All Bible texts are from the King James Version.
How did God create man?
Genesis 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."
We can see from the above text that man was formed or shaped from the dust of the earth, which was, at this point in time, still only dust, not able to think or do anything. The next thing God did was to breathe into him the breath of life and he became a living soul.
BODY (DUST) + BREATH (SPIRIT) = A SOUL (LIFE)
The word 'soul' is translated from the Hebrew 'nephesh' which occures 745 times in the original Hebrew and is translated 'soul' 473 times in the English King James Version of the Bible.
The word 'nephesh' means 'a breathing creature'. Some examples of the translation of this word are:- person, mind, creature, heart, dead, will, appetite, lust, and thing. It has never been translated 'immortal' or 'spirit'.
What happens when a human dies?
Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
James 2:26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead."
When death occurs something has departed from the body, the breath or spirit. So at death God takes back his breath or spirit or life force and man returns to his original composition - dust.
BODY (DUST) - BREATH (SPIRIT) = DEATH (NO SOUL)
The Hebrew word for spirit is 'ruwach' which means 'wind, by resemblance breath'. This occures 442 times in the original Hebrew. It is translated in various ways, some of which are:- mind, blast, spirit, wind, breath, and smell. The Greek word for the New Testament is 'pneuma' which means a current of air. This is translated as:- spirit, wind, ghost, and life. We find the word for spirit, soul and ghost are written 1700 times in the Bible, but nowhere are they translated as 'never dying', 'deathless', or 'immortal'.
When a person dies, are they able to understand, or see what happens?
Psalms 146:4 "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."
Job 14:12 & 21 "So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. . . His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them."
Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10 "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. . Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. . . Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
Psalms 115:17 "The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence."
Psalms 6:5 "For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?"
Is death ever spoken of as something else in the Bible?
Psalms 13:3 "Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death."
1 Thessalonians 4:15 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep ."
Matthew 27:52 "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.
Acts 13:36 "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption."
1 Corinthians 15:51 "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed."
1 Thessalonians 4:14, 16 "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. . . For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first."
John 11:11-14 "These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead."
What did Jesus promise the thief of the cross?
Luke 23:43 "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Did Jesus Christ go to heaven on that Friday when He died?
John 20:17 "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."
This was spoken to Mary Magdalene on the Sunday morning after the crucifixion, after Jesus Christ arose from the grave. So if Jesus Christ did not go to heaven on that Friday, did Jesus fail to deliver His promise. The first thing that should be mentioned here is that to die on the cross usually took 2 or 3 days, but because the Sabbath was drawing near the priests requested that the legs of the two thieves be broken, and that they be taken down from the cross and that they be left somewhere to die. So the thief probably didn't die on that Friday and according to the above text Jesus Christ did not go to heaven until the Sunday after His resurrection. So what was this promise all about. Let me change the punctuation (as there was no punctuation in the original text) and see how it reads then. "Verily I say unto thee today, shalt thou be with me in paradise." The promise was made to the thief on that Friday, that when Jesus Christ returned to take his loved ones home with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16) the thief would go to heaven or paradise.
© S. D. Goeldner
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