Death and the Afterlife
God said, through the prophet Ezekiel...
Ezekiel 18:4 "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 firmly establishes that the soul is definitely not immortal by nature, or it could not experience death. Since the word "immortal" means "not subject to death," there could be no question of death for a soul possessing an innate immortality. At least ten other verses affirm exactly the same thing: the soul is not naturally immortal.
Jesus, the great Master Teacher, declared that the soul could die, in Matthew 10:28Ö
Matthew 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body ... but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
By this clear statement, Christ places the matter beyond all question. The soul can die and will die in the fires of hell. Therefore, it cannot be immortal by nature.
This is shocking to a lot of people. The traditional position has been exactly the opposite of this. How upsetting it is to learn that in all the 1700 biblical occurrences of the words "soul" and "spirit" not once are they referred to as being immortal or undying.
Where, then, did the doctrine come from? Most of us have heard about the "soul that never dies" from our earliest years of childhood. One thing is certain: it did not originate in the Scriptures. The truth is that it came directly from pagan tradition and mythology. The ancient Chinese ancestor-worship was rooted in the belief that the soul did not die. Egyptian pyramid hieroglyphics reveal that the doctrine of a naturally immortal soul was basic to their worship of the sun god. In India the Hindus believe strongly in reincarnation and transmigration of the soul. In darkest Africa voodoo ceremonies are built around the concept of an undying soul.
However there is not one text that supports such a teaching in the Christian Bible; nevertheless, the Word does tell us how the doctrine got started and who preached the first sermon on the subject.
Genesis 3:1-4 "Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die."
Now we see that this is not God speaking, but somebody disagreeing with God. The Creator had declared that sin would bring death, but Satan said the opposite, "You will not really die." That was the first great lie that was ever told, and the one who told it has been trying to perpetuate it ever since. That original sermon on natural immortality has been repeated many times through the years, often by preachers and theologians who ought to know better.
This teaching gives people a false sense of security, this is not Godís word but Satanís; "You donít really die at all. It may seem like death, but you really keep on living and know more afterward than you did before."
This doctrine is dangerous, it involves much more than just presenting a false statement. The implications of this satanic teaching are far-reaching and eternal in consequence. Millions will be lost because they do not understand the truth about the nature of man. Deception on this point opens a door which can flood the life with darkness and actual demon control. The only protection we will ever have against this insidious danger is to know the truth about death and the soul.