Jehovah`s Witness/Can the Soul die ?
Many religions teach that the soul is immortal and that it never dies. What is your take? Can the soul really die?
Hello and thank you for writing,
My take will be based on what the Bible says, and the Bible helps us to see that the soul can die. Many religions (Christian and non Christian) teach that everyone has an immortal soul that never dies. It's a pagan teaching that Christians adopted from Greek philosophy. Some people even try to say that when Jesus died for our sins that he didn't really die or that ceasing to exist does not really mean dying and they do this to get around what the Bible actually says:
Ezekiel 18:4 (KJV) "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."
Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV) "The soul that sinneth, it shall die....."
Instead of making their beliefs fit with what the Bible says, many try to make what the Bible says fit with their beliefs. If those beliefs go contrary to the Bible, they refuse to accept what the Bible says and stick to what they have been conditioned to believe without any proof at all, or twisting scriptures and taking them out of context, which of course causes contradictions. It's basically blind faith, believing something without any proof whatsoever.
Let's look at when Adam was created, the Bible does not say that Adam was given a soul or even that he had a soul, the Bible factually says, Adam became a living soul. That helps us to see that the soul is the actual person, a living breathing creature. Before God blew spirit (breath of life) into Adam, he was just a dead soul, so to speak, once God blew the breath of life into his nostrils he became a living soul. So when a person dies and they stop breathing and have no more spirit (breath of life) in them, they are just a dead soul, or dead person. Before Adam was created he did not exist, to create means to bring into existence, and when he died, he went back to nonexistence.
Genesis 2:7 (KJV) 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."
At Genesis 3:19 (KJV) it says "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
Was God lying when he said that? Let's reason, if the soul is immortal and never dies, why didn't God just say that? He said the complete opposite of that teaching. Adam returned to the state he was in before he was formed out of the dust, that is back to the dust, back to non existence. The Bible says Adam died, no where does it say he kept living on elsewhere.
For example, just like with fire, if you make a fire, it can light the way, it will cook your food, it will keep you warm, etc, but once the fire goes out, where does it go? No where, it's just gone, the flame doesn't float off to somewhere else and keep burning, never to go out, it can't animate itself. Likewise, when our spirit or breath of life leaves our bodies, or goes out, meaning we are no longer breathing, we are dead. There is no breath left in the body when a person dies, they do not take one last breath in, they take one last breath out, emptying the body of all breath, it can't live on elsewhere, it's just gone, it can't animate itself. Our hope of living again then goes to Jehovah God who can raise the dead!
Genesis 5:5 (KJV) "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit because they would die if they did so, when they disobeyed they became sinners or transgressors against God. What would be the point of God telling them they would die, if they really never died. How is death the wages sin pays (Romans 6:23) if you never really die? That would make God be a complete liar to condemn someone to death knowing they aren't really dying. If people never really die, then what is the point of the resurrection spoken of in the Bible? If you aren't really dead, you don't need to be resurrected. Yet, those same people will celebrate Jesus' resurrection and then turn around and say he never really ceased to exist. If Jesus never really ceased to exist, our sins cannot be forgiven. Paul speaks about the resurrection of Christ in 1 Corinthians chapter 15.
You cannot resurrect a person who is already living and who never dies. Even if one says, well the soul is just given a new body, that still is not a resurrection. You can only be resurrected if you have first died. Even ones who go to heaven have to first die, now, not all will have to wait in death, but they all have to first die, some will immediately be resurrected and changed into a spirit person. But that they really die is shown by the fact that flesh and blood cannot inherit God's kingdom which is in the heavens, and if they already have an immortal soul, again there is no need for a resurrection, they would just need to be granted access to heaven, but what does the Bible teach.
1 Cor. 15:35,36 (NWT) "Nevertheless, someone will say: “How are the dead to be raised up? Yes, with what sort of body are they coming?” 36 You unreasonable person! What you sow is not made alive unless first it dies."
1 Cor. 15:50 (NWT) "But I tell you this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s Kingdom, nor does corruption inherit incorruption."
If we have immortal souls already, why does Paul say the complete opposite, Paul spoke about ones who are going to heaven as first being mortal, he said that which is mortal must put on immortality. If we have souls that are already immortal, why say that immortality must be put on. If your soul is already immortal, you don't need to put on immortality. It should already be that way, should it not?
That helps us to see that the teaching that we all have immortal souls is not true, it's contradictory and not in harmony with the Bible at all, in fact it's the direct opposite of what the Bible says.
1 Cor. 15:53 (NWT) "For this which is corruptible must put on incorruption, and this which is mortal must put on immortality"
The Bible speaks about the resurrection of the dead, which completely destroys the teaching that we have immortal souls!
John 5:29 (KJV) "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
We can ask the question, if the soul never dies, then what's the point of that scripture, and the many others like it? It wouldn't matter, it would be irrelevant.
But there is someone who said that people will not die. Do you know who that was? It was Satan the devil, an angel who turned wicked because he wanted to be like God. So he told a lie on God, and he influenced and deceived a perfect person along with many angels, and he is still doing that very thing today, Satan is telling that very lie to people today via his many religions. Satan says if God says you will die, he's lying, and you will not really die, just like he deceived Eve into believing.
Genesis 3:4 (KJV) "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:"
We know that a lot of people take the Bible literal in all aspects, even though there are many things in the Bible that are symbolic, yet instill those same people who take the Bible as only literal refuse to take this as literal. You can't get any more literal then that verse, in Ezekiel 18:4 & 20. So if the Bible who is authored by God says that souls die. Why would any religion or any person teach the complete opposite? The one who teaches the complete opposite of what God says is who? It is Satan himself, and Satan has so called Christian religions, those religions do not follow or teach what the Bible says, but teach the opposite. Even though it is clear as day. Satan continues to blind the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4). That's why Satan is the great deceiver and shows himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14) deceiving and influencing people to think they are worshipping God when in fact they are not. Therefore, we are warned:
Mark 7:6-8 (NWT) "He said to them: “Isaiah aptly prophesied about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’ 8 You let go of the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men.” 9 Further, he said to them: “You skillfully disregard the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition"
2 Thes. 2:10-12 (NWT) But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders 10 and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved. 11 That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie, 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness."
It's vital that we go by what the Bible teaches, even if it's not popular, we can not go by doctrines of men that go contrary to the Bible, for our worship to the Almighty God is only acceptable if we worship him in truth. (John 4:24). Remember, only 8 people survived the flood, not the majority that were alive at that time, just 8!! So it doesn't matter what the majority may teach, if it's contrary to what God says in the Bible, then how can it be in truth? It can't!
I can also explain about Matthew 10:28 if you like, as that also show that the soul dies.