John’s comment to Gaius, refers to all aspects of his life, in the hope and prayer that they would be as good as his ‘soul’!
The confusion lies in the problem of wrong teaching for centuries regarding the “soul”.
Most Christian religions teach that every person is in possession of an entity called “the immortal soul”, which is completely wrong!
The true definition of the “soul” is given in Gen. 2:7, where it is seen that the “soul” is not complete without the “breath of life” from Almighty God; which then produces the “living soul”.
It is interesting to note that the same applies to animals!
There is huge confusion and misuse of terms, when talking, writing, teaching or preaching on the subjects of "the soul", or "the spirit". The Roman Church in particular is guilty of propagating the confusion, in its perverse teachings on the subject, which after many hundreds of years is now embedded in the "psyche" of the Church members and the "Priesthood". The error is now so widespread, that many or most Protestant Churches also preach the same as the Roman, as regards the "enduring human, and immortal soul".
The subject of "soul" and "spirit" has been a constant subjective and objective study for much of the writers Christian life, and it had been noticed that many anomalies, and un-objective misuse of terms takes place constantly by teachers and preachers.
A major part of the problem is "woolly thinking", lack of source material, indoctrination by the RCC over hundreds of years, copyist error, differing Churches Dogma, and mixing the terms "soul and spirit" together, and interchangeably misusing them in quotations and teaching. An overview of Bible text corruptions can be seen at: Corruption of the Bible Text:
To approach this subject objectively, it will be necessary to examine the various origins as far as is possible, and compare them to what Holy Scripture, The Bible, has to say, using the KJV (Companion). There will also be liberal reference to Dr. E. W. Bullinger in his Appendixes 9, 13, 101 and 110, and others; giving the appropriate detail.
To begin with the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), are they the originators of the mythology? No; they are propagators, and very powerful in this regard. A very comprehensive listing of the deliberate errors by the RCC, can be accessed on the Web under "Catholic Concerns" by an ex. Nun.
Almost certainly the foundation of the teachings come from Babylon, and were formulated in the beginning by Nimrod, ably aided by his mother. The following is a short extract from www.revelationsmessage.co.uk, the 14th Chapter:
Babylon as is well known was founded by Nimrod, whose father was Cush and Grandfather Ham! Nimrod was "great in rebellion against God", (Gen. 10:9).
The word "before", Str. Hebrew 6440 can be either; "the face that turns", is from the Strongs number 6437, "to turn", "to face up to", "to turn aside / away", "turn the back", "turn the face", "turn the self", or as chosen by the translators, "before". Both are prepositional, but the context of Nimrod's story gives the sense, i.e., he was a great rebel against Jehovah, and in great sin in his life in the face of Jehovah. He and his mother were founders of false "religion" in Babylon.
Nimrod's mother is reputed to have altered the "Heavenly message", and created the "Zodiac", of which there is a copy in the Temple at Dendera in Egypt. She is also reputed to have treated Nimrod as her husband sexually!
Babylon became the fountainhead of Satanic opposition to Jehovah God, until its destruction, and the removal of its priests to Pergamos (Anatolia).
From the beginning of this Creation, (see: Genesis 1:1 Enigma) the religions of the world became infused with the Satanic error (which is an extension of Satan’s comment to Eve that “surely thou shalt not die”; see (Eve and Adam), of an enduring entity called "the immortal soul" which they teach, every person possesses!
So strongly has this Satanic error been implanted by Satan in the minds of men and women worldwide, by many religions and teachers; that people will argue (fight) to the death to maintain what they have been assured by their Priest and Elders etc.; to the loss of family and social unity, which echo the Words of Jesus in Matt. 10:34-36! This conflict is inevitable; as it is the same lie that caused the “Fall” of Adam and Eve in Eden!
People who do not know the Truth of Christ Jesus’ work and Salvation, take comfort in the false teaching they are given, that they have an entity called the “soul”, which does not die, when their body dies! This ignores what Scripture states regarding Christ Jesus; (Matt. 28:18), which shows that only He can raise a person from the dead.
This fact is incorporated in His own life and actions, and is shown in His raising of Lazarus, and of Himself! (See: Lazarus Raised! and Jesus' Three Nights and Three Days in the Tomb). What people should know, is that they do have the “spirit of life” in them whilst alive; but that returns to the Father at death, (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
People who while alive take Christ Jesus as Saviour, become part of His wondrous Body, and the Christ Spirit gives the “Sealing in Heaven” (2Cor. 1:22 & 5:5) and will be Resurrected at the end of this Age, (see: Rapture (The) Those Taken and Those Not.) (Those who die rejecting Christ Jesus’ Salvation are raised to Judgment much later; (see: Rev. 20:11-12)!
So well placed was Ancient Babylon geographically on the trade routes of the then known world, that the pernicious error easily spread to the far East, to Africa, to Europe via the Greeks, and later to the "New world" by migration.
So fundamental is this error against the efforts of Almighty God in Christ, that the minds and hearts of sincere people worldwide can be very disturbed, when trying to correlate the differing teachings, even in one group of Churches. It also leads to conflict among well-meaning sincere Christians, who hold to the "soul doctrine" as an “Article of Faith”, without really knowing why! In the RCC case, this doctrine is basic to that of Purgatory, which is one of the most powerful tools that they have in their efforts to control their congregations worldwide, with massive implications regarding their power and wealth!
The following is a short extract from an article in www.revelationsmessage.co.uk, on the subject of Hell:
Purgatory. This concept has been taught for so long, and linked to the "immortal soul" in the Roman Church teaching, that many people cannot even consider that it may be a false teaching! The possibility that their own entity may end at death, is too difficult and painful to contemplate. Its concept is from Babylon, and in the Roman Church version, the "soul" in question can be prayed for, have "Masses" said, and the "sins" of the person "mitigated" by various "acts", and “payments" to the Church, which is lucrative for the Church. This system of course gives enormous power to the Roman Church, as for the "believer", the R.C. are the only entity able to give/ instigate these eternal benefits! This teaching of course eliminates the True message of Salvation in Christ, and also negates the fact that a person may have a DIRECT relationship with Christ; during their lifetime.
IN SUMMARY therefore, the intermediary state called Purgatory, is not Biblical, and goes against the message of Salvation in the Bible. It is therefore by definition anti-Christ!
Most of the world's religions have a variation on this theme, and of course they are not correct. What then is the correct understanding?
With the current emphasis in the Churches on "Ecumenical togetherness", this can be very difficult to ascertain, if the individual will only rely on one person who holds a position in a Church or group, which has an "agenda" or "hidden motive" to maintain. The mainline Churches are moving by "stealth" towards one large grouping, and they are consciously trying to avoid the areas of their teachings and dogmas that conflict with each other.
One of these (and the most important) is Acts 4:12; "Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved". In verses 10 and 11, that Name is explicit, it is Jesus Christ, the Crucified!
This is the reason for the Satanically planted error of the immortal soul. This is the reason that Satanic forces have been so active in establishing and maintaining the myth of the immortal soul! (This lie was first introduced by Satan when he told Eve she would not die if she ate of the forbidden fruit, Gen. 3:3 & 4).
The Ecumenical Movement will not countenance the supremacy of the Salvation Work of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus! Why; because it cuts to the heart of their hidden agenda, and because of that they deny "there is only ONE WAY to Almighty God, through Christ's Salvation Sacrifice"!
To admit to Acts 4:12 would mean that it would exclude all the world's religions, except for a small grouping of true Christ-Ones, who know and hold the Truth!
This and more is why the "immortal soul" myth must be maintained by them, as they have then power in their own teaching, "to help people to pass from death to life, by their own teachings and ministrations"; and they aggressively maintain that theirs is the only correct teaching; but will usually not allow Bible comparison; or discussion!
The writers have personal experience of an ordained Minister, who is unusually well read and versed in Scripture and many religions. He will not however accept the supremacy of Christ in the context of Acts 4:12, but will only admit to the all-encompassing love of Christ "being big enough to admit all religious people"! His list includes all the world's religions, and including "New Agers, Witches, Wizards", etc.
The only people he cannot countenance are "Fundamentalist Christians", who are guaranteed to send him into a rage of proportions leading to verbal swearing and abuse; which incidentally is one of the signs that Christ’s Spirit does not dwell in him! People who behave in such a way, show a personality trait which is not of Christ our Lord, and their sincerity in Christ has to be seriously questioned.
Fundamentalist Christians are those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and state that He only is the way of Salvation, and to the Father! (John 14:6).
Also only He holds the key to eternal life; by the raising of those dead people who put their trust in Him, whilst they are alive. See: God's Only Begotten Son.
So; we now turn to what the Bible says about the soul. We can start very early in its text at Gen. 2:7. The following is an extract from the above mentioned Website www.revelationsmessage.co.uk Rev. Chp. 6:9.
V.9 And when He opened the 5th seal, I saw under the alter the (a)souls of them that had been slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
(a) See comments Rev. 20:4 (b). Apps. 110 (2), 170 (3), and 13. There is much confusion on this subject. The Greek myth of an enduring entity called the "soul", is now established teaching in the Churches, and works against Christ's sacrificial death on the Cross. The Roman teaching in particular gives power to Priests and people for "Purgatory" relief of "unrepentant souls", by their prayers, and "special Masses". A careful study of Scripture shows that the spirit of life is given and taken by Almighty God, and by Him alone. The spirit of life and the dust of the ground = the living soul, Gen. 2:7. The word soul is used very loosely in everyday speech, which only adds to the confusion. In the important instances, care is needed to ascertain the actual intended meaning.
In this case, the Greek "psucha", in context means the individual. However these "individuals", "have been slain for the Word of God", and they are in the Tribulation Age, which has differing criterion and rules to now! There is the implication that those so affected go straight to Heaven, as the Age Time, affects the case.
In this Age, when we die, we await the resurrection of glory with Christ, if we have trusted Him for Salvation and we are washed in His redeeming blood.
However, resurrection to precise judgement awaits those who reject Christ Jesus at the "Great White Throne", at the end of the Millennial Age, Rev. 20:11-12.
In the case of the saved in Christ, the person's spirit of life goes to Him; the unsaved, the spirit of life returns to the Father, Ecc. 12:7.
In the case of the Christian as mentioned above, there is the implication in Scripture, that the Christ Spirit returns to Christ, Acts 7:59 & Philippians 1:23.
As can be seen from the above comments, the period of time one is living in, changes the case, this in Scripture is called by the Apostle Paul "the Administration", or "Age time" or "Dispensation" by others (hence the term "Dispensationalism"). Each "Age time" has different criterion and rules, hence the comments above regarding those that die in different situations, and times. The fact that there is so much confusion regarding "the soul" and "the spirit of life", and that to many people the two are interchangeable in general speech, adds to the misconceptions.
There is no doubt that the "spirit" returns to Christ/God at death. The soul in the Bible's own definition (and therefore God's) is as shown above. But many people object to this comment, and insist that "consciousness" continues in the "soul" after death! The Bible is clear; after the death of an individual, there is no consciousness or memory! These references confirm the point; Psms. 6:5, 30:9, 31:17, 88:11, 115:17, 118:17, 146:4, Ecc. 9:6-10, 12:7 & Isa. 38:17-19.
However, as many so called Christians do not read or honour the Bible, they rely on their Priest, Pastor or their Leader to teach them on all subjects, and hold to what they are taught or told by these (many) corrupt leaders; who are akin to the “false Shepherds of Israel”, who are condemned in the Bible! (See Jeremiah 23 etc.).
The great emphasis of the Necromancers of all shades, is that "there is no death". In the "Spiritualist" Churches, many of their hymns emphasise this in each verse. This is the great thrust of Satan in the world, to stop people from believing that Christ has defeated death on the Calvary Cross.
HE ALONE HAS THE POWER AND AUTHORITY TO RAISE PEOPLE FROM THE DEAD! All authority is His until He hands back the finished Work to the Father, at the end of the Millennial Reign! (1Cor. 15:24).
It is seen from the above extract in Gen. 2:7 that gives the formulation of "the soul". The dust of the ground + the spirit of Life = the living Soul!
So the soul is an entity which is breathing! It is interesting to note that the Latin word for the soul is "anima" which means "air or breath", (see: App.13 Companion Bible). The very interesting thing to note is that the words and formulation are used for the Created animals of Genesis! Therefore the simple fact is that any living creature, man and animal, Created by God, and since Eden pro-created; is a "living soul", Gen. 1:20; where the word “nephesh” is used for “life” as per Gen. 2:7!
As an aside, the important point in Genesis is the difference between man and animals as shown is Gen. 1:26 and 27. The fact of man being Created in the likeness of the Godhead is of profound importance to realise, as the mind also has the same difference to animals, with the impact that difference has made since the partaking of the "fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:17)! This point needs to be emphasised, as many religions teach that animals are equal to humans, instead of what God says in Gen. 1:26; which gives dominion to man over animals!
When Eve, then Adam partook of that forbidden fruit, they unlocked the forbidden knowledge, and became subject to death, which brought on the "Curse" of God to Eve, and the ground cursed for Adam; but also the Promise of Gen. 3:15. That is all about Christ, and Salvation through Him, which Satan has since been combating, using his lie to Eve "surely you will not die" part of which is the myth of the immortal soul! Satan saw also that if Gen. 3:15 came to fruition; he also would be subject to God’s Judgement and Punishment as shown in Rev. 20. That Judgement etc. will be the result of God’s Love; See: Satan's Demise!
In Scripture, the Bible; the spirit is the activating and God given force in all people, whether Christian or not; (Gen. 2:7).
However, the "spirit of life" is added by the "Spirit of Christ" at conversion to Christ! This goes to be with Christ at death in the writers view (Acts 7:59). This is the profound difference between the true Christian, and those that reject Jesus the Christ!
The non-Christian's "spirit of life", goes back to the Father at death, (Ecc. 12:7), to await the Judgement when reunited with the body; after the end of the Millennial Age; Rev. 20.
The "Christ Spirit" is probably vastly different in the limbo state, (that time between death and the "glorified body") to that of the unbeliever, as Christ said "God is the God of the Living, not of the dead", (Matt. 22:32, Mark 12:27 & Luke 20:38); and the New Testament describes it as “sleep” or “at rest”; as does Dan. 12:13!
In 1Thess. 3:13-18, the great Apostle Paul lucidly describes the condition of those that die in Christ Jesus. Three times he uses the words "sleep" or "asleep" in Jesus. In the A.V. translation the word "asleep" has been accepted, and taught by enlightened preachers for many years. It is interesting to note the word used by the Translator of the Ancient Armenian Pshitta, which has recently been commissioned and predates the Greek translation, and the "Received Text". He uses the word "repose" and "reposed", instead of "sleep" and "asleep". This carries the added meaning of "peace, security, rest etc.": which in the context of Christ our Lord, feels natural, when considering all His care and love for people of goodwill; as evidenced in the Gospels! All the incidents of Jesus' love towards people are emphasized by their response to Him and His messages; even when in deep sin!
His condemnation was always reserved for those who corrupted the True Scriptures (The Word of God); and particularly the Pharisees; which is a warning to modern day Pharisees, in Churches worldwide!
This Translator is an Ancient languages scholar, who uses Ancient Aramaic in his work, not modern Aramaic, which is the usual method. Because of his ability and training, even to "Pictoform", his work is of particular interest and importance; even if only for comparison.
The unbelievers on the other hand await "The Great White Throne Judgement", when they are Judged by Almighty God "on all they ever did", and those failing this Judgement are subject to the "Lake of Fire", (Rev. 20:14), called "the Second Death".
SUMMARY: It becomes apparent that each and every case in Scripture where the terms "soul and spirit" are used needs careful examination, to ascertain the actual usage and meaning. To emphasise that point, we need only look at two examples:
- Gen. 1:20, the Hebrew word Nephesh is translated "life"!
- Gen. 2:7, here the same word Nephesh is translated "soul"!
This is clearly to suit the Dogma of the organization that had commissioned the translation. These are two examples of hundreds, and underlines the need for the student to examine every case where Nephesh is used!
These have been very carefully done by the late Dr. E.W. Bullinger, in his Companion Bible. They are found at the back of that Bible under the heading "Appendixes", and the ones to study are 9,13,101 and 110. Every single verse where the words are used are detailed, so that every student can be sure of the actual meaning.
Alternatively, they are available on the Web, courtesy of Levend Water,
The ideal is the Companion Bible, as each page has a wide margin with crucial information on many subjects of Scripture, including that of the soul and spirit!
Apparent evidence of a post mortem Soul!
Mention should be made here at this stage of instances in Scripture that seem to confirm an enduring soul after death.
Enoch was a man of God, the 7th in line from Adam (Gen. 5:19-24). The fact he was taken by God (v24), has been understood by many Christians as proof of an eternal soul!
The same people often do not know of or accept the dire conditions that existed at that time of the “sons of God” and their activities with “the daughters of men” (Gen. 6:2); which illicit activity produced the Nephilim (giants).
Enoch’s heart was so dedicated to God in his relationship, that he is described as “walking to and fro with Him”, and had been for 300 years (Gen. 5:22). That close relationship, which God had desired from Adam resulted in Enoch being taken by God directly, prior to his natural death!
He was thus spared the anguish of what was to happen to all people (including his daughters with fallen angels), prior to the destruction of the flood; of whom only Noah and his family were rescued from; as they were not polluted by fallen angel seed (Nephal = to fall)!
It has been speculated that Enoch’s “taking” was a precursor/sign, of the Rapture of Christians prior to the Wrath of God on Earth in the future; which certainly has veracity, as Paul uses his example in Heb. 11. In so doing, Paul is indicating that similar conditions will prevail (do now prevail); prior to the “taking” (Rapture) of Christ’s Body, (Christians true) from the Earth!
It is also speculated by some people, that a further eruption of fallen angel seed will happen prior to the Rapture of Christ’s Body; but that is not easily verified in Scripture.
Enoch is further mentioned in Luke 3:37, Heb. 11:5, Jude 1:14-15 & Romans 10:17; for his importance in Jesus’ lineage; and his faith!
The action by God however does not prove the “eternal soul” teaching; and the “taking” was/is a prerogative of God as the Almighty, for His purpose and planning.
Some have speculated that as Enoch’s example and that of Elijah; (2Kings 2) of “taking” by God, and are the only two examples in Scripture; that as He has stated that “it is given to men once to die” (Heb. (9:27); that these two may be the “witnesses” of Rev. 11, who cannot be killed until their witness work is completed. That again has veracity, which must be held as a serious possibility!
A further example some try to use as proof of post-death survival of a “soul”, is that of “Samuel’s post death appearance”. What must be noted by all Bible students is that Saul was again in disobedience to Jehovah’s commands re. Deut 18, namely to never consort with “familiar spirits”!
The “appearance” of Samuel post mortem seemed apparent, but was not so! What was happening was a demonic “personification” by a servant of Satan, to give the impression of an “immortal soul”; and to support Satan’s comments to deceive Eve (Eve and Adam).
As said above, Satan has since Eden been trying (successfully), to convince humankind (starting with Eve); that they do not die, and that was/is his attempt to disrupt the minds of sincere people worldwide; as they do not want to die! In doing so, Satan is as usual contradicting God Almighty, and His provision in Christ Jesus; which attempts to kill or stop people from trusting what God has said and written in the Bible regarding His "Only Begotten Son"! See: God's Only Begotten Son.
God only wants people at this present time to trust Him in Jesus Christ (have faith in Him), in the same way as the first faithful example, Enoch; and those that followed Him in Heb. 11.
To reiterate, and emphasise: Satan's most successful ploy is that of the myth of the “eternal soul”!
The fact is that all people will die; (except for those that are “translated” just prior to the end of this Age, see: Rapture (The) Those Taken and Those Not.), and there is not an enduring entity called the “soul”!
The “soul” is described in Genesis 2:7 as “the dust of the ground” + “the breath of life” (from God) = the soul!
This is very hard for many people to accept, because of their indoctrination by wrong teaching; but Scripture is God’s Word which is Truth!
All supernatural activity in the Old Testament that does not have God’s declaration as of Him, is of the god of this world (at present), Satan; and he will use anything and everything to delude and mislead the unwary, and unlearned! See: Mystery Babylon:
The final and conclusive evidence of the non-existence of an “eternal soul”; is our Lord’s last utterances on the Cross; “Father into Thine Hands I commit My SPIRIT:” (Luke 23:46).