What is a
Years ago when I had attended a Methodist church, I asked a very important question to my
Sunday school teacher of 35 years; "where does it say in the Bible that the soul is
immortal?" Sunday after Sunday I had reminded the teacher of my question and with
that came the excuses about why she was unable to give an answer. It was
then I decided to find
my own answers with the help of Strongs Exhaustive Concordance.
To my surprise, the term, immortal soul was not found in Scripture at all, but
verses that clearly state the opposite "
every living soul DIED in the sea"
(Rev. 16:3) and "
the soul that sinneth IT SHALL DIE" (Ez. 18:18). I also
found it interesting that the term "immortal" is only used of Christ, and not of
man. Only later, in resurrection will man PUT ON immortality (1 Cor. 15:53). Ask yourself
this question: How can we put on immortality if we already possess it as so many believe?
But youll find that many Christians will not believe the previous verses and
continue to insist that souls live on forever in some form of a never-dying entity that
floats up to God immediately after death. Most of us have been taught this belief. But
according to Scripture, is it the truth?
This belief promotes false doctrines such as; the transmigration of souls, spiritism,
purgatory, reincarnation etc
The result of believing these untruths causes confusion
concerning one of the most important topics in all the Bible; the resurrection of the
The Word clearly states that:
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he (Christ Jesus) that came down from heaven,
even the Son of man which is in heaven. John 3:13
And heres another important fact:
Who (Christ) ONLY hath IMMORTALITY, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto;
whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen, (1 Tim.
I believe it is of great importance to beware of the traditions and philosophies of men
and to realize that just because an error is believed by the masses does not mean it is
the truth, but tradition.
Col 2:8. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
What value does God give to His Word? We are told "Sanctify them through thy truth:
thy word is truth."(John 17:11);
I (Christ) am the way, THE TRUTH, and the
(John 14:6) and that all men will be judged by the Truth (John 5:22). If we will
be judged by the Truth, do you think it is important to keep the truth in your heart? Do
you value the truth above all treasures? If so, then you will rejoice in the following
eight lessons taken from the Word concerning the important subject of the
soul. It is my hope that it will encourage you to open the Word and dig for
your own treasures.
The Word gives its own meanings concerning the soul within Its own
context. By comparing spiritual things with spiritual things, we are not left in the dark
concerning the subject of 'soul'. But once we go outside of God's Word, we are at the
mercy of man's ideas and the imaginings of his heart. The result of going outside of the
Word is what you hear today in many pulpits and platforms, the preaching that the soul is
immortal and can never die.
John 8:32 - And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Through this study we will begin with the original language of Hebrew for the word 'soul'.
The word translated 'soul' in the Hebrew language is 'nephesh' and occurs 683 times in the
By comparing Psalms 16:10 with Acts 2:27, the Holy Spirit reveals to us that the Greek
word for 'soul' in the N.T. is 'psuche' and it occurs 95 times.
The first occurrence of the word nephesh, translated 'soul' in the KJV, is in
Gen. 2:7 and refers to the creation of man. But the first occurrence of 'nephesh' occurs
before that in Gen. 1:20 and refers to the living creatures of the seas.
Gen. 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).
Notice 2 things happened to create this living soul (nephesh).
1. A formation of the dust of the ground
2. The breath of life that God breathed into this formation.
Then, man became a living soul.
Just as the combination of water and heat creates steam, so does the combination of dust
and breath create a soul. One without the other cannot make a living soul.
This is extremely important - notice it does not say 'he HAD a living soul' as so many
Christians assume. That would be adding to the Word of God, words and meanings that are
not intended. Scripture clearly says that he became a living soul. To say that Adam had a
soul is saying that God gave him something that is not there.
You are a living soul, just as Adam was a living soul. Anything living is a
'soul'. You may ask, "Where does it say that?"
Back in Gen. 1:20, youll find the first occurrence of 'nephesh', the Hebrew word for
soul. This time it is not translated 'soul' but "life."
Gen. 1:20 - And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving
creature that hath life (nephesh), and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open
firmament of heaven.
Notice that nephesh refers also to life in the waters. These moving creatures had life
just as Adam had life. Anything that has life or is alive is a living nephesh, a living
soul. It doesn't necessarily require the air that made man to create a soul. Creatures in
the seas live by breathing
water, so that is how they became a living nephesh.
Gen. 1:21 - And God created great whales, and every living creature (nephesh) that moveth,
which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after
his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Notice again that the word nephesh, translated 'creature' are living creatures that move.
They have life, they are living nephesh, living creatures.
Getting back to Gen. 2:7 - Adam was made a living soul when God created him from the dust
of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Those two things caused
Adam to move, to live, just as the living nephesh of the waters lived and moved by God's
Gen. 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every
thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life (nephesh), I have given every
green herb for meat: and it was so.
Also, everything that is creeping upon the earth has 'nephesh' (life). They are living
From the previous lesson we learned that:
1. The Hebrew word 'nephesh' is translated 'soul' in Gen. 2:7 and refers to man.
2. The first occurrence of the Hebrew word 'nephesh' is before Adam was created in Gen.
2:7 and occurs in Gen. 1:20, 21.
3. Animals are called living nephesh just as Adam was called a living nephesh (soul). They
are both living nephesh.
4. Anything living is called a living nephesh.
5. Anything that is creeping upon the earth is a living 'nephesh'.
'Nephesh' has other meanings and we will continue the next lesson with more verses with
the word 'nephesh' in them.
The word nephesh, translated soul is also used as pronouns for
persons, such as, himself, themselves, yourselves,
herself, and he.
The following verses are a few examples of these usages:
Jer. 17:21 - Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves (nephesh), and bear no burden on
the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
Lev. 11:43 - Ye shall not make your selves (nephesh) abominable with any creeping thing
that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be
Est. 9:31 - To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai
the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves
(nephesh) and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
Is. 46:2 - They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but
themselves (nephesh) are gone into captivity.
Job 18:4 - He teareth himself (nephesh) in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for
thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place?
Job 32: 2. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the
kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself (nephesh)
rather than God.
Ps. 105:18 - Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he (nephesh) was laid in iron:
Lev. 4:2 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul (nephesh, i.e. person)
shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things
which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:
Lev. 23:27 - Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of
atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls
(nephesh, i.e. yourselves), and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
1 Sam. 1:26. - And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul (nephesh, i.e. I) liveth,
my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord.
Ps. 35: 13 - But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my
soul (nephesh, i.e. myself) with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
Prov. 6:32. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that
doeth it destroyeth his own soul (nephesh, i.e. himself). Notice how this soul (person)
can be destroyed. Tradition teaches that a soul can never die, but this is contrary to the
teaching of the Word of God.
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