Bible Questions and Answers

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The soul of man

The Hebrew word translated ‘soul’ is ‘nephesh’.

It is translated in the King James Version – ‘soul’ 475 times, ‘life’ 117 times, ‘person’ 29 times, ‘mind’ 15 times, ‘heart’ 15 times, ‘creature’ 9 times, ‘body’ 8 times, ‘himself’ 8 times, ‘yourselves’ 6 times, ‘dead’ 5 times, ‘will’ 4 times, ‘desire’ 4 times, ‘man’ 3 times, ‘themselves’ 3 times, ‘any’ 3 times, ‘appetite’ 2 times, misc 47 times;

We do not POSSESS a soul; we ARE a soul.

Soul is our whole ‘being’.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (nephesh).

The same Hebrew word is used of animals, where it is translated ‘creatures’:

Genesis 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature (nephesh) after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Leviticus 11:46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature (nephesh) that moveth in the waters, and of every creature (nephesh) that creepeth upon the earth:

Souls are not immortal. Souls die.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls (nephesh) are mine; as the soul (nephesh) of the father, so also the soul (nephesh) of the son is mine: the soul (nephesh) that sinneth, it shall die.

Where the Bible speaks of dead souls, the KJV translators incorrectly translated ‘nephesh’ as ‘body’.

Leviticus 21:11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body (nephesh), nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;

Numbers 6:6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body (nephesh).

Had they been consistent in translation, the false doctrine of ‘immortal souls’ could not have arisen.

When we die, we become a DEAD soul.

When we are placed in the grave, our soul is placed in the grave.

Job 33:22 Yea, his soul (nephesh) draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.

Psalms 89:48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul (nephesh) from the hand of the grave?

The spirit of man is:

1. The way he thinks

Numbers 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

Luke 9:55  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

2. The ‘life force’ within man which returns to God when we die.

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

Job 34:14 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

We do not possess a soul or spirit which continues in a conscious existence after death.

In death, we are completely unconscious.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing…

Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

For this reason, death is described as ‘sleep’.

We all experience the unconsciousness of sleep.

1 Kings 2:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.

Acts 7:60 And he (Stephen) kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

The Bible hope is not that of an immortal soul or spirit which continues in a conscious existence after death.

The Bible hope is that of resurrection from the dead which will take place when Christ returns to establish the kingdom of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

At that time, Jesus will raise the dead out of their graves.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (condemnation).

The faithful will be rewarded with eternal life.

The unfaithful will be condemned to die again (the punishment for sin is death) and perish forever.

Jesus will reign over the mortal population of the earth for 1000 years.

He will reign from Jerusalem on the restored throne of David.

Luke 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

The prophecy of Isaiah 2 will be fulfilled:

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

At the end of the millennial reign there will be a second resurrection and final judgment. Sin and death will be eradicated and all who live on will possess the divine nature.

Paul describes what is going to happen:

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign (the millennial reign), till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

This will be the fulfilment of God’s purpose, when he will live in and with his people and the earth will be filled with his glory forever.

Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

Revelation describes this time:

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

May I suggest that you read

After Death – What?

I hope you find this helpful.

God bless,