“You shall not surely die.” This is the first and the greatest lie ever told to mankind. Satan the Devil told Eve she would not die if she ate the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:1-4). This lie is the foundation of the doctrine of the “immortal soul”. Satan wanted mankind to believe they could do as they pleased and not suffer any consequences for disobedience to their Creator God. So he told Eve a lie, “You shall not surely die.” Adam and Eve are both dead. Satan lied and has continued to lie to all mankind. We humans do not have an immortal soul and both our physical bodies and our soul WILL die without the intervention of Jesus as our Lord and SAVIOR.
Savior from what? Death! In fact it would have been completely unnecessary for Jesus to come to earth, live as a mortal human, be crucified, die and rise again after three days and three nights if we had an immortal soul. See CSCOG7 Staff Man, Salvation, and Life and the book “This We Believe” pages 47-58 for further details on salvation.
Mankind was created mortal, not immortal so understanding the Biblical view and definition of “soul” is vital to our understanding of our salvation in Jesus. We read in Gen. 1:24 …”let the earth bring forth the living creature.” The Hebrew word used for “creature” is Nephesh. Nephesh literally means, ”breathing creature”. Both animals and people are living breathing creatures, thus both animal and human are “Nephesh”. Gen. 2:7 says God made man out of the dust of the ground and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Hebrew word used for “soul” is Nephesh).” Both animal and human are subject to physical death!
God shows us He gave a great distinction between us and the animal kingdom. We see in Gen. 1:26 we are made in the “image of God” animals are not made in the image of God. What is the difference between human and animal? God gave mankind the “spirit in man” (Job 32:8,18 and I Cor. 2:11). Humans have the “spirit in man”. Animals DO NOT have the “spirit in man”. It is the spirit in man that gives us God’s image but most importantly we can communicate with God, animals do not communicate with God (At least not normally, see Balaam’s Ass) and animals have no hope of salvation. Hebrew Nephesh means a “breathing creature”. The New Testament uses the Greek word “Psuche” meaning “animal soul”. No place in the Bible are the words “Immortal soul” ever used or found. All flesh is Nephesh or psuche, creatures, animals that die.
All humans who have ever lived, have died or will die (Heb.9:27 and I Cor. 15:22a). Our Nephesh/Psuche will simply return to the dust of the ground (Gen. 3:19). What then must we fear? Jesus tells us in Matt. 10:28 …”fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Both our physical body and our soul (Spirit in man) can be killed! We are not an immortal soul as Satan told Eve.
Only God can give us eternal life (I Tim. 6:16; I John 5:11-12; I Cor. 15:42-53; Rev. 21:4). Without God and the sacrifice of Jesus we would all die, forever, eternally as the dust of the ground. Jesus will save us (salvation) as the last enemy to be conquered is death (I Cor. 15:26).
The big lie from Satan to deceive mankind started in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve, she would “surely not die”. We have seen ALL humans are mortal and will die just like the animals. Humans have the “spirit in man” which differentiates us from the animal kingdom and makes us in God’s image. We must fear him who can kill both body and soul. A physical and a spiritual death. Only God can save us from eternal death because we are mortal.
For further study see CSCOG7 Staff Heaven and CSCOG7 Staff Hell.
CSCOG7 Staff Immortal Soul