If you find the truth, will you believe it?

If any man desires to do God's will, he will have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from myself and on my own accord.  John 7:17 

The State of the Dead

and Associated Topics

“But man dies, and wastes away:  yea, man gives up the ghost [‘to breathe out’], and where is he?” (Job 14:10).  “Where is he?”  What happens to man when he dies?.

In the beginning, Elohim told Adam and Eve, the “tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of itfor in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17, emphasis added).  They could eat from every tree in the garden except this one tree for if they ate of it, they would die.  Death was not a part of Elohim’s original plan for humanity!

The serpent (Satan) asked the woman in a sarcastic tone and manner, “Yea, hath Elohim said; You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, Elohim hath said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.  And the serpent [Satan] said [sarcastically] unto the woman, You shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:1-4, emphasis added).

In direct contradiction to what Elohim had said, the serpent (Satan speaking through the serpent [ventriloquism]) said:  “You shall not die.”  The Devil has been questioning and contradicting Elohim for over six thousand years now, and his time is about to come to an end.

But what about humanity; are we still questioning Elohim?  What happens to us when we die?  Where do we go when we die?  These are questions that can be honestly asked of Elohim, and from the Holy Bible, Elohim will give us the answers.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, “death is the end of life.”  Is that how most people look at death today?  I do not think so.  Most people believe there is another state of being after the body dies; the “soul” lives on.

The understanding of what the soul is and what happens to the soul varies among different cultures.  Most people, who read the Bible, believe the “soul” goes to heaven or hell.  Not too long ago, there were places called purgatory and limbo where the soul would go, but those two ideas have been mostly discarded and could not be substantiated from the Bible.

Webster’s Dictionary describes the “soul” as “the immortal part of man, as distinguished from his body.”  Webster’s Dictionary tells us “immortal” means “not subject to death.”

So according to a non-Biblical source, the body is subject to death (an end of life), while the “soul” is “immortal” (not subject to death).  This is how most people see the difference between the “body” and the “soul.”  But is this how the Bible describes death, the body, and the soul?  When Elohim told Adam and Eve they would die if they ate from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil,” was He referring to just the body and not to the soul?

Genesis 2:7 reads, “And Yahuwah Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (emphasis added).  According to this verse, for man to become a “living soul” two components are required: the “dust of the ground” and the “breath of life.” 

We know when a man dies, his body eventually returns to the “dust,” but where does the “breath of life” go?  “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:  and the spirit shall return unto Elohim Who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7, emphasis added).  The word “spirit” found in this verse is from the same Hebrew word that is translated in Genesis 2:7 as the “breath of life.”  The Hebrew word is “ruach.”  Please note the “spirit [or the ‘breath of life’] shall return unto Elohim” from Whom it came.  It does not say the “spirit” will go to heaven, or to hell, or it is immortal.  It says nothing about the soul!

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul (not subject to death) is a teaching traceable back to the words of Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden and contradicts what Elohim told Adam and Eve.  Satan has used this false doctrine (lie) to enslave millions if not billions of earth’s inhabitants through fear.  Coupled together with the ancient Greek teaching of “hell,” Satan has used these two lies to slander the character of our beneficent Creator.

Hell, as embraced by the world and by most of the members in the Christian Churches, is pictured as a place of eternal torture.  This concept originated in ancient Greek philosophy and not in the Holy Bible.  Punishment in hell, as it is typically understood, corresponds to the punishment owed for the sins committed during one’s life.  Plato’s Myth of Er portrayed in Dante’s Divine Comedy, most accurately portrays what most people in the world and in the Christian churches believe about “hell.” 

As we will see, “hell” as mentioned in the Holy Bible, is much different from Plato’s and Dante’s hell.  It is impossible to estimate the number of “souls” who will be lost through these outlandish teachings of man that originated with Satan!

Is there anyone who is immortal?  “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise Elohim, be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen.”  “I give thee charge in the sight of Elohim, Who quickens all things . . . Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Who no man hath seen, nor can see:  to Whom be honor and power everlasting.  Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17; 6:13, 16, emphasis added).  According to the Bible, only Elohim has immortality (“not subject to death” according to Webster’s Dictionary).  Nowhere in the Bible does it say the “soul” is “immortal.”

Immortality is to be conferred upon the righteous at the second coming of Messiah.  “For this corruptible [man in his inherited, fallen state] must put on incorruption, and this mortal [humanity at the present time is subject to death] must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:53-55, emphasis added). 

Someday, the righteous will be given immortality.  There is no place in the Scriptures indicating the wicked receive or have immortality.  The wicked cannot suffer eternally unless they receive immortality which prevents them from dying.  Not one single verse in all the Scriptures indicates the wicked will receive or have immortality.

Humanity has come to fear and even hate Elohim because of these false teachings (immortality of the soul and eternally burning hellfire) which have turned man from and against Elohim.  Ministers attempt to scare sinners into their church by pointing out, in great detail, how much they will fry, crackle, and sizzle as they burn in hell for refusing to accept Elohim.  These erroneous doctrines falsely portray the attributes of our loving, merciful, and just Creator. 

Elohim, Who gave Israel just and righteous laws, is portrayed as so unjust as to require an eternity of being tortured for those who have been in rebellion during their lifetime of seventy or eighty years without the hope of it ever ending.  Elohim, Who said an “eye for eye and tooth for tooth” (Lev. 24:20) and a life for a life, is made to appear a sadist of the worst possible kind, torturing for eternity (never-ending) those who have displeased Him.

When I first began to read and study the Bible for myself forty-nine years ago, the greatest teaching I came to understand was the truth of what would eventually happen to the wicked, and the fact they would not have to suffer throughout eternity.  I could love such an Elohim (God) like that without fear as I began to discover the truth about Him and the false light in which Satan had characterized Him.  How could people love Someone who would torture His enemies forever?  There would always be a hidden fear lurking in people’s minds as they wonder what will happen to them if they should displease Him. 

The Bible is emphatic:  “There is no fear in love:  but perfect love casts out fear:  because fear hath torment.  He that fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18), and Elohim is described as love (1 John 4:8).

What type of a picture in your mind do you have of Elohim?  How you relate to Him is dictated by the picture you have in your mind of what He is like.  Do you see Elohim as the prodigal son’s father watching with a longing heart for the return of his son?  When the father sees his son coming from a great distance off, he runs out to meet him, embraces him, clothes him, and has a great feast for him.  That is an accurate picture of what Elohim, our heavenly Father, is like given to us by Yahushua Himself. 

He does not hold us off at arm’s length until we reform our lives, which only He can do, but He goes in search of us as pictured in the parable of the lost sheep.

Yahushua used parables to help us understand what Yahuwah Elohim and the kingdom of heaven are like, so it is very important we perceive the character of Elohim correctly if we are going to want to live with Him throughout eternity.  Could you imagine living with Someone throughout eternity Who you could not fully love and trust and were afraid of?  To me, that would be supreme torture.

Let us look at the Bible to determine the truth for ourselves concerning, death, hell, the reward of the wicked, and other related subjects.  We have already discovered from the Scriptures that when someone dies, his body goes back to the dust and the “breath of life” goes back to Elohim, who gave it to man in the first place.  “And Yahuwah Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).  “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:  and the spirit [‘breath of life’] shall return unto Elohim who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7).

The soul is not a disembodied spirit.  That is what spiritualism teaches and is why so many have gotten caught up in the occult.  The soul consists of both the “dust of the earth” and the “breath of life.”  This is the Biblical definition of the “soul.”  See Genesis 2:7.  

John chapter eleven contains the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus.  “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of the town of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (It was that Mary which anointed the Master with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)  Therefore his sisters sent unto Him [Yahushua], saying, Master, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick.  When Yahushua heard that, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of Elohim, that the Son of Elohim might be glorified thereby.  Now Yahushua loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  When He heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was.  [Why did He not immediately go to help them in answer to their call?  Sometimes Elohim has bigger and better things for us than what we have asked of Him.]  Then after that said He to His disciples, Let us go into Judea again.  His disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone Thee; and goest Thou thither again?  Yahushua answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day?  If any man walks in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world.  But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.  These things said He:  and after that He said unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  Then said His disciples, Master, if he sleeps, he shall do well.  [The disciples had evidently forgotten about the message concerning Lazarus and were apprehensive about the danger that threatened their Master and themselves.]  Howbeit Yahushua spoke of his death:  but they thought that He had spoken of taking rest in sleep.  Then said Yahushua unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.  Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him.  Then when Yahushua came, He found that he [Lazarus] had lain in the grave four days already . . . Yahushua said, Take you away the stone.  Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said unto Him, Master, by this time he stinks: [He had started to decay.] for he has been dead four days” (John 11:1-39, emphasis added). 

Lazarus had been dead for four days by the time Yahushua and His disciples arrived in Bethany.  Yahushua had stayed away intentionally, so Lazarus could die and begin to rot so there would be no question as to whether Lazarus had indeed been dead.  Lazarus’ sisters stated if Yahushua had been there, Lazarus would not have died, but it was Yahushua’s intention to reveal to His disciples and to us that the grave has no power beyond the control of His authority even after man has rotted away and returned to the dust.  Yahushua referred to the death of Lazarus as “sleep!”  His disciples responded, “Master, if he sleeps, he shall do well.”  “Howbeit Yahushua spoke of his death:  but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  Then said Yahushua unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead” (emphasis added).

Throughout the Holy Bible, death is referred to as “sleep,” and yet people are offended and become upset when this is brought to their attention, and they think you are a part of a cult!  Look at how the religious people of Yahushua’s day treated Him when He told them about a young girl who had died.  “He (Yahushua) said unto them, Give place:  for the maid is not dead, but sleeps.  And they laughed Him to scorn” (Matt. 9:24, emphasis added).  If they “laughed” the Master “to scorn” for telling the truth, it is not surprising when the truth is told again in our days it is treated so indifferently, and people mock the one proclaiming this truth.

Let us just imagine when Lazarus died, his disembodied spirit (what spiritualism teaches) went to heaven as most people believe happens.  So when Yahushua called Lazarus back to life, his spirit would have had to leave heaven and return to the earth.  Hardly seems fair, does it?  Today, we hear reports of those who have supposedly had near-death experiences, but Lazarus tells us nothing of what he surely would have experienced while there in heaven having been dead for four days.  The Bible is very clear:  “The dead know not anything” (Eccl. 9:5, emphasis added).

Let us look at just a few examples to assure you this is not an isolated incident where death is referred to as “sleep.”  “And Yahuwah said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land” (Deut. 31:16, emphasis added).  “So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David” (1 Kings 2:10, emphasis added).  See also 1 Kings 11:21, 11:43, 14:31).

Death is referred to as sleep throughout the Bible, and we will be awakened from that sleep and given immortality when Yahushua returns if we have complied with all the conditions given in the Bible, namely having confessed our sins and allowed Yahushua to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). 

“For if we believe that Yahushua died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Yahushua will Elohim bring with Him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Master, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Master shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep.  For the Master Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Elohim: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first:  then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Master.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:14-18, emphasis added). 

Please note when Yahushua returns He will not touch down upon the earth, but those who were dead along with those who are still alive go up to the “clouds to meet the Master in the air.”

Not until Yahushua returns and takes us all to heaven together “shall we ever be with the Master.”  If we should die before Yahushua returns we are in the grave until then, waiting for that day when Yahushua returns!

When Yahushua was dying on the cross, “Yahushua said unto him [the thief dying on the cross next to Him], Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).  Was the thief in paradise with Yahushua on that very day?

When Yahushua was resurrected from the dead three days later and revealed Himself to Mary, He said, “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 Elohim, and your Elohim” (John 20:17, emphasis added).  Yahushua had not yet ascended to heaven three days after He was crucified.

Notice what happens when we place the comma in Luke 23:43 after today instead of before:  “Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with Me in paradise.”  Yahushua was telling the thief on that day he would someday be with Him in paradise.  Yahushua knew He would not be resurrected until after “three days and three nights” of being in the tomb.  He would not be in heaven, but He would be asleep in the tomb like all the others who die until His Father should call Him back to life. “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Yahushua Messiah, and Elohim, the Father, Who raised Him from the dead)” (Gal. 1:1).  Yahushua was “raised . . . from the dead” because His “soul” had not gone to heaven as many believe incorrectly.

“As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decays and dries up:  so man lies down, and rises not:  till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.  O that Thou would hide me in the grave, that Thou would keep me secret, until Thy wrath be past, that Thou would appoint me a set time, and remember me!  If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.  Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee” (Job 14:11-15, emphasis added).

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see Elohim:  Whom I shall see for myself, and not another: though my reins [heart:  Amplified, NAS, NIV] be consumed within me” (Job 19: 25-26, emphasis added).  Job knew he was going to be in the flesh when he sees Elohim and not as a disembodied spirit!

Knowing and understanding what happens to a man after he dies fortified and strengthened those who were martyred for their faith over the centuries, and it will do the same for us when the time comes should we be called to lay down our lives for the Master!  The fear of death will have lost its hold on the saints of Elohim.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He [Yahushua] also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him [Satan] that had the power of death, that is, the devil:  and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15, emphasis added).

Men are fearful of the unknown, but the Bible makes it clear what takes place at death and what is to follow.  On the day of Pentecost when the disciples received the power of Elohim’s Spirit, Peter made it very clear that “David is not ascended into the heavens” (Acts 2:34, emphasis added). 

In referring to Messiah, Peter also told his audience in reference to Yahushua, “Because Thou [Elohim] wilt not leave My soul in hell [the tomb], neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption” (Acts 2:27).

We saw how Lazarus saw corruption because he was in the tomb for four days, while Yahushua was resurrected back to life after being in the tomb for only “three days and three nights” (Matt. 12:40) as He had foretold He would be and did not “see corruption.”  In Psalm 16:10 we read, “For Thou wilt not leave My [Yahushua’s] soul in hell [the tomb]; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.”  Yahushua had been in the tomb for less than three full days and nights and had not begun to decay as Lazarus had.

“For the living know that they shall die:  but the dead know not anything, 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” (Eccl. 9:5-6, emphasis added).

“Whatsoever thy hand finds to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Eccl. 9:10).  Where are you going when you die?  “In the grave” awaiting the resurrection! 

Life has come to an end, and we are waiting for the resurrection of the dead when we will be brought back to life.  So death, as taught in the Bible, is as when one falls asleep for the night, to be awakened back to life at the resurrection.  “They are as asleep” (Ps. 90:5).

There are two main resurrections that are discussed in the Bible; the “first resurrection” (Rev. 20:5) and the second resurrection, which is implied by the mentioning of the first resurrection.  “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2, emphasis added).  While this verse in Daniel deals with the special resurrection that will take place just prior to the return of Yahushua, it does show the results will be different depending on the individual.  One resurrection is “to everlasting life” and the other resurrection is “to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Yahushua had this to say about the two resurrections:  “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” (John 5:29).  It is not until after the resurrection when individuals receive their reward.  They do not receive their reward when they die and are buried.

The word translated as “hell” in the Old Testament is "sheol" which should have been translated as “grave.”  When the Bible was translated, the prejudices of those who did the translating were included in how they interpreted “sheol.”

The word translated as “hell” in the New Testament is "hades" which should have been translated as “grave.”  Again the prejudices or preconceived opinions of the translators are apparent in how they translated from the old manuscripts to what we find written in the Bible today.

If you go to the Strong’s Concordance and in the Old Testament look up the words “grave” and “hell” you will see the same Hebrew word, “sheol,” translated into two different words (#7585).  If you go to the New Testament and look up the words “grave” and “hell,” you will see there are instances where both “grave” and “hell” are translated from the same Greek word, “hades” (#86).

The prejudices of the translators are apparent in their use of “hell” over the use of “grave.”  This is not to disparage the translators for they had been taught a false concept for so long that it just naturally came through their translations.

In the New Testament, another Greek word translated as “hell” is "gehenna" (Strong’s Concordance #1067) or the Valley of Hinnom, which was a place like the “city dump” some of you might still remember as always burning or smoldering until new trash was thrown on it and which never went out.  "Gehenna" is used in Matthew 10:28.  “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:  but rather fear Him [Elohim] which is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell [‘gehenna’ – the ‘lake of fire’]” (emphasis added).

The subject of “eternal fire” is also discussed in the New Testament.  “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7, emphasis added).  Are Sodom and Gomorrha still on fire?  No.  Are the results of the fire which fell upon them eternal?  Yes.  This we are told in Jude 7 “are set forth for an example.” 

So it will be with those who suffer the punishment of Elohim.  They will be burnt up and go up into smoke and only their ashes will remain.  The “result” of their punishment is eternal.  This is what will take place when the wicked are consumed in the “lake of fire” mentioned in Revelation 20:9, 10, 14, 15.

“For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble:  and the day that comes [not for eternity] shall burn them up, saith Yahuwah of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root [Satan is the root] nor branch [Satan’s followers are the branches].  But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.  And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day [not for eternity] that I shall do this, saith Yahuwah of hosts.”(Mal. 4:1-3, emphasis added). 

Even Satan and his angels will be turned to ashes when the “lake of fire” has gone out after burning everything that could be burnt.  “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee” (Eze. 28:18, emphasis added).  This verse is talking about Satan.

But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of Yahuwah shall be as the fat of lambs:  they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away” (Ps. 37:20, emphasis added).   When you burn something, it is either turned to ashes, or it goes up in smoke.

Probably the most widely memorized verse in all of the Scriptures is John 3:16:  “For Elohim so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (emphasis added).  You will notice those who will not “have everlasting life” will “perish.”  They will not suffer for eternity.

When you see Scriptures like the following which say the “smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever” (Rev. 14:11), understand that just as “fire and brimstone” (Rev. 14:10) came down on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them “forever and ever” so the wicked will be destroyed “forever and ever.”  The results of the fire will be eternal, but the punishing will not be eternal.  “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be” (Ps. 37:10, emphasis added). 

When Jonah was swallowed by the fish, it says that he was in the belly of the fish “forever” (Jon. 2:6) and yet it was only “three days and three nights” (Jon. 1:17).  Those “three days and three nights” certainly seemed like “forever” to poor Jonah!

When the “enemies of Yahuwah” are consumed, it will be just as it is when fat is burned up.  They will be gone forever, and only their ashes will remain to be walked on by the redeemed (Ps. 37:35-36, Mal. 4:1, 3). Many have used the false doctrine (lie) of everlasting hellfire in an attempt to scare people out of hell and into heaven.

Elohim does not operate that way.  “Yahuwah hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:  therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jer. 31:3, emphasis added). “Or despises thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of Elohim leads thee to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4, emphasis added).  “Remember, O Yahuwah, Thy tender mercies and Thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old” (Ps. 25:6).  Only by love and truth does Elohim draw us to Himself.  Never by force, fear, or intimidation will anyone enter into the kingdom of heaven.

We are told the following in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Master Yahushua shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, with flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not Elohim, and that obey not the gospel of our Master Yahushua Messiah:  who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Master, and from the glory of His power” (emphasis added).

Please note:  the lost will “be punished with everlasting destruction” and not with everlasting punishing.

The word perdition is used in the Bible to describe the fate of the lost and even of Satan (Rev. 17:8, 11).  The word is defined as “destruction or perish or eternal death.”  But some will still say the “soul” is eternal or immortal and cannot be destroyed, but Yahushua had this to say about the matter.  “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:  but rather fear Him which is able to destroy [not punish] both the soul and the body in hell [‘gehenna’ – the ‘lake of fire’]” (Matt. 10:28, emphasis added).  This verse does not say that He will punish the soul eternally but will “destroy” the soul in hell or as we have seen, the grave and finally in the “lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14).

The problem is the teaching of the immortality of the soul has been promoted since Adam and Eve’s fall and has been proclaimed by so many for so long that it is hard for the truth of the matter to be seen and accepted.  We are told in Revelation 12:9:  “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceives the whole world” (emphasis added). 

Most when confronted with the “truth” will not admit they have been deceived unless they are earnestly searching for “truth.”  When an honest man who has been in error is confronted with the truth, he will do one of two things:  either he will stop being honest or he will accept the truth that exposes his error admitting he was in error.  In most cases, pride prevents people from admitting they have been deceived.  But the whole world has been deceived as we are told in Revelation 12:9.

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong.  When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted.  It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance.  And because it is so important to protect that core belief, they will rationalize, ignore, and even deny anything that does not fit in with that core belief.”  Frantz Fanon

Unless we study matters for ourselves, which we are commanded to do in the Holy Bible, we will be deceived.  “Study to show thyself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15, emphasis added).  We cannot; we must not depend on anyone to do our studying and thinking for us no matter how much confidence we may have in that individual, or we may end up being led astray and then “ashamed.” 

It is a humbling experience to realize you have been deceived, and then be able to admit it.  We have all been deceived by Satan.  Not one who has ever lived on this earth has escaped Satan’s deceptions except Yahushua.  It is pride that prevents us from admitting we have been deceived.

I hope I have not striven with you but have followed the counsel of Elohim given in 2 Timothy 2:24-26.  “And the servant of Yahuwah must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if Elohim peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (emphasis added).

I have sought to lay out the truth of these matters as seen from the Holy Bible and not from man’s reasoning to the best of my Elohim-given ability.  Having the truth on these issues (death, non-immortality of the soul, eternal destruction, and what happens after one dies) is of such paramount importance to our eternal salvation that I would be greatly remiss should I not include these.

I hope that some in reading this article will have changed their view of what Elohim is truly like based on what the Holy Bible says in contrast to what you may have been taught to believe.  In the end, we owe it to ourselves to study matters out thoroughly on our own as we are counseled to do in the Holy Bible!  “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5).

In 1 Peter 1:9, it is written, “receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”  When you consider what the “soul” is, do you not see the impact of what this verse is saying?  Our soul is our being; who and what we are; physically, mentally, and emotionally.  We will have an incorruptible and immortal body and not be a disembodied spirit floating through space throughout eternity.  We will build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and gardens, and enjoy life to its fullest, without any of the detriments and limitations we have had to previously endure on this earth when it is made anew.  And best of all, Elohim and His only begotten Son, Yahushua our Savior, will live with us throughout eternity.

“We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead in Messiah shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:51-55, emphasis added).

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26).  “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul” (Mark 8:36).  “Even so, come, Master Yahushua” (Rev. 22:20). 

One more thing in conclusion of this matter of what happens after a person dies.  In Romans 1:25 we are told, “Who changed the truth of Elohim into a lie.”  It is Satan that takes the truth and twists and bends it into a lie to suit his evil design of deceiving humanity.  In the matter of hell being a place where the lost will burn forever, Satan has “changed the truth of Elohim into a lie.”

There will indeed be people who will live in “devouring fire” and “everlasting burnings,” but it will not be the lost.  It will be the righteous who will live in them.  “The sinners in Zion are afraid: fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.  Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fireWho among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?  He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppressions, that shakes his hands from holding bribes, that stops his ears from hearing of blood [does not listen to gossip], and shuts his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high:  his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks:  bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.  Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty:  they shall behold the land that is very far off” (Isa. 33:14-17, emphasis added).

“For our Elohim is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29, Deut. 4:24, 9:23).  In the presence of sin, “Elohim is a consuming fire.”  The righteous that are taken to heaven have been previously cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) and have no sin to be consumed.  They are at-one-ment with Elohim.  They have been changed into Elohim’s likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). 

The lost have clung to their sins, and as a result, they will be consumed by the fire that consumes their sins.  They did not permit Elohim to cleanse them (1 John 1:9) or to “subdue their iniquities” (Mic. 7:19).

If Elohim had not cast out Satan and his followers from heaven, they would have been consumed by Elohim’s glory, which as the Holy Bible states is a “consuming fire,” and the Universe would have never known why they had been destroyed.  When the controversy comes to an end, and sin has been allowed to come to maturity before it is destroyed forever, all will see the justness and fairness of Yahuwah in the way He chose to deal with Lucifer’s rebellion and the entire Universe will join in proclaiming “just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints” (Rev. 15:3).

In addition to living in the presence of “devouring fire” and “everlasting burnings,” the redeemed will dwell in Yahuwah’s presence which is said to be “fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11).  Instead of consuming the redeemed, Elohim’s presence gives them pleasure and fullness of joy [ecstasy] throughout eternity.  Praise Yahuwah!  HalleluYah!  Selah!  Pause to think calmly about that!