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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 Rev. 6:9-11 mean when it describes the souls under the alter crying with a loud voice saying "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood?"

Personification is a common Biblical method of describing situations with symbolic language. After Cain killed Abel, the Lord said to Cain, "the voice of your brother's blood cries to me from the ground (Gen. 4:10). Was Abel's blood really speaking? No! Not literally. The language communicates God's faithful loving, tender concern for His martyr Abel and Cain's accountability for his sinful act.

According to Heb. 12:24, "The blood of Jesus speaks better things than that of Abel." It communicates forgiveness, mercy, and redemption. Certainly the blood of Jesus is not literally speaking. The language communicates God's message of redemption. In Rev. 6, God clearly communicates that He has not forgotten His faithful martyrs through the centuries.

Their blood symbolically cries out for God to bring justice upon their persecutors and to reward the faithful ones with eternity. In the Bible, the word soul often means "person or people" (Rom. 13:1, Ezek. 18:4, Acts 27:37). It also means life (see Heb. 13:17, 1 Pet. 4:19, Matt. 10:28). Thus Rev. 6:9 could read, "the lives of those people martyred for Jesus, symbolically like Abel's blood, cry out from the ground for justice." There will be a final judgment and God Himself will set all things right!

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).
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