not be hurt of the second death” (Revelation 2:11). At the second coming of Christ, those that are alive in Christ, whether they have fallen asleep in Christ or remain unto He comes, when He come they will be changed and put on incorruption, immortality, and forever have the victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:52-55).
The first resurrection is pictured under two figures
(1). A RESURRECTION: Resurrected to a new life in Christ, a death burial and resurrection to life in Christ (Romans 6). Coming up out of the water is the first resurrection when persons that are dead because of sin, not deathless souls, become “alive unto God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).
(2). A BIRTH: Born to a new life in Christ, a new birth of water and the spirit (John 3:5). “Except one be born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” “According to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5).
In John 5 Christ gives “eternal life” to those that believe, “He that hears my word, and believes him that sent me, has eternal life, and comes not into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24). All persons that hear and believe Christ have now passed out of death and have endless life, but are still in the image of Adam, have not yet put on an incorruptible body; they will sleep with their life “hidden with Christ in God.” But “the hour comes in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life.” At that time they will awake in the image of Christ with incorruptible bodies that will be suitable for endless life in Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). All others, “They that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29); in this passage Christ speaks both (1) of the believers passing from death to life in this lifetime, (2) and also a resurrection to immortality for believes that will take place at His second coming. It is a continuance of life for believes that never will have an end even when they have “fallen asleep in Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:18). Believes “comes not into judgment,” but are raised from sleep to life, those that do not believe will be raised for judgment, not life; those that believe not “shall not see life” (John 3:36), after they have been raised for judgment (John 5:29), they shall be hurt of the second death (Revelation 21:8).
In John 11:25-26 Christ speaks of the life the believer will receive both now and after the judgment. “I am the resurrection, and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” Even when the saved are asleep in Christ they live unto God; it is the person that is asleep in Christ that will wake up from their sleep.
All that are in the grave, both saved and lost, will hear His voice and come forth at the resurrection. All will be raised and stand “before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). All who were born again, made alive by being raised with Christ through Baptism, and live faithful shall not be hurt of the second death, which will be after the judgment. Christ paid the wages of sin for them. All others will pay their own wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). An endless life of torment is not a second death; it is eternal life with torment; an endless life of torment bears no resemblance to a death. There is a “second death,” but there is nothing said about a “third life” after the second death. Those who are in Christ that had part in the first resurrection will sleep unto the coming of Christ and will awake to live in the place Christ has gone to prepare for them in His Fathers house.
To feel pain, those in Hell would have to be just as alive as those in Heaven are. If a dead person were in a lake of fire, that dead person would not feel or know about the fire; if an immaterial soul that, according to Dr. Morey in “Death And The Afterlife,” page 79, is nothing but thoughts and will not have a body, that immaterial soul that has no substance, a soul that is thoughts only could not feel fire.
Summary: All are dead unto they are buried with Christ “through baptism into death and raised from the dead through the glory of the Father” (Romans 6:3-5). All saved persons now have eternal life even though their bodies are still in the image of Adam (John 3:15; 3:16; 3:36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:47; 11:28; 20:31). They will sleep with their life “hidden with Christ in God” unto the second coming of Christ; at that time the persons that believed and has been given life, the same persons will put on immortal bodies in the image of Christ. The life a person will have after the resurrection is a continuation of the endless life given to them when they first believed.
HOMER HAILEY: "There are only two alternatives, the crown of life-eternal life-or the second death." “Revelation,” page 128, Baker Book House. It is life or death, not life in Heaven or life in Hell. Death is real.
I. D. WILLIAMSON: "Relative to the question, whether the lake that burns with fire and brimstone is to be understood literally or figuratively, I have little to say. During the dark ages, it might have been necessary to discuss that question; but the day has passed when any man, claiming even a tolerable share of theological knowledge, would risk his reputation, as a man of sane mind, in an attempt to maintain the existence of a real lake of literal fire and brimstone, in which immortal and immaterial spirits are to be burned. It is a figure used to represent a reality, and this reality is the second death." "An Examination Of The Doctrine Of Endless Punishment."
"The Second Death" is used four times, all in Revelation.
(1). He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death (Revelation 2:11). The saved will not have a part in the second death; only the lost will.
(2). Those who are buried and raised with Christ (Romans 6) in the first resurrection, "Over these the second death has no power" (Revelation 20:6).
o The first two times “the second death” is used say that those in Christ will not die the second death.
(3). Death and hades, and any not found written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire; which is the second death. All three come to the same end. All three are completely destroyed; both hades and death will come to an end, but neither dead nor hades can be tormented (Revelation 20:14-15). The symbolical lake of fire pictures all three as coming to an end just as a literal lake of fire would bring any thing, living or nonliving to an end. The lake of fire is a symbol picture of total destruction of any thing cast into it, an endless death, not an endless life.
(4). He that overcomes shall inherit and be God's son, but for all others, "Their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). No ransom has been offered for the second death; it is without an end. The second death is not said to be sleep as the first death is, no one will wake up from it, there will be no resurrection from it.
SECOND DEATH IN PLAIN LANGUAGE: "There remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:27). For the lost (1) judgment then (2) devour in the lake of fire, which is the second death. Not as it is preached today (1) judgment (2) then an eternal life of torment in Hell forever, but never devoured, or as preached by many an eternal life in Hell at death before and without the resurrection and Judgment Day.
o The Bible speaks of two deaths, the first, and the second, if the first death is death, but if the second death is eternal life being tormented by God, but then the second death would not a death.
o The second death is a real death, just as real as is the first death; both the first and second death are the end of life, neither death is not life in another form or place.
o The second death is never spoken of as a sleep; there is no waking up or resurrection from it.
o The first death is the end of living in this temporal life, which all die and is not the wages of sin. The second death is the end of living in whatever kind of life the lost will have when they are resurrected from the dead (when the dead are resurrected for judgment they will have life of some kind at the judgment, but not eternal life that is given only to believers–resurrection means life restored, if not then it would not be a resurrection).
o “And the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15).
o “Whoever turns a sinner away from his error will save him from death” (James 5:20) New International Version.
o “For the end of these things is death” (Romans 6:21).
o “They that practice such things are worthy of death” (Romans 1:32). “Those who practice such things deserve to die” New Revised Standard Version.
o “For if you live after the flesh, you must die” (Romans 8:13).
o “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
o “And their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
o Death, not eternal torment, is the end of the sinner. The second death is a real death, just as real as is the first death; both the first and second death are both an end of life, as the first death deprives a person of all psychical life and is the final end of all earthly existence, so the second death is the final end of all existence after the resurrection to judgment.
"IF YOU LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YOU SHALL DIE." “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die (apothncesko); but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13). All mankind, even the faithful, have been dying the first death since the sin of Adam, this is not a reference to the first death but the second when only those who live according to the flesh will die. Paul did not say, "If you live after the flesh you are now spiritually dead," (present tense), but "you shall die" (future tense). Not A soul that shall live forever separated from God, but "you shall die." Why do many that say they believe God, but work hard to change His word? "But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live." It is you that will live or die, not something that will always live and cannot die. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Not the death of the flesh, which all die, but the second death.
“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died (apothncesko). This is the bread which came down out of Heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die (apothncesko)” (John 6:48-50). All die the first death, even the apostles, but there will be a resurrection, and those who eat of the bread that came down out of Heaven will not die the second death, all that do not eat of it will die the second death.
J. M. DENNISTION, “The one thing really announced is that, through Christ the living Bread, there comes to believers an endless duration which did not come by the manna–the clear understanding being that in no other why than through that Bread can such duration be theirs.” “The Perishing Soul According To Scripture,” Longmans, Green, and Co., 1874.
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes on me though he die (apothncesko), yet shall he live; and whosoever lives and believes on me shall never die (apothncesko)” (John 11:25-26). Although those who believe will die the first death just as all do, they will be resurrected, and will never die the second death; those who do not believe will also die and be resurrected for judgment, and will die the second death. “For the hour comes in which all that are in the tombs 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 judgment” (John 5:28-29).
“For the land which has drunk the rain that comes often upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receives blessing from God: but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is rejected, and nigh unto a curse; whose end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:4-8). Those that fall away will be burned in the lake of fire, which is the second death, just as thorns are burned.
ASHLEY JOHNSON, founder and president of the Johnson Bible College. “Why do we burn briers and thorns? To destroy them, to get permanently rid of them.” Page 413, “The Resurrection And The Future Life.” Knoxville Lithographing Company, 1913.
HOMER HAILEY. "As there is a second higher life, so there is also a second and deeper death. And as after that life there is no more death, SO AFTER THAT DEATH THERE IS NO MORE LIFE" Afford. From his commentary on "Revelation."
Made alive at His coming, not at death: "In Christ all will be made alive. But, each in his own turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him" 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 New International Version. Paul says that those who belong to Christ will be "made alive" at His coming. If there was a soul that is very much alive in Heaven or Hell it could not be "made alive" at the resurrection. Christ the first fruits of them that are asleep (now), then they that are Christ's at his coming.
Death is the end: Paul says of those who are servants of sin that "the end of those things is death" (Romans 6:21-22). But, many now say, "The end of those things is eternal life with torment without an end"? Who are you going to believe, God, or man?
The sting of death 1 Corinthians 15:54-57: After the resurrection when the saved will have put on immortality, death would have been swallowed up in victory. Victory over what? Over death. After the resurrection we will have put on immortality, and will never again be subject to death, but we are now subject to it, and it takes away our life. If we now have immortality we would now have the victory over death. If there is no death, then death has no sting. If there were a soul in a person that is deathless, that soul would have always had the victory over death, it would never have been subject to death. The doctrine of unconditional immortality from birth makes nonsense out of 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, and gives all, those in Christ, and those not in Christ the victory over death; and gives all this victory without the death and resurrection of Christ. If all are born with an immortal soul and it cannot die, then no soul that is in anyone is subject to death from the day of their birth and never will be. What kind of victory could there be over the nothingness of death that is not death to a soul that was never subject to death?
IS DEATH AN ENEMY, OR A GATEWAY TO HEAVEN?
A companion of Paul, Epaphroditus, was nigh unto death but God had mercy on him (Philippians 3:27). If death is a gateway to Heaven, then when God had "mercy on him," was God not being cruel by keeping him out of the glories of Heaven and making him suffer the pains and temptations of earth longer? Why do most do all they can to live a little longer, even if it is in pain? If death is a friend, why is this friend not a welcome visitor? Why are we grief-stricken and not rejoicing when our “friend” takes someone we love to be with Christ and God in Heaven? How could going from this life (from pain and troubles for many) to Heaven be an enemy? If death is a doorway by which we go to Heaven at the moment of death, why would a person who had lived in pain for years do everything possible to stay out of Heaven and live a little longer, even if it were in pain? Why do we mourn and not rejoice if a love one who lives in pain would go to their everlasting residence in Heaven immediately after death where there is no pain? Is it not because we know death is an enemy, not a friend, not a doorway to instant joy (1 Corinthians 15:26), and the dead are under the power of death onto the resurrection, not alive in Heaven; do they not by their actions demonstrate beyond any doubt that they do not believe what they profess, that death is a friend that takes their loved one to be with Christ? We will not have the victory over death unto the resurrection? But, many say going to Heaven is just what happens at death, even for the Old Testament saints who died before the death of Christ: therefore, before their sins were paid for by His death. If this were true, death would then be a friend, not an enemy. How can death be an enemy to an immortal, immaterial, invisible soul that is not subject to death, to a soul that cannot die?
What is it that will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26)? Just what is the "enemy?" Death (moving to Heaven or Hell) would be an enemy only to the lost who were moving to Hell. It would be a friend to the saved who were moving to Heaven. But there is a problem, how can there be a resurrection if it is only souls, not us will be in Heaven and souls are never dead to be resurrected? If no one is dead, the Bible teaching of a resurrection is out of place and should not be in the Bible. Maybe this is why the teaching of the resurrection is being abandoned in many churches. If death is not real, there is no resurrection. If death is real, the resurrection is our only hope. Without the resurrection, we perish forever when we die (1 Corinthians 15:18). Without the resurrection, the enemy of death will never be destroyed and we will be forever dead.
IS DEATH LIFE SEPARATED FROM GOD?
IS THERE LIFE WITHOUT GOD?
Death is to be "abolished" (1 Corinthians 15:26) American Standard Version, "destroyed" King James Version. How? By being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). Yet, some teach that when evil men are cast into this same lake of fire, they are alive and tormented by it; death is not abolished or destroyed; death is made into a Christ-less and God-less endless life. Fire is a consumer, if it did not consume it would not be fire, to use fire to illustrate something that dose not do what fire does, fire that endlessly perseveres but does not consume, would make the language unintelligible. Does the Lake of Fire abolish death but does not abolish people? "Death shall be no more" Revelation 21:4. Therefore, being cast into the lake of fire cannot be endless life but "being separated from God" (a definition of death that is believed by many), for then death will last forever, and could never be "abolished." Death is to be "abolished" before Christ will be subjected" to God (1 Corinthians 15:28ff), before when we will be in Heaven, "death shall be no more" (Revelation 21:4); therefore, all "wages of sin" (Romans 6:23) shall have been paid; if not, they can never be paid as there will be no death, and cannot go on being paid in Hell forever; for then death would last as long as the "wages" were bring paid, which would be forever for if death is only "being separated from God," then death must last forever. If death (being alive separated from God) did not last forever then Hell could not last forever, the last enemy (death) can never be abolished (1 Corinthians 15:26). The people in Bible times would not have understood death to mean alive but separation any more than the people of the world today understand it or use death to mean alive. We use death in our everyday language to mean to be dead, not to have life, but in the theology use of the word, it does not mean dead, to be dead is to have life, to be more alive than we are while we are living! Why did God not just say what He means, that death means alive not dead? Did God in some way apart from His word revealed to some that He did not mean what He said in the Bible, but He only revealed this to some and not to all?
Many who do not want to say, “You are going to Hell and be eternally tormented by God” say, “You are going to be eternally alive separated from God.” They really believe God is going to forever be tormenting most of humanity, but this is so revolting that they water down what they really believe. All who believe in Hell must use their theology to explain death out of the Bible. Trying to put separation in the place of death is a poor try, but it seems to be the best they could do. Such a radical redefining of death to be life is nothing more that a denial of death.
SEPARATION: Wayne Jackson in an article he called, “The ‘Second Death’–Separation or Annihilation?” printed by the “Christian Courier” redefined the Second Death to be separation. Jackson changed death to eternal life separated from God. I understand him to be saying that after the person is dead a soul that was in an unsaved person lives forever being tormented by God. Does he think a soul has life if it is separated from God? Where does the life of a soul that is separated from God come from? If this soul was separated from God, who does he think is doing the tormenting, if a soul were really separated from God than God could not be the one that was doing the tormenting? But separation is not usually used to mean that souls are spirits are really separated from God, but usually only in an attempt to make death mean life, to make death not really be death.
Reason why death is called “separation.” It sounds better to say death is “separation” from God than to say death is endless life being tormented by God, but when endless torment by God is added to the separation, which those that believe death is separation from God always do, it is only a way to try to make their belief not make God not seem to be as evil as endless torment in Hell does.
SECOND DEATH: “But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death” (Revelation 20:8). Who did all these things? (1) Was it persons? (2) Was it souls? (3) Was it spirits? Did spirits murder other spirits? Did immaterial, souls that do not have a body commit fornication? Did souls or spirits lie to each other? Could God have said any clearer that the person, not a soul, which committed these sins, will die? This is speaking of persons after they have been resurrected from the dead and judged, the persons that had committed these sins while that were alive in the flesh will die the second death, not deathless souls that we are told cannot die, cannot die the first or second death. Wayne Jackson had to change death to separation to be able to change it from persons after the resurrection that would die the second death to souls that he believes can never die a first or second death, therefore; souls must live someplace forever alive but alive separated from God even though the persons these souls had been in was dead. The wages of sin is death for the person that sins, not eternal life separated from God (as if there could be any kind of life anyplace that is separated from God) for a soul that had been in the person that sinned.
If death means, "separated but alive," a deathless death, then we can use it in place of death. Try it.
o "He that raised up Christ Jesus from the separation from God but alive some place without God " Romans 8:1. This redefining of death to be life would make Christ not to have died for our sins; therefore, Christ could not have been raised from the dead; He was never dead, just separated from God. It would make His death not be a genuine death, His resurrection just a reunion of Jesus and God when neither one was dead, just separated from each other. If the Father and the Son were just separated from each other for the three days the Son was in the grave, the Father would have been just as separated from the Son as the Son was from the Father, neither one would have died, God would have been separated from God. There is no death in separation, no shedding of blood in separation, no New Covenant bought with the blood of Christ.
o "Christ was separation from God but alive some place without God for our sins" 1 Corinthians 15:3
o It is life or death, not life or life; if death is not literal death, then life is not literal life.
Whatever death is, (1) if death is really death, (2) or if is that death is not death, but death is alive separated from God, but tormented by God who would not be where they are if they were separated from Him, it would be undeniable that James 2:26 says it is the earthly body that is separated (dead); therefore alive, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead” is used repeatedly to prove death is not death, that a spirit that had been separated from the lost person is alive, but it is separated from God, yet it is somehow tormented by God; in this passage it is speaking of the body that is dead, it says nothing of a dead (separated) soul, (spirit and soul are not the same); therefore, according to this passage it would be the body that has turned to dust that is alive separated from God. If death is only separation from God, James would be saying, “For as the body apart from the spirit is separated,” nothing is said about the spirit being dead, it dose not say, “For as the spirit apart from the body is dead,” it says nothing about the spirit being alive but separated from God, but they do not want to make the dead body be separated but alive, they want this to be saying only the spirit is alive without the dead person it had been in. The change they want to make is that death is not death but only separation from God. But we are told that the body (person) is dead if separated from a soul, but a soul will live and will live better after it is separated from the person it was in. Is only one side of separation death? I do not believe anyone will say a body in the grave is alive.
If death is only separation, not death, when the body and the spirit were separated from each other:
1. Then would a dead body not be dead, would it would be alive (separated) in one place, but just as alive as the spirit from which it is separated.
2. The spirit (pnuma) would be alive (separated) in another place, but no more alive then the body from which it would be separated.
o What kind of problems are made by making death be life separated from God? Both the dead body and the spirit (pnuma) would be equality separated from each other, would both be alive while they are separated from each other? If death were only separation, not a real death, the body that was separated from the spirit would be just as alive as the spirit that is separated from the body. The spirit would be no more separated (alive) then the body.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23). If “life” is literal then “death” in the same passage is just as literal. How could anyone know that just one word in a literal sentence is not just as literal as all the other words? If the death of sinner is not a literal death, the life for believers is not a literal life. The same persons that tell us death is not a literally death tell us that death literally means death when it is used in reference to animals; dead animals are literally dead, not separated from God but alive some place where God is not at. But, according to this theology, death cannot mean separation for the saved. Death means alive but separated from God only when they want it to.
If death is only eternal separation from God, that separation would be forever, and death could never be destroy, the lost would always be separated form God and Paul was wrong in 1 Corinthians 15:54. Any kind of life is not death. When we say God cannot die, we mean God cannot cease to exist, not that God is separated.
The same ones that tell us death is separation from God also tell us that God will forever be with the lost in Hell tormenting them, that the lost can never be separated from God. Which time do they believe what they say? ALL LIFE DEPENDS ON GOD THE GIVER OF LIFE; THEREFORE, SEPARATED FROM GOD NO ONE COULD HAVE ANY KIND OF LIFE, NOT LIFE IN HELL, OR ANY OTHER PLACE. THE ONLY WAY TO BE SEPARATED FROM GOD IS TO BE MADE NOT TO EXIST; TO EXIST ANYPLACE MAKES BEING SEPARATED FROM GOD NOT POSSIBLE.
This theology makes nonsense of the Bible. The Bible speaks repeatedly of death, and the wages of sin being death, but this theology tells us that everyone has a deathless soul in them. If no one is dead, the resurrection will not be from the dead to living, but just a change of address from the living who are separated to the living who are unseparated. The English word death and the Greek word from which it is translated both mean death, not life.
"Spiritual death" and "death is a separation" are not Biblical expressions. They are interpretations. They are additions used to teach what some wants to hear, not what the Bible teaches. Death and separation are different words in both the Hebrew and the Greek, and have different meanings just as they do in English. When someone dies we say that person is dead, not that person is separated but alive.
How can death be a separation of the body and soul when a soul (a living being, person) is the earthly body that is in the image of Adam? 1 Corinthians 15:48-50?
IS THERE LIFE WITHOUT GOD? IF DEATH IS LIFE SEPARATED FROM GOD, THEN MANKIND CAN LIVE WITHOUT GOD, AND LIFE CAN EXIST THAT IS NOT SUSTAINED BY GOD. But, the truth is the dead can never be separated from God if the dead are not dead, if they have eternal life with torment God is both (1) keeping them alive, giving them life (2) and doing the tormenting. There could be absolutely no existence if a person or a soul were separated from God, for there can be no life without God, and without life there can be no torment; all life in Heaven, earth, or where ever there is life, all life comes from God, and without God there is no life. If any have life in Hell, God must be in Hell with them giving them this life, and He must be where they are doing the tormenting, for if He were not, there would be no life and no torment. To be separate from God can only mean to be nowhere. If a person can exist separated from God, that person is self-existing; they are a God for only a God can be self-existing; therefore, according to today's theology, all the lost who are separated from God are self-existing Gods. How far will they go to prove "Hell"? Death is a separation from life, but not eternal self-existing life separated God.
The King James Version puts God in Hell. "If I make my bed in Hell behold thou art there" (Psalm 139:8). If those in Hell are separated from God, then God cannot be in Hell, but by its mistranslation to put Hell in the Bible it is undeniable that the King James Version says that God is in Hell. Do you think God has forever given the lost to Satan to do with them what he wants to? Will Satan have his own kingdom where he is in total control, which will have more in it than God's kingdom? He will if the dead are separated alive from God and God is not in Hell with them. If there were a Hell, which way is it? (1) Either God is in Hell doing the tormenting, and God is sustaining the life they have, and they are not separated from Him, (2) or God is not in Hell, and the lost are separated from Him and He is not doing the tormenting or sustaining the life they have. It cannot be both ways. Where did the concept come from that there is any life when one is separated from God, the only source of all life? It is not a matter of eternal life with Christ, or eternal life separated from Christ, for there is no life separated or apart from Christ. A sinner does not have any kind of immortal life. Only those in Christ will have immortality only after the resurrection.
If death is "separation" of a soul from the earthly body, and not a real death, then the resurrection could only be the return and reuniting of a soul to the earthly person, and they must forever be together or the resurrection would not last forever. If all earthly bodies end at the end of this earth, then death (separation) of the saved will last forever; a soul would be forever separated from the earthly body for the body would not exist. But those who teach death is separation only want death to be separation when death is a soul that is alive but separated from God, all other times death is death; death cannot mean eternal life part of the time and death part of the time.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL: "Every word not specially explained or defined in a particular sense by any standard writer of any particular age and country, is to be taken in the current or commonly received signification of that country and age in which the writer lived and wrote." “Christian System” page 3.
Theological meaning of words came about after the New Testament. Both the Old Testament and New Testament use the words as those to whom God was speaking used them. Did God say one thing, but mean something different from what He said? If so, there is no need for us to read the Bible, for no one could know that God used "death" to mean "separated but alive" without a revelation from God, or someone who is inspired to tell us. Who was the inspired person that told us "death" means "separated but alive?" If no inspired person did tell us, many preach that which they have no way of knowing, for they would have no revelation to tell them that when God said death that He really intended to say separated but alive.
Reasoning in an endless circle
(1). Eternal separation from God is used to prove all have an immortal soul that cannot die.
(2). An immortal soul that cannot die is used to prove death cannot be death, but that a deathless soul is alive but separation from God, that a soul will have life that dose not come form God.
(3). Then eternal separation from God is used to prove death cannot be death, but that death is eternal life separation from God.
(4). Then an immortal soul that cannot die is used to prove death cannot be death, but that the deathless soul is alive but separation from God.
After the second death the dead will not be with God, but how can being dead, and not with God prove that they have an immortal soul that is alive some place, a place where God is not there? Death is the opposite of life, another kind of life is not death, not even if it was possible to exist and to have life separated from God; if anyone were alive some place, that person would not be dead.
If death is separation, what is separated from what? At death the dead body goes back to the earth, the person goes to the grave and is really dead. But we are told that a soul that was in a dead person is separated from the person that it had been in, but the soul is just as alive as it was when it was in the person; the person is without life–the deathless soul lives then what could be resurrected from the dead? Only the dead body of the dead person, only the body that has gone back to the earth from which the body came.
Summary: If, as some teach, that Hell is the punishment for sin, then being eternally tormented by God, then not separation or death is "the wages of sin." Being tormented by God, not separation from God is made to be the thing they call death, but those who change death from being death, to death being alive but separation from God do not seem to see they are teaching two completely different doctrines at the same time.
(1). Death is an eternal life of torment with God doing the tormenting.
(2). And death is an eternal life separated from God. But who do they believe would be doing the tormenting if the living dead were separated from God? This redefining of death to be life has caused much of the confusion and division in the church.
John 3:36: "But, he that obeyed not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." Implied: he shall see death, the opposite of life. You are alive, or you are dead, no in between. Will those in Hell that cannot die have no life; if they "shall not see life," how can they be alive to be tormented when they are in Hell? Can a rock that does "not see life" be tormented? "Shall not see life" is not to be alive anywhere, not to be alive in Hell. How much clearer could Jesus have possibly have been, how much clearer could He have said whoever rejects Him shall not see life, shall not see an eternal life of torment?
Everlasting life, or everlasting destruction Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” There are two gates, (1) one gate leads to life, (2) and one gate leads to destruction. Destruction is used in contrast to life; destruction is not life, not both gates leads to life, not the narrow gate to eternal life in one place and the broad gate to eternal life in another place. Jesus said as clear as language can be that the wide gate leads to destruction, not to life. “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them…except you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4-5). “Killed” and “likewise perish” are both the same, both mean death, neither one means eternal life.
“Worthy of death,” but cannot die Romans 1:32. "They that practice such things are worthy of death," but if they have an immortal never dying something from birth, and this something cannot ever die. Why did Paul bother to say they are worthy of death if he knows whatever it is that is in them could not die?
When do sinners die? If death means only separation, the sinner is separated from God now. Is the second death to be a "double separation?" Will they be any more separated than they now are? If the lake of fire, which is the second death, is only a separation from God, and souls are now separated from Him, they cannot be any more separated after the second death than they are now.
Literally or figuratively: THOMAS ANDREWS said that those who accept annihilation as the end of mankind claim that the words destroy and death that are used to describe eternal punishment should be understood literally (1997 Florida College Lectures, page 169). On the same page Andrews said, “The Biblical concept of eternal extends to both life and death.”
o The Biblical concept, endless death.
o The Biblical concept, endless life.
o Death will last just as long as life, if life is without end, death is also without end.
The Biblical concept is that the death is just as long lasting as the life. If death is figuratively and not real death, then life is figuratively and not real life. If death is figurative life, then there are two kinds of figuratively life.
Those who believe in Hell must change "death" to be figuratively or allegorical, not a real death; but they make "life" real even when both are used together in the same sentence. If death is figurative, then life must be figurative.
1. Eternal "death" is as literal as eternal "life." Does a real sin have a figurative punishment? Death must be "wrest" (2 Peter 3:16) into something that is not death to make it fit around the doctrine of an immortal, immaterial, invisible "soul" that cannot die; therefore, death of a deathless “soul” has to be changed to be only a figurative death.
2. “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy” (James 4:12). “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved” (Hebrews 10:39). If the destroying is figuratively, and is not literally destroying, then the saving is also figuratively, and is not literally saving.
Three blind men were told to feel an elephant and tell what it looks like. One felt the tusk and said, "It is hard and smooth." One the leg-"It is like a tree." One the tail- "It is like a brush." None told what the elephant is like. "It is like a brush" is not a description of an elephant, and "separated" from God, but are alive without Him is not a description of death.
"Dead while she lives" 1 Timothy 5:6, What was dead?
(1). Her body was alive at the time Paul wrote this, (2) and according to those that believe there was a deathless soul in her, believe that soul that was in her was alive at the time Paul wrote this, that it cannot ever be dead. Then what was, “Dead while she lives,” If neither her body nor a soul that was in her was not dead?
(2). Even though this passage is used to prove she had an immortal soul, it says nothing about a soul or a spirit; “spiritual death” is not in the Bible, not in the Old or New Testament, but is added and used repeatedly to prove a soul or a spirit cannot be dead.
(3). She (a person, not a deathless soul) was dead in her relationship to God. She did not have a dead body, or a dead soul.
Dead and alive at the same time. In what sense is she alive? Physically she was not dead, but she was alive. In what sense is she dead while she lived? The she that was dead is the same as all other sinners and unsaved people, dead in their relationship to God. Their death is so certain that they are spoken of as being dead (See Luke 9:60). They do not have Christ living in them, and the "life" He came to give (John 5:21-29). They have only the “resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29) to look forward to, and the wages of sin, death (Romans 6:23), not the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29). Both life for those who believe, and death for those who do not believe, are so certain that through out the New Testament it speaks as if we now have the eternal life or death, which will come at the judgment. The only life she has is physical life. How can an immortal soul that will always have life be gotten out of "dead while she lives"? It was her body that "lives," not an immortal, immaterial, invisible something that lives without her body; therefore, if a "soul" were in this passage it could only be in the part of her that was "dead," which is changed to “spiritual dead.”
(1). Because the passage speaks of her being dead while her body lived, her having a soul that is alive while she is dead is read into this passage even when nothing is said about an “immortal soul,” or an “immortal spirit,” nothing about any kind of life after death; nothing about her or any thing that was in her being immortal.
(2). This passage is often used to prove that the "soul" cannot be dead, but it has another kind of life, even when there is nothing said about a "soul" in it. "Dead while she lives" must be changed to be, "Alive while she is alive."
(3). Death must be removed from this passage, and life with torment for something that cannot be dead that is in a person added to it; this is what is called pulling something out of thin air, or reading into a passage something that is wanted to be in it.
(4). She is of the world, which will “pass away,” will come to an end; just as the world will “pass away” she will “pass away,” she will not “abide forever.”
The Bible uses death in both a literal and a figurative application. In the literal use of death life has ceased to exist. The figurative use of a word must take it meaning from it literal use. The figurative use of death is often confused with the literal use of death. The Christian widow that “has her hope set on God” had a relationship with God but if she “gives herself to pleasure” that relationship is dead; it no longer exist, the relationship is dead. She “is (figuratively) dead while she lives,” but the real death will not come unto after the judgment.
The literal use of death–something has ceased to exist. Life ceased to exist.
The figurative use of death–something has ceased to exist. Her saved relation with God ceased to exist.
In Luke 15:11-32, Matthew 8:21-22: "Follow me; and leave the dead (those who have no relationship with God) to bury their own dead." There is nothing about an "immaterial invisible part of man" that is alive in the persons that are to bury the dead persons. Neither the dead that was doing the burying, nor the dead that were being buried were not a dead immortal soul that cannot be dead, both the one that were alive, and the one that were dead were both dead in their relationship to God even though one was alive as the widow was. The prodigal son had a relationship with his father, the relationship ceased to exist, then was restored when the son returned. The son was alive, then dead, then alive in his relationship with his father, but the son was never literally dead, and there was no literal resurrection of the dead; in this passage there is absolutely nothing said about an immortal soul although it is repeatedly used to prove the prodigal son was an immortal soul, not a person, that was separated from his father. Even today a Jewish family often have a funeral for a person that has been converted to another religion, or leaves the Jewish religion.
Frequently one person is separated from another, but not counted as dead; when a child leaves home we do not say our child is dead, but in Bible times the Hebrews would say the child (not a deathless soul) was dead when the child left home and had no relationship with the father or mother, it was as if the child was dead to them; it was the child, not a soul, that had no relations with the father. When God gives a revelation, He used words and customs just as the persons to whom He gave the revelation used them. To the Hebrew mind and some Oriental cultures even today, the prodigal son, a person, is counted as dead and the father no longer has a son.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming AND NOW IS, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live" (John 5:24-25). He was not saying the hour had came when He was going to the graveyard, and the dead there would hear His voice and live, be resurrected from the grave. He was not speaking of a physical or literal resurrection, but of those who are not believers (dead by the Hebrew and Oriental cultures) becoming believers and alive to God. The widow was dead to God just as the prodigal son was dead to his father because she had put something ahead of God in her life; the resurrection at the second coming of Christ is not spoken of in this passage about the widow.
o “And YOU were dead in YOUR trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
o “But SHE who gives HERSELF to wanton pleasure is dead even while SHE LIVES” (1 Timothy 5:6).
o Nothing is said about an immortal something that cannot die being dead, it is the person that is dead to God. She was dead to God even while she was still alive just as the Ephesians were dead to God before they became Christians, not one thing is said about a soul, not about it being alive or it being dead, not that a soul even exist; why then is this passage used repeatedly to show all have an immortal something in them.
The widow is under the sentence of death, but the sentence of death has been removed for those in Christ, and the promise of life (immortality, incorruption) given to them. For those not in Christ, there is only death, the wages of their sin. They will be raised only to face the judgment and the second death "a savor from death unto death."
There are two groups that are living but are dead.
1. Those that never have believed in Christ have never been given the life that believers have been given.
2. Those that believed and were given life but became unfaithful by putting something ahead of Christ.
Both will be raised at the coming of Christ and judged, then the second death, not life.
Die in the Old Testament: Die is from "moosh" in the Old Testament and occurs over 800 times. None of the 800 has any references to death being anything but death. In not one of them is death a separation of a dead earthly body from a living soul, or that anything is alive while it is in a person, and will be alive after the death of the person. Throughout the Old Testament, "moosh" is used of both men and animals, and makes no distinction between them. Both die. "For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies (moosh) so dies (moosh) the other" (Ecclesiastes 3:19). Fish, cattle, frogs, men, dogs, lions, a city, and flies all die (moosh). For all, death is the end of life, and if there were no resurrection, a person would be as all the above, dead forever.
In "Truth Magazine," June 7, 2001, page 343, Johnie Edwards has an article, "What Death Says."
o What does death say? It says that for there to be life after death, there must be a resurrection from the dead.
o What does the resurrection say? It says if there is to be a resurrection, there must be death to be resurrected from, not a higher kind of life than life that we now have that would not need a resurrection.
o The resurrection says death is a real death; it says someone who is not dead cannot be raised from the dead by a resurrection.
J. B. COFFMAN, 2 Corinthians 2:16: "’The meaning therefore is, the Gospel, which arises from Christ and which is preached through us, is to the unbelieving, but the incense arising from one crucified and dead, and so it is to them a savor from the dead and producing death. But to the believing it is a savor FROM THE LIVING, PRODUCING LIFE.’ J. W. McGarvey, 1916. McGarvey pointed out the extremely significant phrases 'from death' and 'from life' as used in this passage. To the unbelieving, the news of the Gospel is from one who was crucified and is dead: so, for them, it is an odor from death unto death EVEN ETERNAL DEATH; but to Christians, the news of the Gospel is 'from life unto life' in them that are saved."
"A Savor from life unto life" The new birth (John 3:3). "Walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). "Have passed out of death into life" (1 John 3:14). At the second coming of Christ the saved shall "put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:53), after which there will be no death.
"A Savor from death unto death" Dead while she lives (1 Timothy 5:6). "Abides in death" (1 John 3:14). The lost will be raised from the dead at the second coming of Christ, then judgment and the second death after which there will never be any life, never a resurrection from this death.
H. L. HASTINGS: "In all classical literature no instance can be found where the word death has this signification of eternal torment." "The Last Judgment," 1853
For those who are not in Christ, there is no eternal life anywhere.
Continue to chapter four, five, six, and seven The Changing Hell, The Vanishing Hell.
Copyright by William West
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CHAPTER ONE: The reinterpretation of the nature of man: http://www.robertwr.com/
o Soul in Genesis, Soul in the New Testament, Old Testament words, which are translated life, spirit, breath, or soul, are all used referring to both a person and animals, Soul in the Old Testament.
o Soul in the New Testament, Plato's immortal soul versus Christ's life and resurrection, Historical proof of reinterpretations of the Bible. The great confusion - Soul or Spirit or
CHAPTER TWO: Life or death? http://www.robertwr.com/life.html
CHAPTER THREE: The reinterpretations of the great doctrines of the Bible. http://www.robertwr.com/immortal.html
CHAPTERS FOUR, FIVE, SIX, AND SEVEN: http://www.robertwr.com/hell.html
o Chapter Four: From where came hell? The given no chance Hell, Edward Fudge's Short Hell, The Changing Hell, The Vanishing Hell.
o Chapter Five: Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and the Nether World. A soul is the image of Adam.
o Chapter Six: The thirty-one passages where Hell is used in the King James Version.
o Chapter Seven: A Strange and Unexplainable Silence.
CHAPTERS EIGHT, NINE, TEN, AND ELEVEN:
o Chapter Eight: The interpretation of figurative language, metaphors, and symbolical passage.
1. Part one: The intermediate bosom, the rich man, and Lazarus.
2. Part two: The symbolical pictures of Revelation versus a literal interpretation.
3. Part three: Forever and ever of the King James Version.
4. Part four: Israel's destruction, her weeping, gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, A. D. 70
o Chapter Nine: Universalist: The "age lasting" Hell.
o Chapter Ten: Evil Pagan teachings that are attributed to God.
o Chapter Eleven: Historical proof of the changing of the teaching of the Bible
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Ch. 1 After the Judgment where will we spend eternity?
Ch. 2 When will the secret rapture come to pass? Will you miss it?
Ch. 3 Will there be cars without drivers after the rapture?
Ch. 4 What is the battle of Armageddon?
Ch. 5 Is Armageddon coming soon?
Ch. 6 Will Israel be restored? Will there be a worldwide conversion of Jews?
Ch. 7 Will the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem?
Ch. 8 Will animal sacrifices be restored?
Ch. 9 What are the signs of the second coming of Christ?
Ch. 10 Who are the 144,000?
Ch. 11 Will there be one, two, or three resurrections?
Ch. 12 What is the "time of the Gentiles"?