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Articles on the Death



Doesn't the Bible teach that Jesus was the "first born" of all creation and as such a created being not co-existent with the Father from eternity?

The text in question is Col. 1:15 which calls Jesus the first born of every creature. The Greek word here is prototokos meaning the pre-eminent one-the one who has the privileges and prerogatives of God. Jesus is first born not in the sense of time but in the sense of privilege. All the privileges of the first born are His. David was the eighth son of Jesse, yet called the first born.

Jesus declared that He was the "I Am" (Jn. 8:58) meaning the self existent one. He said, 'before Abraham was, I Am." Isaiah the prophet calls Him the everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6). Micah declares that His origin is from everlasting (Mic. 5:2). John affirms, "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God." (Jn.1:1).

Jesus had the privileges and prerogatives of God. He thought equality with God not a thing to be grasped while the world was lost, so He voluntarily left heaven to become a man. He' dwelt in human flesh, fought temptations' battles as we fight them, and overcame in our behalf (Phil. 2:5-11, Heb. 2:14, 17).

If the dead are asleep, how could the Witch of Endor bring the prophet Samuel back from the dead to speak to King Saul (1 Sam. 28:15)?

There are three important facts to observe about this story:

  1. God's clear command through the entire Old Testament period was that spiritualists be driven out of the land of Israel and be put to death. The word of God unmasks all spiritualism as the work of demonic, satanic forces (see Deut. 18:10-15, Isa. 47:13, 14).
  2. Saul had already rejected the Prophet Samuel's counsel. He had inquired of God and received no answer (1 Sam. 28:6). The Specific reason Saul sought out the Witch of Endor was because he received no answer from the Lord. What Saul saw was not Samuel. Notice carefully the Bible declares the witch saw "gods ascending out of the earth verse 13, and Saul "perceived he saw Samuel. (1 Sam. 28:14). Since the "dead know not anything” (Eccl. 9:5), Satan masquerades as the form of dead loved ones imitating both their forms and voices (Rev. 6:14).
  3. The ultimate result of Saul's visit to the Witch of Endor was not repentance, confession of sin and life but despair, discouragement and death (1 Sam. 28:16, 20, 21, 31:3, 4, 9, 10). Deceived by Satan, he surrendered his soul to demons.

Is the soul immortal?

The Bible uses the word "soul” approximately 1600 times and never once uses the expression "immortal soul". The word mortal means subject to death. The word immortal means not subject to death. The Bible expressly states "The soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4). Jesus declared that both the body and the soul could be destroyed in hell (Matt. 10:28).

Immortality is an attribute of Divinity. Only God is naturally immortal (1 Tim. 6:15, 16). Satan's first lie in the Garden of Eden was regarding death. The evil one stated that the effect of disobedience was not death but life. He said, "you shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4). God's word says, "the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Death is the absence of life. Sin brings forth not eternal life in hell, but total, absolute, banishment from the presence of God by annihilation.

The Bible is clear. Man is mortal (Job 4:17). We seek for immortality (Rom. 2:7). The righteous receive immortality as a gift from our Lord at His Second Coming (1 Cor. 15:51-54). Sinners receive their eternal reward as well. "Sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death (Jas. 1:15). The choice then is between eternal life and eternal death.

What does the Bible teach about re-incarnation?

Re-incarnation is based upon two premises, neither of which are true. First: human beings purify themselves through their own righteous acts. Second: There is an immortal soul which survives bodily death.

The Bible teaches that salvation is through faith in Christ. (Eph. 2:8, Rom. 3.24-31) Death is a sleep until the glorious resurrection (1 Thess. 4:15, 16, 1 Cor. 15:51, 54). There is no second chance after death (Heb. 9:27). Now is the time for salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).

What does Peter mean when he talks about Christ preaching to the spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:19)?

To understand this text it is necessary to read the entire passage (1 Pet. 3:18-22). Verse 18 reveals that Jesus the divine Son of God who was put to death for our sins was "made alive" through the power of the Holy Spirit. Verse 19 makes a transition and declares that it was by this same Holy Spirit that Christ spoke to the spirits in prison. When did he preach to these spirits in prison?

Who are the spirits in prison? Verse 20 tells us! In the days of Noah, the hearts of men and women were only evil continually. They were in bondage to evil spirits. The same Holy Spirit which raised Jesus from literal death appealed to men and women possessed by evil spirits who were spiritually dead in the days of Noah to bring them to spiritual life. The Spirit of Christ spoke through the prophet preaching the gospel to men and women trapped in spiritual prisons (1 Pet. 1:10-12).

The mighty power of the Spirit opens the prison of sin so the captives go free (Isa. 61:1). 1 Pet. 3:21 makes the illustration even clearer. The experience of the flood is likened to baptism. Just as the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from death to life, just as the Holy Spirit led Noah's family into the ark, preserving them from death and leading them to life, so the Holy Spirit works awakening spiritual life, convicting men and women of sin, providing power for a changed life and leading them through the waters of baptism.

In Noah's day, the Spirit led men and women from death to life.Today the Spirit delivers men and women from Spiritual prisons leading them from death to life all because of the mighty power of the resurrected Christ.
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