Heresy against Mortality
SOME SCRIPTURES WRESTED
TO TEACH HERESY
note that a future judgment disproves "instant reward or punishment in heaven
or hell" - Cp Daniel 12v1-3, 2nd Tim.4v1.
Matthew 5v12 -"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven". EXPLANATION. We do not go to heaven to receive this reward. Rather it is brought to us when Christ returns.
Revelation 22v12 - "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be".
Cp similar comments in Philippians 3v20, 21 - "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself".
2nd Corinthians 5v6,8,1 -"..whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord..We are..willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord..we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens".
EXPLANATION. What "body" was it that Paul desired to be "absent from"? It was "our mortal flesh", "our body", "our earthly house", 2nd Corinthians 4v11,10;5v1. And did Paul look forward to being a disembodied "spirit" or something similar? No, he looked forward to "a building of God..clothed upon with our house..that mortality might be swallowed up of life...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all BE CHANGED. For this corruptible must PUT ON INCORRUPTION, and this mortal must PUT ON IMMORTALITY", 2nd Corinthians 5v1,2,4; 1st Corinthians 15v50,51,53.
And although this "immortal..house" is at the present time "in the heavens", just as the "reward" now there will be brought to us (see above), so our new immortal body will be brought to us when Christ returns. "..Desiring to be clothed upon with our house WHICH IS FROM HEAVEN", 2nd Corinthians 5v2. The reward and immortal nature will be ours. Believers will not be "present with the Lord" until (as He stated) "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" - John 14v3. Surely words could not be plainer.
2nd Peter 1v14 - "shortly I must put off this my tabernacle".
EXPLANATION. As shown above, the present "tabernacle" is "our mortal flesh", our body". If we are faithful, this mortal body will be changed, and we shall be granted AN IMMORTAL BODY.
Philippians 1v21,23,24 - "For to me to live is Christ,and to die is gain..having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you".
EXPLANATION. Paul looked forward to "attain(ing) to the resurrection of the dead", Philippians 3v11, which would be "at (Christ's) appearing and his kingdom", 2nd Timothy 4v1.
It would not be instantaneous in real terms - but to all those asleep in Christ, it would appear so, for "the dead know not anything" -
Ecclesiastes 9v5. Re "the flesh", see above.
John 14v2 - "In my Father's house are many mansions..I go to prepare a place for you". EXPLANATION. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN, and receive you unto myself; that WHERE I AM, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO" (v3). The word rendered "mansions"(v2) is translated "abode" in v23. Two stages of "abiding" are revealed. Firstly, "the spirit of (orig.'the') truth (will) abide with you", v16,17. Secondly, Christ "will .. receive" the faithful at His return. In the meantime, we must "abide in" Him, and His "words" must "abide in" us, as "branches..in the vine..bear fruit", John 15v1-8. .
We are called to be "living stones" now in God's "spiritual house" - see 1st Peter 2v1-10. If faithful, we shall be granted our own permanent "abiding-places" in the Kingdom of God upon earth - link to the following -
1st John 5v11 - "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son". EXPLANATION. We are also given the Truth, 1st Timothy 5v20, but it can be lost. We can now "lay hold on eternal life", but must wait for the return of Christ, "Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
to them who by patient continuance in well doing SEEK FOR glory and honour AND IMMORTALITY, (Christ will give) ETERNAL LIFE", Romans 2v6,7.
Matthew 16v26 - "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?".
Cp Mark 8v36,37 - almost identical words.
EXPLANATION. The parallel quote in Luke 9v25 reads"..and lose HIMSELF". The word translated "soul" means 'breath' - this same word is translated more correctly "life" in Matthew 16v25, Mark 9v35, & Luke 9v24. Note the RV (Revised Version) translates "life" in Matthew 16v25 & 26.
If an "immortal soul" were to be read into these verses, the absurdity would be apparent, and so the inconsistency of the translators is evident. 'Immortal' and 'soul' do not appear together in Scripture. The Hebrew and Greek words translated 'soul' simply describe aspects of mortal life. Souls die, Ezekiel 18v4,20, and can be destroyed, Matthew 10v28. The Hebrew is used of all living creatures in Genesis 1v20,21,30;2v7,19 etc. Note in ch.2v7 - man was created "of the dust of the ground" (cp ch.3v19-"for DUST THOU ART"). And when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (air)..man became a living (not an ever-living) soul (creature)". Link here to
'The Biblical Meaning of "Soul"' for a fuller explanation, where also a similar verse -Matthew 10v28 - is fully explained.
Luke 23v43 - "And Jesus said unto him, verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise". EXPLANATION. We cannot believe that Jesus is telling the thief they would rejoice together anywhere on that literal day. Jesus would "be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" - Matthew 12v40 prior to His resurrection. The only "day" on which Jesus could promise redemption is that day the thief looked forward to in v42 - "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom". This is "the day of the LORD" - link to 'the Lord's day' for more details.
However the correct translation should almost certainly read: "Verily I say unto thee this day, thou shalt be with me in paradise". Compare Luke 2v11,22v34; Acts 20v26,26v29;2nd Corinthians 3v14,15; Deuteronomy 7v11; 8v1, 10v13; 11v8,13,28. In the NT references above, as well as in Luke 23v43, the Greek word used is 'semeron',and as shown, it should be rendered "this day" as a term of emphatic speech. We should ask why the translators render the Greek correctly in other places, but here to push a hidden agenda of false teaching (heaven-going) they do not!
This is the same inconsistency & bias we have noted relative to the Greek rendered "soul" in Matthew 16v26 - see above...and we see the same re the Greek rendered "devil" - link to 'devil' and "grave" - link to 'judge' and "satan" - link to 'satan'.
Finally, the Greek word rendered "paradise" signifies 'a garden', and it here refers to the Kingdom of God (v42 - "when thou comest in thy kingdom"). Compare Isaiah 51v3, Ezekiel 36v35; Revelation 2v7.
Luke 16v19-31- the "rich man" and Lazarus". This is a parable, part of a series which began in ch.15v3"And he spake this parable unto them..". The purpose of a parable is to illustrate truths by the introduction of both characters and events which are not meant to be taken literally. Link here to 'Proverbs and Parables in the New Testament'.
In this parable, Jesus is condemning the "rich man" class in Israel, and the downtreading of the poor, represented by "Lazarus". There appears to be a particular condemnation of Caiaphas the then high-priest, who had "five brethren" (i.e. brothers-in-law, see Josephus concerning Annas, the father-in-law to Caiaphas, John 18v13). He represented the ruling classes, and so Jesus is condemning all of the Jewish leaders - the priestly Sadducee class, and the Pharisees and scribes, who were present, trying to accuse Him before the people - ch.15v3,4; 16v14,15. The terms of the parable are consistent with the false beliefs of the Pharisees, as recorded by Josephus in great detail...this would enforce Jesus' condemnation of them. However Jesus' use of their beliefs to enforce a lesson no more implied His agreement with them than His use of "Beelzebub" (='the god of the dung-heap').
It should be noted that even on the surface we can easily see that certain details of this discourse cannot possibly be literal. For instance there is "a great gulf" fixed between Abraham/Lazarus and the rich man. Yet at the same time they are talking to each other! Note also that the heresy of "immortal souls" is totally inconsistent with the bodily attributes which are mentioned - e.g. eyes, bosom, finger, and tongue.
Jesus concludes what is undoubtedly a parable by stating: "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead". All hope of a future life depends upon a resurrection from the dead. This utterly demolishes the heresy of "immortal souls". As a final comment, we see that Jesus' dear friend Lazarus did (apparently not long after this parable) rise from the dead by the power of God in Jesus. When the Jewish leaders heard of this, Caiaphas took the lead in trying to bring about the death of Jesus, see John 11,esp. v.46-57. They would have remembered the words above spoken to them previously.
page 1 (man mortal)
page 3 (soul)