Pilgrim's Path Daily

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

'SOUL FOOD' - an audio-book by G.D. Watson - Ch. 20 of 32

Chapter 20 - "CONCERNING SOUL SLEEPING"
-- G.D. Watson lived in England, in the early part of the 1900's --




We are living in the times when the winds of heresy are blowing in every direction. One of these foolish heresies is "that the soul of man sleeps in utter unconsciousness from the time of death until the resurrection." In all those Scriptures where death is called a sleep, the plain reference is to the body. The only sleep that the Scriptures ascribe to the soul is to be asleep in sin. Sin acts upon the soul as opium on the body, rendering it unconscious of the things of eternity. Hence the word says, "Awake, thou that sleepest!"

We find in the Scripture the following facts to disprove the sleep of the soul in a disembodied state:

1. That the soul has a natural constitution of immortality.

We are told by Paul, in the 15th of 1st Corinthians, that Adam was made a living soul, but that Christ was made a quickening Spirit. The word "living soul" signifies an immortal soul; but Adam had no power to communicate spiritual life after his fall. On the other hand, Christ not only had an immortal soul, but power to regenerate other souls, and quicken them with the life of God. This is the difference between the first and second Adam.

We are told, in Ecclesiasted, 3rd chapter, that the spirit of man goeth upward, but that the spirit of a beast goeth downward; proving that at death the soul of man, in its mode of existence, is opposite to the soul of beast. We read in Zechariah, 12th chapter, that the "Lord formeth the spirit of man within Him." And the Apostle speaks of an "inner man." All such scripture plainly teaches that the soul has a formation and constitution independent of the physical life.

2. We read in several places that after persons had died, they were raised from the dead by their souls coming back into their bodies, showing that it was immortal.

In 1st Kings, 17th chapter, we read the account of Elijah's raising the widow's son from the dead. It says: "And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived." A similar passage is found in the 18th chapter of Luke, where Jesus raised from the dead the daughter of Jairus, when He said: "Maid, arise; her spirit came again, and she arose straightway." These Scriptures prove that the soul is a conscious, immortal personality; that it can exist in the body and out of the body, and returns again into the body.

3. The Scriptures speak of the soul going down to hell after the body is dead.

In the 14th chapater of Isaiah, we have an account of the death of the tyrannical king of Babylon, and his descent into hell. He was such a great man that at his death "hell from beneath was moved to meet him at his coming;" and the other wicked kings, who had gone into hell before him, "rose to meet him at his comming" and exclaimed, "Art thou become like unto us!" We are also told, in verse 16, that they "looked narrowly upon him, and considered him," exclaiming, "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms!" And while all this was taking place in hell, we are told that his body was in the grave "covered with worms." (See verse 11.)

In the 10th chapter of Matthew, Jesus warns us "not to fear 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," in which Jesus shows clearly that the soul can exist apart from the body; that it cannot be killed, as the body can, and that it can be in hell apart from the body.

The Lord also tells us of an actual occurrence, in the 16th of Luke, of a "curtain rich man" that died, "and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment." This man's soul had been asleep in sin all his life, and he never woke up to the reality of eternal things until he awoke in hell. This is the condition of millions today. They will never get their souls' opened until they open them in hell.

4. That the soul is alive and conscious when separated from the body is clearly shown from a great many Scriptures.

We see, in Ecclesiastes, 12th chapter, that at death the dust of man's body "returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns unto God who gave it."

"Life is real, life is earnest,
And the grave is not its goal,
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul."

Jesus told the penitent thief on the cross that before that day ended he would be with Him in Paradise. (See Luke 23: 43.) The real man to whom Christ was talking was not the fleshly body which was soon buried, but the immortal spirit in the body. He says, "Thou shalt be with Me in Paradise," showing that the real man would be conscious and happy in a world of bliss, away from all the sufferings of the body.

Paul tells us, in 2nd Corinthians, 5th chapter, that "whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord," but that we who have the earnest of the Spirit are "willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." He also tells us, in the same Epistle, 12th chapter, that at the time he was stoned at Lystra, and left for dead, he was caught up into Paradise, and that whether he was in the body or out of the body he could not tell, and that while in that state he heard unspeakable words; proving conclusively that the real, thinking, knowing soul can exist apart from the body, with all its faculties and powers intact.

Peter tells us, in his Epistle, 3rd chapter, that after Christ was crucified, "He went unto the spirits in prison, who had died in the Flood, and proclaimed unto them His victory," showing that the souls of those drowned in the Flood were alive, and had been confined in a place of imprisonment ever since the days of Noah.

5. The recognition of souls in the disembodied state is expressly stated in nearly all the foregoing Scriptures.

The souls in hell immediately recognized the king of Babylon, in Isaiah 14. The rich man in hell at once recognized Abraham and Lazarus across the impassable gulf; and Abraham noticed his lost kinsmen. Moses had died, and his body was buried in one of the valleys in the mountains of Moab; but we read, in Luke 9: 30, that at the transfiguration of Jesus, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him, and that they were recognized by three apostles. When Stephen was being stoned he saw the heavens opened and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and he said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." This demonstrates the fact that the spirit of Stephen was not going to die or sleep with his body, and that he recognized the Savior in heaven. When St. John was in Patmos, receiving the revelation, he "saw the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held, and he heard them cry, "How long, O Lord?" (Rev. 6: 9-11). This proves that these disenbodied martyrs were not asleep; that they were recognized by the Apostle; that they possessed all their faculties; that they could pray; and that they were earnestly expecting the time to receive their resurrected and glorified bodies.

These Scriptures teach that souls in the disembodied state possess all their mental faculties-thought, memory, reason, perception-unimpaired; and that they have the same moral character that they had in the body; that they have suffering or joy; torment or comfort; that they recognize each other; that they can communicate with each other; that they take a great interest in the affairs of this world in reference to its destiny.

In confirmation of these Scriptures, volumes could be compiled of dying sinners who have had glimpses into hell, and dying saints who have had visions into heaven, and recognized the presence of angels and departed friends ere they left the body. For a Christian to be so deceived as to believe that the soul is unconscious after death, shows either a lack of Scripture knowledge, or a mind that is deluded by Satan.

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