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Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

This brief text expresses a simple truth. Souls die. Against the speculations of some that there is something within a man, a “soul,” which remains alive after death, lingering as a disembodied spirit, the scriptures affirm to the contrary. Death is what it seems to be — death.

When a dog dies, what happens to the dog? It stops breathing, its body decays and returns to the elements. Thought and consciousness immediately terminate. There is no more dog. It does not go to some place prepared for old dogs, to chew bones in bliss, for there simply is no more dog. It is dead, it is gone, it is no more.

Death is the same for human beings. Death is the cessation of life. Psalm 146:4 describes what happens when a man dies.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

“That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other … they have all one breath … all go unto one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20).

The Resurrection

However, unlike the animals, man has the hope of a resurrection from the dead. Animals were made to live for a limited period of time, procreate, age, and pass away as part of the cycle of nature. But man, the height of God’s physical creation, was created with the capacity to live forever. They appreciate life, plan for the future, and cherish the hope for continued life. Accordingly, the prospect of living forever was offered to Adam in the Garden of Eden, by God who created him.

This offer was contingent upon obedience, a test which Adam and Eve failed. But even after being expelled from the Garden, so robust was the human frame that Adam lived 930 years before death claimed his life (Genesis 5:5). Almost 4000 years after Adam sinned, Jesus died as a ransom for father Adam (1 Timothy 2:6), which allows Adam and his posterity a release from the death penalty — in other words, a resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22). For the world, this will come during the Millennium so near at hand.

In the meantime, where are all the dead of past ages? They are simply dead. They silently await the resurrection, when they will be reconstituted as the persons they were before they died, to learn the lessons God has for them during the Kingdom on earth.

What is a Soul?

From our opening text, it is apparent that souls do die. The expression immortal soul,sometimes used among Christians, is not found in the Bible.

A soul is a living being, whether animal or human, and neither animals nor humans are immortal.

The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, word number 5315 in Strong’s Concordance, which gives this definition: “A breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense.”

Genesis 2:7 uses the word “soul” for Adam.

“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.”

Here the word nephesh, or soul, is defined as a living being, a body combined with the breathe of life. Thus we learn, that man does not possess a soul, but that he IS a soul, which means simply that man, when alive, is a living being.” Adam subsequently died, and he with all the others silently awaits the resurrection.

Animals as Souls

The “breath of life” which animates the human organism is no different than the breath of life given to the lower animals. In reference to the “beasts and every creeping thing” which perished in the Flood, we read,

“All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:21,22).

Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 informs us that both man and beast

“have all one breath, so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.”

As Strong’s Concordance notes, animals are also souls — living beings. However, in the common English version this is hidden by the translation, which confuses the subject to many readers. When the word nephesh, soul, refers to an animal, the translators rendered it with some other word, such as creature or beast.

For example, Genesis 1:20 says

“let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature [nephesh, soul]…”

Verse 21, God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that moveth…”

Verse 24, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [nephesh, soul] after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”

Here are other texts of the same sort: Genesis 1:30, 2:14, 9:3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 18. And Isaiah 19:10,

“… all that make sluices and ponds for fish [nephesh, souls].

This method of translating hides the fact that animals are souls. Were this fact more open and apparent, it would assist people to recognize that souls are not immortal, for no one supposes that animals are in any sense immortal.

Only once in the Old Testament did the translators render the word nephesh “soul” when it applied to animals, namely Numbers 31:28, where the word applies at one time both to people and animals: “one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep.”

The Difference Between the Human Soul and the Animal Soul

The difference between the soul of a human and an animal is in the construction of the organism, particularly in the formation of the brain. Although some organisms of some of the lower animals may seem to be superior to man’s (such as a dog’s keen sense of smell and hearing and an eagle’s eyesight), God in his great wisdom created man in his own image, thus giving man the ability to reason, and to have a moral sense of right and wrong — possessing a conscience (1 John 3:20-22). Man has the ability to love and obey Jehovah-God as well as to love (agape) his enemies or those who do or wish him wrong through, striving to see all things through the eyes of their Bridegroom — Christ Jesus. He died as a “ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6) because of his great love of the Heavenly Father — stemming from a love for righteousness which comes from a knowledge, understanding and experience of the results of obeying the Heavenly Father, which permits the highest and purest form of joy to be felt, that joy that is felt through the eyes of faith, that joy that our Lord Jesus had in bringing the Heavenly Father joy, as reflected in his words:

“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34, ESV).

Other Hidden References

There are other important places where the translators also obscured the use of nephesh.

“There were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body [nephesh, soul] …” (Numbers 9:6, 7, 10).

If the translation use “soul” in these places, it would be apparent to the reader that souls simply die. When Samson toppled the house of Dagon, he prayed to God:

“Let me [my nephesh, soul] die with the Philistines” (Judges 16:30).

Expanded Use

The texts above give us the proper meaning of the word soul, namely any living being. However, Strong’s Concordance shows that nephesh is sometimes used figuratively for one’s life, being, or vitality. Here are two examples of this.

(1) When Rachel was dying at the birth of Benjamin, Genesis 35:18 says

“As her soul was in departing (for she died) … she called his name Benomi: but his father called him Benjamin.”

(2) 1 Kings 17:21, speaking of the raisin of a young boy by Elijah, says he cried to God

“let this child’s soul come into him again.”

In both of these cases the word “life” or “being” is the meaning intended.

Sometimes the word is used of one’s deepest thoughts or feelings, distinguished from the mere body. Thus 2 Kings 4:27 says of a troubled woman,

“her soul is vexed in her.”

Language is flexible, and the word nephesh is used flexibly. But none of these cases are any predicate for believing some conscious force called “soul” mysteriously lingers after death. Death is death. It is the cessation of life.

Soul in the New Testament

The New Testament Greek word for soul is psuche. Whenever the word “soul” appears in the common English version of the New Testament, it is from this word (Strong’s number 5590).

1 Corinthians 15:45 uses psuche as the counterpart of the Hebrew nephesh, which serves to equate the two words.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul [psuche].”

This expression clearly draws from Genesis 2:7, where nephesh is used. This word is frequently rendered life.

“Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Mark 8:35).

“I lay down my life (John 10:17).

“They seek my life (Romans 11:3),

and many other examples. In these cases “life” refers to the being, the person. The same meaning attaches when the word is rendered “soul,” as in Acts 2:43,

“fear came upon every soul” — every person, or being.

Revelation 8:9 and 16:3 apply the word to sea creatures. Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 use the term metaphorically of the spent life of the saints, awaiting the resurrection. John 12:27 says of Jesus

“now is my soul troubled.”

Thus there is a breadth in this Greek word that matches the breadth of its Hebrew counterpart.

In the Old Testament the condition of death is expressed by the Hebrew sheol, and its Greek counterpart in the New Testament is hades. This was the condition into which Jesus’ “soul,” psuche, passed for three days until his resurrection, for a soul, psuche, dies and is later raised from the dead.

The Soul Is Not Immortal

If the soul were truly immortal, the soul would be indestructible, yet it is not, because each human born under the curse of Adamic condemnation, dies until the curse shall be lifted up from humanity once Christ’s ransom price has been applied to all mankind. By then the Bride of Christ will have completed their share in the sin offering — and the antityical “atonement day” sin offering thus completed. The High Priest in Leviticus 16 made atonement for  himself, his sons, and then, finally, for the sins of the people (the world of mankind). God warned Adam that if he disobeyed God’s rule, then as a living soul Adam would cease to exist. We read about this in Genesis 2:17,

“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In Ezekiel 18:4 God said,

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth it shall die.”

This means that the person who sins shall die, and since all are born in sin, the entire human race has been dying for nearly 6000 years. Here are two examples of Scriptures about death being the consequence of sin:

“So death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, NASV).

Every soul [person] sins and, as a consequence, every soul dies (Romans 6:16,23).

But God in his great love provided redemption from death for all sinful souls, or persons, through the gift of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, who died as a corresponding ransom price to free mankind from the prison house of death. All of Adam’s progeny lost life through Adamic transgression and thus have inherited sin and imperfection. The Apostle Paul wrote that

“in Adam all die,”

adding to this,

“even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

And again,

“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21,22).

The Prophet Isaiah wrote that Christ’s “soul” was made an offering for sin, and also that he

“poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:10,12).

John 3:16 says,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Adam and all past generations of his children have fallen asleep in death, but they have not “perished,” because through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and by the exercise of divine power, they are to be awakened in the resurrection and given an opportunity to believe. Then, upon the basis of their belief and obedience, they may live forever.

Those called to discipleship in the present life are given an opportunity to inherit eternal life by accepting Jesus as their personal Redeemer and responding to the invitation to take up their cross and follow him, gladly lay down their lives with him, and be planted together in the likeness of his death (Roman 6:3-6). These are referred to in Revelation 20:4 as the “souls” which are

“beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God.”

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” (1 Corinthians 15:17,18).

Thus, Paul speaks of Christians who die as merely being “asleep,” and not in any sense perishing in death.

Genesis 12:11-13 (NASB) says Abraham was afraid that his soul would not live, and thus, that he would die.

“It came about when he [Abram] came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I (“my soul,” nephesh) may live on account of you.” If the Hebrew word nephesh meant an indestructible immortal soul, Abram’s soul could not have died (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

Jesus emphasized this same important truth in an admonition to his disciples to meet courageously any and all opposition against them and any persecuted unto death, saying,

“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna]” (Matthew 10:28).

Jesus here refers to the possibility of permanent cessation of life by God for the incorrigible, which the Bible terms as “second death.”

“This does not imply that the soul can live apart from the body, for actually the body is the organism of the soul. Rather, Jesus is speaking from the standpoint of the divine plan to awaken the dead in the resurrection. It was from this standpoint that Paul could say that Christians who fell asleep in death had not ‘perished.’ If an enemy puts a Christian to death, he has not perished as a soul. The body dies, but the person, the soul, merely ‘sleeps’ until the resurrection. But if a Christian becomes a willful sinner and is not worthy of a resurrection, then death means extinction of that person, or soul, forever.

“Jesus explained this from another standpoint, as recorded in Luke 20:37,38

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.’

Jesus did not say that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had gone to heaven to live with God. He simply explained that because there is to be a resurrection of the dead, and these faithful servants will be restored to life, God does not consider them as having gone out of existence — they ‘live unto him,’ or, to him they are alive.

“So it is with all God’s faithful servants of the past. They may have been ‘sawn asunder’ by their enemies; they may have been thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or burned at the stake, but to God they still live, they have not ‘perished,’ for he has the power and will use that power to awaken them from the sleep of death.

“The ‘souls’ which are ‘beheaded,’ as mentioned in Revelation 20:4, are brought forth in the ‘first resurrection’ to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The ‘souls’ that died serving God during the ages preceding Jesus’ first advent will come forth to a ‘better resurrection,’ to serve as ‘princes in all the earth’ Hebrews 11:35; Psalm 45:16” (The Dawn – and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, January 1959 issue).

Lazarus – An Example that the Soul is not immortal

In John 11:11 Jesus said “Lazarus sleepeth.” Lazarus was dead for four days (John 11:39). Surely Jesus would not have retrieved Lazarus from the bliss of heaven. For those four days Lazarus did not go anywhere, nor did he see anyone, nor did he speak, eat, feel, or think. He was simply dead. When he was raised to life he began again to do all those things. In this respect the whole world sleeps in death, waiting for the resurrection — unaware of what is transpiring in the meantime, because the dead do not sense, feel or think anything.

“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

“There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

In John 5:28,29 Jesus said that the hour is coming when all in their graves will come forth. If their souls were already in heaven, then there would be no need for Jesus to say that he would bring them forth from the grave? If physical bodies were needed in heaven, how have these presumably immortal souls survived without them? Scripture also tells us that

“flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

Seeking After Immortality

The Bible never equates immortality with the soul of common man, only with the saints, and then only as a gift for faithfulness (Romans 2:7, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). The sleeping, unconscious dead will one day be awakened from their graves (John 5:28,29; Job 14:11-15; Psalm 17:15; Acts 24:15,16). At that time,

‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11:9).

‘Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths’ (Micah 4:2).

In God’s kingdom on earth, mankind will be raised from the dead and have their first real opportunity to learn God’s ways of righteousness because Satan will be bound and will no longer be able to deceive the world (Revelation 20:3) (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

The Dead Raised To Life In the Resurrection Age

“Possibly the spirit that returns to God contains the unique ‘data’ of each individual can be compared to computer information on a removable disk. The resurrection of an individual could be a recreation after the pattern of Adam. The original body had passed to dust so a new one, either spiritual or fleshly, would be created. The individual again comes to life when the (unique?) spirit is returned to the body and he becomes a living soul again. Whatever the exact process is, we know the resurrected fleshly body will be in its intended perfected state. Job intimates that the flesh will be fresher than a child’s and will have the beauty and vitality of youth (Job 33:25)” (Robert Davis, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom article.)

Spirit

The word “spirit” in the Old Testament is usually from the Hebrew ruach, and in the New Testament it is usually from the Greek pneuma. Both terms refer to breath, inhalation, or the movement of air, whether gentle or forceful. But as these are invisible forces, the words are applied by extension to the “spirit” of a person which is the invisible mental force, personality, influence, or disposition of a person.

Thus the Old Testament uses ruach when speaking of the “spirit” of Jacob, Elijah, Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Joshua, God, and others. The New Testament uses pneuma when speaking of the “spirit” of Paul, Christ, and God.

These words are also used to describe the influence of various non-personal but good “spirits” — the spirit of Truth, Holiness, Life, Faith, Wisdom, Grace and Glory and of an opposite spirit of Jealousy, Judgment, Burning, Heaviness, Infirmity, Divination, Bondage, Slumber, Fear and Error.

Ruach also refers to the “spirit of life” which we receive from God, which figuratively “returns” to him when we die.

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

This does not imply a transport of persons. It applies to the motivating force of life, of both good and bad people alike.

Both words sometimes refer to the essence of a person, that is, their identity, character, personality. In this sense Jesus commended his “spirit” to God when he died, which was restored on the third day when God raised Jesus from the dead (Luke 23:46, Psalms 31:5).

In this sense also Paul speaks of the “spirits of just men,” the faithful Ancient Worthies of the Old Testament, who were matured by the things they suffered, and await their resurrection reward in the Kingdom (Hebrews 12:23, 11:40).

None of these cases teach that any conscious entity persists after the death of a person, except metaphorically, in the memory of God. Not until the resurrection does a person who has died live again as a conscious, sentient being. The great hope for the world lies in such a Resurrection from the Dead.

“There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15).

“The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28,29).

This assurance was secured for us at great cost, both by God who gave His dearest treasure, his son Jesus, and by Jesus who labored in his ministry for 3 ½ years, suffered accusation from the religious leaders of his day, and died for our sins on the cross.

“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust … [to] bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). “By man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21).

For the saints of the Gospel Age, this resurrection occurs during the present “Harvest” period. For the remainder of the world, the resurrection will occur during the coming Millennium.

Do Angels Have a Soul?

As with human being, angels are souls, for they are the union of the spirit of life, together with a body, in this case a spiritual body.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul…” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

It would be the same with the angelic hosts, but on a higher scale.

“There are also celestial bodies … but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another” (1 Corinthians 15:40).

——-

Acknowledgment & References

We are thankful for the permission of sharing content from a study titled “Soul and Spirit,” drawn from a study by Br. Gilbert Rice, featured in the “Faithbuilders Fellowship” Journal.
http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2006/01_jan_06.pdf

“Immortality and the Human Soul,” The Bible versus Tradition—Article IV, April 1959 in The Dawn – A Herald of Christ’s Presence (Monthly Magazine) Rutherford, NJ, USA.
http://www.dawnbible.com/1959/5904tbs1.htm

“Immortality of the Soul” by Br. Peter Karavas. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, May-June 2011.
http://www.heraldmag.org/2011/11mj_3.htm

“The Resurrection of the Dead” by Br. Robert Davis. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom.
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_14.htm

Suggested Further Reading

Volume 5 of “Studies in the Scriptures” — “The Atonement Between God and Man” by Br. Charles Taze Russell, pages 383-404, Study 13, “Hopes For Life Everlasting and Immortality Secured by the Atonement.”

“What Is the Soul?” by Br. Robert Seklemian
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/treatises/seklemians%20discourses.htm

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part A: What Is Jesus All About?https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part B: Will Mankind Resurrect With the Same Mind?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/05/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-b-will-mankind-resurrect-with-the-same-mind/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part C: The Order of the Resurrection Process
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/11/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-c-the-order-of-the-resurrection-process/

This post’s URL:
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2018/07/14/ezekiel-184-what-the-bible-teaches-about-soul-and-spirit/

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Preceding articles

Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

 

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Additional reading

  1. Concerning Man
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  3. Creation of the earth and man #9 Formation of man #1 Cure of souls
  4. Creation of the earth and man #10 Formation of man #2 Mortal bodies and Tartarian habitation
  5. Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man
  6. Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh
  7. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  8. Bereshith 3 Fall of man
  9. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  10. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  11. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  12. What is life?
  13. Death
  14. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  15. Today’s thought “Death by being taken captive” (May 15)
  16. Is there an Immortal soul
  17. The Soul not a ghost
  18. The Soul confronted with Death
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  21. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro
  22. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
  23. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background
  24. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures
  25. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #5 Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit
  26. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  27. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #6 Summary
  28. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  29. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  31. A Ransom for all 1 Eternal tormentAll Souls’ DayI Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Is it true that all Non-Christians today will go to hell

Related

  1. What is the human soul?
  2. On Plotinus and immortality
  3. The dreams of the Manichees and of Servetus, as to the origin of the soul, refuted
  4. It were vain to seek a definition of the soul from philosophers, not one of whom, with the exception of Plato, distinctly maintained its immortality
  5. Duty of Preparing for the Future World: Immortality and Separate State of the Soul: Book Eight- Chapter 1
  6. There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints
  7. This light is such as effectually influences the inclination, and changes the nature of the soul
  8. Is the human soul mortal or immortal?
  9. Immortal Soul
  10. River myths and the soul
  11. Secret Principles of Immortality, Edition 25
  12. All Soul’s Day, All Saint’s Day, and Day of the Dead
  13. Are there degrees of punishment in hell?
  14. J. W. Hanson on Gehenna
  15. There Is No Hell, Look It Up
  16. Are Near Death Experiences or Out of Body Experiences Biblical?
  17. Fantastic Article Proving that Hell = Complete Annihilation, Not Eternal Torment

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

People with a different mindset than Christ Jesus

The spirit of a sound mind does not mean just going by what we or others think or feel is reasonable or expedient. In our world were there is still some freedom of speech we can hear lots of different opinions and we can see that certain groups would love to have the majority of people thinking and  handling as they. They are often those who prefer to listen only to their own heart and to take care of their selfish “I” first. they are not so much concerned about others, but see them more as people standing in the way. Certainly now with those refugees, people with an other culture not known to them, which makes them afraid of such people.

They prefer to lean upon their own understanding and are not so much interested in what Jehovah wants. Many of them even do not really believe in Him. Even when there may be many who proclaim to be a Christian, we should see that first of all their faith is not so much in Christ nor in God, and secondly they often do not live according to the teachings of Christ Jesus nor to the Laws of God.

Our own mind and a sound mind

Jesus did not his own will. Likewise we also should try to do the will of the Same One as Jesus did. As the son of man and the son of God, Jesus very well knew the Scriptures, taught from them, and followed the guidance given in them. He told the people around him that he could not do anything without his heavenly Father, Who is greater than him. (John 14:27-31; John 5:17-27) For Jesus it was clear Who was the One with a truly sound mind. when he was in difficulties he (Jeshua/Jesus Christ)turned to his heavenly Father (Jehovah God) and trusted in Him (Jehovah). Jesus also told those around him not to worship him but to worship his heavenly Father and to pray to this God of Abraham, Who is also the God of the Jews and the God of the Muslims.  Normally we all should have the same God of gods to trust and to worship and when facing difficulties or having to make some decision, we should need to turn to Him (Jehovah God). Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah God as the Most High Adonai gave the world His Word. All who love God should go and look into that Word, the Bible, to see what God’s view is. Then we should base our decision on it. That is using the spirit of a sound mind.

God knowing the heart

Let us always remember that

 The heart is more treacherous* than anything else and is desperate.*+ Who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9.)

and that it is God Who knows the inside out of man.

10 I, Jehovah, am searching the heart,+ Examining the innermost thoughts,* To give to each one according to his ways, According to the fruitage of his works.+(Jeremiah 17:10 .)

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,But Jehovah is the examiner of hearts.+ (Proverbs 17:3

All of a man’s ways seem right to him,+ But Jehovah examines the hearts.*+ (Proverbs 21:2 )

Heart of Jesus

The God of Abraham, Who is also the God of Jesus knows the Heart of Jesus and our heart – Heart of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can not hide anything from God. Therefore we should be very careful how we want to be seen by others and that we show them how we are really feeling and thinking. Too many people are afraid of what others would say. Not many are daring to say what they really think and how they really feel.

The way how we think about those coming to live in our regions is for God important. How we are willing to treat them is for God important. Our attitude towards this whole situation is important for God. In these circumstances it shall be that we show our true nature. Nothing shall stay hidden before God.

12 If you say, “But we did not know about this,” Does not the One who examines hearts* discern it?+ Yes, the One who watches you* will know And will repay each man according to his activity.+ (Proverbs 24:12)

Living and doing works according to your faith

Learning to make wise decisions and to carry them out does not come easily. When there is put pressure on you by others with a political agenda it can even become more difficult to stay on the right track.

Recall that the apostle Paul described mature people as

“those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.”

The words “through use” and “trained” both imply making continuous and repeated effort, and that is what new ones need to do. (Read Hebrews 5:13, 14.)

We also should remember that we are bounded to living in this system of things were the way man sees it, mostly it shall not be the way God sees it, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes, but Jehovah sees into the heart.(1 Samuel 16:6, 71 Kings 8:39Proverbs 24:12Acts 1:24)

We should know the God of our ancestors and serve Him with a complete * heart + and with a delightful * soul,* for Jehovah searches through all hearts and He has foreseen a purpose for us, going to establish the righteous. there may be many Christians who think they have to do no works any more once baptised, but they shall be surprised. When they do not live according to God’s Law they shall miss the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God. Yes we are able to miss the boat. (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 7:9; Jeremiah 17:10)

If you prefer to live according to the flesh and keep doing works of the flesh you may be sure there can arise more problems when you have to appear in front of Jesus when he comes back than the problems you will have to face know.

More problems coming into this world

The last few decades we have seen an increase of difficulties on different levels. the bible speaks about that increase which we should consider signs for a coming time where more people shall get against each other and religions shall fight against other religions.

We also shall come to see that not so many Christians are as tolerant as they should be. Being a Christian in certain regions could perhaps not always so easy but also not so difficult to get you uncomfortable. But we are told that it will change. It might well be that Jews, Christians but also Muslims shall come to face very difficult times where they shall be demanded to choose for a certain faith or for a certain action. The false teachers shall try to bring people to other thoughts and having them walk in line with those in power. Believers in God might face the most difficulties, because they could be brought to doubting their faith. For non-believers there shall be no god to look at or to blame.

The media are eager to focus on the many problems and people are easily falling in their trap. Focusing on our worries will not extend our life by even a fraction of a second, let alone improve it. Besides, things often do not turn out as we feared. One scholar put it this way:

“Worry about the future is wasted effort, and the future of reality is seldom as bad as the future of our fears.”

The fact that some countries for decades have been fighting terrorism in its many forms with only limited success gives credence to many fears. Today, people are afraid and terrified for those refugees and for fundamentalist ideas which are preached everywhere and for some Muslim youngsters who tell the world with joy that they are willing to fight for the good cause of their faith. At the same time people wonder how we are going to cope with all those people coming to live in our regions, needing a roof above their head and needing to be fed.

What is troubling most people is the uncertainty of life itself! Sudden death by accident or disaster may seem to lurk around every corner, ready to put an end to everything we hold dear. Such fear and anxiety, plus numerous personal conflicts and disappointments, have made our times precisely what the apostle Paul described:

“Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, . . . having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness.” (2 Timothy 3:1-3.)

Critical times to come

Getting into times were there shall not only be more natural disasters, man shall be creating other disasters which make it very difficult for many people. There shall be so many ideas sounding in the world, so many calling the other a false one, that people shall get muddled and shall have many doubts, giving them the impression that they nowhere to go.

The God Who demands a perfect righteousness and wants that His Word shall be respected and that His creatures shall live according to His Law has had lots of patience with mankind, but to everything comes an end. He also warned man to get to know and see the signs of the coming change and the coming end.

The God Who is sovereign over all the universe, exists simultaneously everywhere all of the time, has unlimited power, wisdom, and knowledge, is not One Who wants His people fighting against other creatures. He is a perfectly loving, just, and merciful God. He has given everybody the opportunity to find ways to have a good life and to find a better life in the time to come. But before the sublime marvellous time for man, he shall be tested a last time in a big battle which shall not be so far away when we look at the given signs.

It is getting time that people shall come to see that the fruits of terrorism have not been freedom and happiness but, instead, death, misery, and ruin. This bad fruitage has filled the 20th century and is starting to overwhelm the 21st. Many would say that rather than the solution, terrorism is one of the problems. The injustice and hatred that lead to terrorism are not God His fault. Wise King Solomon once declared:

“The true God made mankind upright, but they themselves have sought out many plans.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

Human badness and demonic influence, not incompetence on the part of God, lie at the root of terrorism. (Ephesians 6:11, 12.)

God has the power to halt violent bloodshed. In Noah’s time “the earth became filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:11) God’s judgement was sudden and complete:

“[God] did not hold back from punishing an ancient world . . . when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people.” (2 Peter 2:5.)

The Bible states a lesson we should learn from the Flood of Noah’s day:

“Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgement to be cut off.” (2 Peter 2:9)

God can distinguish between those who sincerely want a better life and those who make life miserable for others. He has set the latter apart for the “destruction of the ungodly men.” But for those desiring peace, he is preparing a new earth in which righteousness is to dwell. (2 Peter 3:7, 13.) Therefore let us be attentional and not fall in the trap those around us are putting in front of us and would love to see the world reacting aggressively against the refugees and against the Muslims.

Badness

Wordslounge

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #1 Aim of ungodly people

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises

++

Additional reading

  1. Profitable disasters
  2. Good and bad things in this world
  3. A risk taking society
  4. Securing risks
  5. Facing disaster fatigue
  6. Dealing with worries in our lives
  7. Reacting to Disasters
  8. Signs of the Last Days
  9. May we have doubts
  10. Give your worries to God
  11. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  12. God has not destined us for wrath
  13. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  14. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  15. Bad things no punishment from God
  16. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  17. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  18. Looking at three “I am” s
  19. He who knows himself, is kind to others
  20. Your struggles develop your strengths
  21. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  22. We are ourselves responsible
  23. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  24. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  25. In Defense of the truth
  26. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  27. Truth, doubt or blindness
  28. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  29. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  30. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings
  31. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  32. Signs of the Last Days
  33. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  34. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

+++

Further reading

  1. How the Migrant Crisis is Tearing Europe Apart
  2. Atheist Alliance International Struggle With Stats
  3. Terrorism is not an ethnic trait – it’s a malady wrought by social, religious extremism
  4. Rinos and Cinos
  5. IFB Churches and Women
  6. Fundamentalists and the “Stupid Sumbitch”
  7. A House Divided: How Hatred Aimed At Any Group, Is an Assault On Us All
  8. Stop Your Doing is Not the Gospel
  9. When you feel like you are in a tough situation
  10. I love the smell of rejection in the morning
  11. Love without reservation
  12. He is Faithful and Just
  13. Learn To Enjoy The Journey Of Life
  14. Napping my heart
  15. Badness
  16. Hidden scars
  17. More than meets the eye
  18. Repentance
  19. Growing a more useful mindset than fear.
  20. Why Don’t Moderate Muslims Denounce Terrorism?
  21. Why do Christians Insist on Fighting?
  22. “I” Speaks On To Me (3/4)
  23. The Silence (3/5)
  24. Bad Like Me
  25. broken words for sale
  26. What to say?
  27. God, Help Me Not to Hate Those Who Hate
  28. Trump: “‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.”
  29. The Frozen-Chosen Church?
  30. The Price of Forgiveness?
  31. Das Spiel mit der Angst
  32. La Horca Moderna

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