Yet, both Catholics and Protestants now almost universally claim that the soul is immortal--and many condemn the idea of "soul sleep. Sadly, even some who were sabbath-keepers opposed the sabbath-keepers who taught against the concept of the immortality of the soul.
A recorded letter of William Davis, a Sabbatarian Baptist, in apparently the s states the following:. A History of True Religion, 3rd ed. Jerusalem, Church of God, 7th Day. In , the Seventh Day Baptist church also temporarily put out of the ministry, one who taught against the immortality of the soul Randolph C. Reprint Heritage Books, Westminster MD , p.
Original Sabbatarian Baptist Church of God leaders were outspoken against the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and were derisively termed "soul sleepers" by their opponents Nickels R. Six Paper on the History of the Church of God. According to A. Dugger, there were three unique doctrines that separated the COGs from Protestant sects: The observance of the seventh day Sabbath, nontrinitarianism, and teaching against the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. And he may have been correct in that. The Continuing Church of God believes:.
Ultimate salvation for mankind comes at glorification in His Kingdom Ephesians ; Philippians ; 2 Timothy It is not something that Christians start out with, but instead attain after the resurrection. For those who wish to learn what happens to the incorrigibly wicked who are resurrected, please see the article Are The Wicked Tormented Forever or Burned Up? For those who wish to learn what happens to those that were not saved and not incorrigibly wicked in this life, please see Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis.
According to the Bible it came from Satan and was part of the first lie to humans! Notice this account:. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'? Here is some of what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about it:. The Creator's book reveals, contrary to fallible humanist teaching, that man was made from the dust of the ground, and this dust thus becomes soul, mortal--like all vertebrates.
Man has continued to accept the first lie in human history--Satan's lie to mother Eve that man is immortal and cannot die The world of traditional Christianity has been deceived into supposed Christian teaching of the immortality of the soul, of those who "profess Jesus" going immediately upon death into a heaven of eternal idleness, freedom from responsibility and bliss in ease and laziness; in those who fail to "accept Jesus" going at death to a definite place of eternal continuous burning fire The teaching has been that man is an immortal soul and already has eternal life.
It denies Rom. They have taught Satan's first lie that man is an immortal soul Armstrong HW. Mystery of the Ages, Sadly, non-COG groups have tended to accept various doctrines that pagan Greeks held in preference to those of the Bible. And the truth is still known in the 21st century. Notice the following bolding mine :. Plato, most influentially, separated the soul, or psyche, from the material body and argued that this reasoning part of our being was immortal.
His idea was so powerful and attractive that it has kept philosophers intimately engaged with it to this day. Then, too, because so many influential Christian theologians were part of this philosophical tradition, Platonic ideas have left a lasting imprint on Christian beliefs. The body may die, many Christians hold, but the soul lives on, presumably extending into eternity those qualities that we associate with our conscious minds and our sense of selfhood Malcolm Jeeves, an honorary professor of psychology at the University of St.
Andrews, is one of many believing scientists Tolson J. Is There Room for the Soul? New challenges to our most cherished beliefs about self and the human spirit.
So there you have it. Some of the leading non-Church of God scholars got what people now accept from paganism. And some non-Church of God scholars do understand that the original Christians did not accept the immortality of the soul, but taught the resurrection of the body. It may be of interest to note that the false idea that humans could not die as they possessed immortality was, according to Justin, believed by false Christians who descended from Simon Magus :. And a man, Meander, also a Samaritan, of the town Capparetaea, a disciple of Simon, and inspired by devils, we know to have deceived many while he was in Antioch by his magical art.
He persuaded those who adhered to him that they should never die, and even now there are some living who hold this opinion of his All who take their opinions from these men, are, as we before said, called Christians; just as also those who do not agree with the philosophers in their doctrines, have yet in common with them the name of philosophers given to them But I have a treatise against all the heresies that have existed already composed, which, if you wish to read it, I will give you Justin.
Because of these two verses, many believe that Enoch must have already been resurrected, or at least that he did not die. Since Enoch was listed in verse 5 of Hebrews 11, he is included among those who all died in faith who understood that the promises were afar off. Hence, Enoch did not possess immortality and is not a biblical exception.
The fact that God apparently mercifully took him probably to prevent some cruel death by his enemies , is simply not proof that Enoch did not die. We then find a description of the vastness of the heavenly court, including the presence of millions of angels Revelation There is a great crystalline expanse upon which the throne sits.
From Revelation , we will learn that the expanse, called a sea of glass, has the appearance of fire embedded within it. Also present are four strange-looking creatures with six wings and the faces of a man, an ox, a lion and an eagle —8. John's readers, familiar with the Old Testament, would recognize the similarity of the description of the seraphim recorded in Isaiah's vision Isaiah —2.
There are 24 elders who sit on 24 smaller thrones surrounding God's throne. Many have tried to imagine who these elders are and some have tried to identify them with certain men mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. In fact, however, these elders are part of the angelic realm. They play an important part in God's government the number 24—12 doubled—makes this plain , probably in managing the millions of angels.
God is not the author of confusion, and in heaven has a highly organized realm that is responsive to His will. Revelation mentions "seven lamps" before the throne, defined as the seven spirits of God, whom we are told in Revelation are sent forth into all the earth.
The ancient prophet Zechariah alluded to the same in Zechariah , referring to the seven "eyes" that God sends to run to and fro throughout the entire earth. Hebrews , referring to this created angelic realm, tells us that God "makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire. But interestingly, the margin of the NKJV instead of "us" says "them," which is consistent with the angelic theory. Other translations, however, also support the idea of "them" meaning Christians as opposed to those in the angelic realm. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
New Jerusalem Bible They sang a new hymn: You are worthy to take the scroll and to break its seals, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought people for God of every race, language, people and nation. And they will reign on the earth. They will rule as kings on the earth.
English Revised Version and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon the earth. American Standard Version and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth. New Jerusalem Bible and made them a line of kings and priests for God, to rule the world. Anyway, there might be another explanation, but the above angelic identity is consistent with the COG view of the 20th and 21st centuries, and perhaps farther back as well. The Bible says that there is a "spirit in man" that gives basically human intellect.
Hebrews Polycarp of Smyrna taught: "Him every spirit serves. Since God is coming just to judge humans, it is clear that this is those with the human spirit that Polycarp is referring to. Psalms , KJV. Notice that there a distinction between spirits was known in King David's time. Notice the following from the late first century A. But what shall we say concerning David, to whom such testimony was borne, and of whom God said, "I have found a man after my own heart, David the son of Jesse; and in everlasting mercy have I anointed him? Wash me still more from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against You only have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your sight; that You may be justified in Your sayings, and may overcome when You are judged. For, behold, I was conceived in transgressions, and in sins did my mother conceive me.
For, behold, You have loved truth; the secret and hidden things of wisdom have You shown me. You shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed; You shall wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. You shall make me to hear joy and gladness; my bones, which have been humbled, shall exult. Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and establish me by Your governing Spirit. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and the ungodly shall be converted unto You. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation: my tongue shall exult in Your righteousness. O Lord, You shall open my mouth, and my lips shall show forth Your praise. For if You had desired sacrifice, I would have given it; You will not delight in burnt-offerings. The sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a bruised spirit; a broken and a contrite heart God will not despise.
Thus the humility and godly submission of so great and illustrious men have rendered not only us, but also all the generations before us, better; even as many as have received His oracles in fear and truth. Letter from the Romans to the Corinthians, often called I Clement. So, in the late first century, the distinction should have been known. Notice the following from the second century:. Let us therefore be of a reverent spirit, and fear the long-suffering of God, that it tend not to our condemnation. Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter Chapter 8.
Homer, to wit, and Hesiod, being, as they say, inspired by the Muses,— spoke from a deceptive fancy, and not with a pure but an erring spirit. And, for the rest, would that in a kindly spirit you would investigate divine things Theophilus of Antioch. Translated by Marcus Dods. My spirit salutes you, and the love of the Churches that have received me in the name of Jesus Christ, and not as a mere passer-by. Letter to the Romans, Chapter 9.
And Isaiah himself also says: Thus says the Lord God who established the heavens, and founded the earth and all that is therein, and gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein. This is the Lord your God. Theophilus of Antioch. Autolycus Book II, Chapter Herbert W. Armstrong taught, "Next the human spirit IN man.
No other Church knows about that.
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That has been revealed to the Church. That is knowledge that has been restored to the Church of God. Herbert Armstrong also wrote, "This 'human' spirit imparts the power of intellect to the human physical brain" Mystery of the Ages p. Humans have the spirit of man in them, whereas animals, including the other primates, do not. The reality that there is a spirit in humans is taught in both the Old and New Testaments:.
Job God gave animals instinct, but not the type of understanding that He gave humans. This spirit grants an understanding which God did not give to the animals e. This spirit is not the same as the spirit of God which humans need to understand the things of God, but this spirit is needed to understand the things of humankind Job ; 1 Corinthians One argument that I have heard in favor of the idea of an immortal soul goes something like, humans have a type of will that the animals do not, thus this is proof that humans are spiritual and have an immortal soul.
Of course, as those of us who have worked with animals know, animals do have a will. But that does not make them spiritual with an immortal soul. Thus the argument in invalid. Furthermore, as quoted earlier, 1 Corinthians states, " this mortal must put on immortality. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. Therefore, the Bible does not teach that unconverted humans are essentially spiritual. Thus, one should not conclude that God considers that humans are basically spiritual with an immortal soul.
The dead are currently in their graves awaiting one of three resurrections see What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrection? The Apostle Peter taught something related in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost: "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Notice that David did not go to heaven.
Peter, speaking many centuries after David's death, taught that David was still in his grave where he had been placed at death, and was still awaiting the resurrection. Jesus Himself explained, "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven" John Some may wonder what the dead are now doing? The dead are dead. They are simply "sleeping" in their graves, unconscious, waiting to be called to resurrection. What will happen when Christians are resurrected? The Apostle Paul explains: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
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And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words" 1 Thessalonians — Some wonder about communications with the dead. That does not happen as the dead are not conscious. Now some have pointed to an event in 1 Samuel about Saul calling up Samuel.
But notice how that was understood in the middle of the third century by Pionius of Symrna:. It is written that Saul inquired of a diviner, and that he said to the woman who was performing the necromancy, Bring up for me Samuel 1 Sam , the prophet. And the woman saw a man rising up wrapped in a robe, and Saul recognized that it was Samuel, and put to him the questions that he wanted.
34. What indications have you that the soul is immortal?
If they say she was, then they admit that wickedness has more power than righteousness, and then they are accursed. If they say that she did not, then they should not assert it of Christ the Lord. But the explanation of this story is as follows. How was this wicked diviner, herself a demon, able to bring up the soul of the holy prophet that was resting in the bosom of Abraham?
For the lesser is commanded by the greater. Surely then Samuel was not brought back, as these suppose? Of course not. The truth is somewhat as follows. Whenever anyone revolts from God he is followed by the rebel angels, and demonic ministers assist him with every sort of drug, magician, priest, and wizard. And no wonder : for the Apostle says: Even Satan disguises himself us an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness? There is no systematic rejection of this position in process thought.
The vision of reality which that conceptuality offers does not make any decisive judgment on the matter, and Whitehead himself said that if there is evidence to support, say, personal immortality for each human life, this evidence can provide a ground for affirming it. Some contemporary process theologians are prepared to accept something like, if not always identical with, that traditional position; John Cobb is one of these. But other process theologians, like Schubert Ogden, would disagree and argue that while there is no systematic reason for rejection there is also no special reason for acceptance.
It can account for, and indeed deepen, the thinking of traditionalist and liberal alike, and can also be an effective instrument of translating between their different interpretations of their experience of reality. And this is the fundamental task of ministering to the sorrowing and dying: to understand, support, and to deepen.
To turn now to my suggestions about reconception, I must begin with a refutation of the sharp distinction, often proposed by those who call themselves biblical theologians, between what are said to be the Jewish and the Hellenistic views of history. The latter asserts at best a cyclical return of history upon itself, it is claimed, while for the former there is a goal, "a good time coming," in which the purpose of creation will be accomplished.
In the cyclical view the historical process can have no significance, and human beings may properly seek to extricate themselves from it; in the Jewish view history is getting somewhere and the happiness of humankind is in their aligning themselves with the purpose that runs through it and hence sharing in the accomplishment of that purpose in the "end.
The biblical position is that God is in the creation, though not exhausted by it. Therefore time, succession, and a dynamic conception of historical events are affirmed by biblical writers. History, then, makes its contribution to God, although how this can be the case is not always clear. Another error of "biblical theologians" is that of making too sharp a distinction between history and nature. These theologians sometimes talk as if the Christian need have no concern for nature, save as a kind of background for the really significant thing -- which is the historical movement of humankind and of nations.
Such a dichotomy is untrue to the scriptural witness, just as would be the opposite idea that dissolves history into nature. The fact is that the Bible makes us read nature in terms of history. It is indeed the background, the setting or context, for human experience and history, but it is also in itself a historical process that the Bible portrays as moving from inchoate beginnings when, as the myth in Genesis puts it, "the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters" to the consummation of all things when, as Revelation says, there shall be "a new heaven and a new earth".
The real distinction between some philosophical ideas, which are nonbiblical in their implications, and the scriptural picture is exactly what I urged above: that between history read in terms of nature and nature read in terms of history. Interestingly enough, recent study of the physico-chemical world seems to be producing results that are on the side of the scriptural reading of the matter.
But, it may be asked, what has this discussion of views of history and of the relation of history and nature got to do with the subject of the present chapter? I should reply that it has a great deal to do with that subject. Briefly, the point is that talk of human destiny must find its proper context in talk of the cosmos at large.
In other words, what is God doing in the whole creation, not just in human existence? And we have already emphasized again and again that what God is "up to" in the creation, as well as in human life, is the bringing to actual realization of the potentialities which are given to both in the very fact of their being created. The whole world is the field of divine operation; so is human experience and human history. In the constellation of preparation, person, act, apprehension, and response in community -- which was seen in the coming of Christ and what that coming brought about -- we have a microscopic picture of what macroscopically is the truth about the world, both in the realm of history and in the realm of nature.
The biblical myths have something to tell us here. The myth of creation is not literally or scientifically accurate, but it is an invaluable symbolic way of stating that without the divine energizing nothing at all would happen in nature or in history. The myth of the divine consummation found in books like Revelation in the New Testament and suggested by the picture of resurrection, as well as by the "last things" is an assertion that the divine purpose cannot fail, that God will take into the divine self what is achieved in the world, and that in some fashion, obviously beyond our imagining, God will be disclosed as all in all.
It is in no sense a contradiction of this biblical view if we feel obliged to say, as process thought would suggest, that creation is an everlasting activity.
The Illumined Heart
In that case God still remains what I have styled the "ultimate dependability" and the "final end. I urge, then, that talk about human destiny through stories of resurrection, like that about the "last things," is a way of saying with the firm conviction of Christian faith in the cosmic divine Lover active in the event we name Jesus Christ that we can put our trust in God for both time and eternity, whatever we might wish to add about our own subjective participation in the divine life. This needs to be spelled out.
In the New Testament, the notion of resurrection finds its focus in Jesus Christ himself. It is he who has been raised from the dead; we are then raised in him. Jesus Christ, in the full reality of his existence, has been "taken into God" in a way we cannot explain. This was the initial and basic Christian affirmation about him.
For us to be "incorporated into Christ," as Christians believe occurs when they are made his members in his Body the Christian community, the church , is to share with him in his being "taken into God. But that is not "the end" in the sense of finis. Rather it is or may be the occasion of our being received by God, as those who are thus participant in Jesus Christ, to be remembered forever just as we are and with just what we have done.
So also judgment now makes sense, since we are always being appraised, and at death shall be finally appraised, for what we are and for what we have done. Heaven is nothing other than God, the divine self. It is not possible to talk about God without also talking about the world in which God is acting creatively and redemptively. And hell is rejection, as a surd, from such life in God through Christ. Since it may be the case we do not know that some elements or entities in the world have been utterly evil, no place can be found for them in the divine life of love.
Incidentally, much Christian thought and some process thinkers have been unwilling to make any such statement on that last point. Some further points need to be made. One concerns the question of whether -- and the way in which -- there may be conscious or subjective continuing life for humans when they have thus been "taken into God.
the christian soul an immortal destiny Manual
Ecclesiastes Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it. Death is the severance of the two parts of man's complex being; the dissolution, not of the being, but of the union, between body and soul. The text points to the origin of the body. Psalm ; Genesis The Church, in the same way, commits the body to the grave, as "dust to dust," in the Burial Office. This is a humbling thought, and it is true, whatever view may be taken of the creation of the body.
It "shall return to the earth. An act of man has intervened, whereby the hindrance to corruption has been removed, and the corruptible body therefore pursues its natural course. The result is, "in Adam all die.