What happens when you die? Is there an afterlife? Do you have an immortal soul that wafts off to heaven or descends into an ever-burning hell fire? More fundamentally, WHY do you believe what you do regarding life after death? Where did your ideas come from? Are you sure? Common views about heaven, hell, and purgatory do not come from the Bible, watch to find out what the Bible REALLY says about life after death.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
What happens when you die? Is there an afterlife? Do you have an immortal soul that wafts off to heaven or descends into an ever-burning hellfire? More fundamentally, why do you believe what you do regarding life after death? Where did your ideas come from? You may think you know, but don’t be too sure.
Common views about heaven, hell, and purgatory do not come from the Bible and I’ll give proof on today’s Tomorrow’s World program. I’ll also be offering you a free resource that explains in detail the origin of many commonly held assumptions that people have regarding the Bible, so keep watching.
On today’s Tomorrow’s World program, I’m asking and answering questions regarding life after death. Will you live again? And if so, where might that be? Where did your ideas about heaven and hell come from? Try as you might to escape it, your death is certain, and avoiding the subject won’t solve your problem.
A common assumption is that humans have something often referred to as a soul, and that soul, whatever it is, is immortal. It cannot die but lives forever. Now if true, when you die that soul must go somewhere—usually thought of as heaven or hell. This idea supposedly comes from the Bible, but does it? What does the Bible say? You may be surprised.
According to Jesus, the soul can be destroyed.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28)
The highly respected New Bible Commentary Revised makes this comment about Matthew 10:28:
The soul in biblical thought is not immortal…
The concept of the soul burning up is found in John the Baptist’s prediction of the Messiah to come. Notice what he says the Christ would do. Matthew 3:12:
His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12)
The wheat and chaff are clearly referring in this passage to saved and unsaved human beings. Nothing here indicates immortality. In fact, this passage clearly states the opposite.
Perhaps the most famous passage of scripture is John 3:16, but how many stop to think what it says? Notice it carefully, beginning in verse 14:
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:14–15).
Notice that it contrasts “perish” with “eternal life.” These are opposites. Now we come to that famous verse that many know, but few seem to understand—verse 16:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Do we understand what perish means? Or are we going to change the meaning of it to fit traditions handed down to us? The Bible is consistent on this matter. The Apostle Paul shows this same contrast in Romans 6:23:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
What a powerful statement that is! Think about it. “The wages of sin is death,” not eternal life in some kind of ever-burning hell. These are only a few of the scriptures that contradict popular traditions, but there is more, much more. But let me first tell you about one of the most profound resources we publish on why traditions so often conflict with the Bible This problem is explained in our short book, Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. I cannot express enough how important this book is. It can open your eyes to the greatest deception of the ages. Just click the link in the description, or call the number below.
Whatever one may think, the soul is not immortal, but can die. If you have a Bible handy, open it up to the book of Ezekiel, chapter 18. If you don’t have a Bible in front of you, or if you don’t know where to find the book of Ezekiel, write it down and look it up later. Here it is—Ezekiel 18:4:
Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).
My dear friends, this is not difficult to understand, IF we are willing to lay aside myths taught to us from childhood and read the Bible for ourselves. This is the message from the beginning to the end of this marvelous Book. Going back to the beginning chapters of the Bible, we read in Genesis 2, verse 7, that man IS a soul.
This is from the King James Version. The New King James Version says,
. . . and man became a living being.
The Old Testament books of the Bible were mostly written in the Hebrew language and wherever the word soul is found in the English translations, it comes from the Hebrew nephesh. So it says that man became a living soul—a living nephesh.
Now I don’t know where you went to school, but simple logic would tell you that when you have the modifying word living attached to soul, it follows that you could have a dead soul. And that is exactly what the passage says. Notice it again. Man only became a living soul after he received the breath of life.
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 (Genesis 2:7 KJV).
All one has to do is follow where the Hebrew word nephesh is used in the Bible to understand its meaning. For example, in Genesis 1 verse 21 we see that nephesh refers to living creatures other than man.
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing [every living nephesh, that is] that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind (Genesis 1:21)
There are so many scriptures we could turn to. The high priests of Israel were given special instructions on how they were to conduct their lives and one regulation was that they were not to touch a dead body. Notice it in Leviticus 21:11,
…. nor shall he [the high priest] go near any dead body [nephesh], nor defile himself for his father or his mother. …. (Leviticus 21:11)
According to the Bible, the state of the dead is that of absolute unconsciousness. Sorry folks, but your Aunt Mary or Uncle Henry is NOT right now looking down from heaven and any minister that tells you otherwise is NOT getting his ideas on the subject from the Bible! I know that may be shocking, but it’s true. As we’ve already seen, whatever a soul is, it can be alive OR dead, and the fate of the unsaved is death. Both Jesus and Paul affirm this. So now let’s look at some scriptures that explain the state of the dead. We’ll start with Ecclesiastes 9 and verse 5:
For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing… (Ecclesiastes 9:5).
As a former friend used to say, “When you consider how little the living know, it’s not difficult to believe that the dead know nothing!” However, all jokes aside, the Bible says, “the dead know nothing.” Verse 10 doubles down on the point and gives valuable advice.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
This is confirmed in Psalm 146, verses 3 & 4:
Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit [Hebrew: wind or breath] departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish. (Psalm 146:3–4)
This is from the New King James Version and the word spirit might confuse some. This is not the Hebrew word nephesh and it merely means his wind or breath. The King James Version reads:
His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish (Psalm 146:4 KJV). 
Contrary to what you hear at funerals, there is no such thing as an immortal soul. But, does that mean there is no hope, no life after death? I’ll answer that question shortly, but as we’re seeing, there is a difference between what the Bible says and what people think the Bible says. Why? Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity answers that question. The greatest deception of all involves that which is right before our very eyes. The Christianity of Christ was transformed into a religion that early Christians would never recognize. They would shocked to learn that modern Christianity places the name of a pagan fertility goddess on a holy day that celebrates the resurrection of Christ. They would be shocked to learn that Christ’s birth is celebrated, and done so on the day that celebrates the birth of the sun god Mithra. And, they would be shocked that so-called followers of Christ believe in an immortal soul. Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity explains a vital truth that you need to know. Don’t pass over this opportunity to receive your free copy of this valuable resource. All you have to do is call, or click the link.
Jesus and Paul described death as a sleep and that is consistent with what we read from Ecclesiastes and Psalms. Let me give you those references before showing you how ideas totally contrary to scripture came to take over the thinking of millions of Christians and non-Christians alike.
Notice this account from John the 11th chapter, beginning in verse 11:
“Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death…. Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead” (John 11:11–14).
And in one of the very passages that is often read at funerals, the Apostle Paul likens death to being asleep. Here it is in 1 Corinthians 15:51:
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed… (1 Corinthians 15:51).
In the face of such evidence that we do not have an immortal soul, and believe me, there is far more evidence than I’m covering in this program, how is it that modern Christianity came to accept this doctrine?
It all started long ago. Heathen and Greek philosophers believed the soul to be immortal, and it was through these pagan philosophers that the doctrine infiltrated the thinking of some of the greatest names among early church theologians.
Let’s look at them and see where history records how they got their ideas. The highly respected Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity tells us on page 107:
The early Christian writers believed that the orthodox faith was transmitted full-grown to the churches by the apostles. … But the preaching and teaching of the apostles was not the same as the orthodoxy about which the theologians wrote (Eerdman’s, p. 107).
So, while they claimed Jesus and the Apostles gave us complete doctrine, they introduced ideas that did not come from them. Eerdman’s gives us this statement revealing the source of their ideas.
The ancient world had a great respect for tradition and precedent, especially in religion. Christianity seemed to be quite new; this set a serious stumbling-block. Christian writers tried to overcome this problem by demonstrating that the faith had centuries-old roots in Israel and in the wisdom of the Greek philosophers (Eerdman’s, p. 106).
That statement should cause people to take notice. Few Sunday morning church-goers have any idea how many their beliefs come from Greek philosophy rather than the Bible. Continuing with the quote from Eerdman’s on page 106:
Justin Martyr wrote: ‘Christ is the Logos in whom every race of men shared. Those who lived in accordance with Logos, true reason, are Christians, even though they were regarded as atheists; for example, Socrates and Heraclitus among the Greeks.’ (Eerdman’s, p. 106)
My friends, do you get it? Here we have one of the most famous theologians of mainstream Christianity telling us that it is not what one believes, but how one believes, that determines a real Christian. In other words, it’s not the answer, not the conclusion, but the process by which you arrive at an answer. Modern education is not so modern! Wake up! According to Justyn Martyr, if one uses “true reason,” he is a Christian, even atheists!
But it doesn’t stop there. Origen is another early influential theologian.
Origen [185–254 A.D.] tried to express the Christian faith in terms of the prevailing Platonic philosophical ideas of his time. Some of his speculations, for example about the pre-existence of souls and universal salvation, were repudiated by the church, and helped bring about his later condemnation. But Greek Christian theology continued to be concerned with the problem which Origen tackled—the relationship of philosophy and the Christian tradition (Eerdman’s, p 104).
Tertullian wrote a work titled On the Soul sometime between 196 and 212 A.D., but what influenced his thinking?
But his well-known question, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” expressed a rejection of philosophy that was not true of his own work, since he demonstrated how pagan intellectual achievements could be made to serve Christianity” (Eerdman’s, p. 111)
In other words, he criticized others for using Greek philosophy, but used it in his own writings.
There’s more, much more. From the Encyclopedia Britannica,
Augustine [354–430 C.E.] adopts a Platonic thought [that which comes from Plato] when he teaches that the immortality of the soul follows from its participation in the eternal truths. … The belief in human immortality in some form is almost universal… (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., “Immortality,” page 336) 
Honest theologians know that today’s professing Christianity is not the same as that of Christ and His apostles. We’ve only scratched the surface of pagan intrusions into what people think is the religion of the Bible. Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity documents how the religion that Jesus brought was co-opted and counterfeited, but there is hope. I want to give you another opportunity to order this well-researched and documented work that exposes modern Christianity for what it is. If you really want to obey God, and frankly, that’s not very many who are watching this program, you need this resource. So call or click the link to receive your free copy of Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. There is no cost or follow-up if you call, and if you follow the link, you can either read it on our website, or you can order a free copy for yourself.
On this program we’ve seen that the immortal soul doctrine is not found in the Bible. We’ve also seen how pagan philosophy was the means by which that doctrine entered mainstream Christianity. So what does the Bible say is the hope of man?
Job asked this relevant question:
If a man dies, shall he live again? (Job 14:14)
Now that may not be important to you if you’re 25 years old and in good health. You know academically that someday you will die, but that’s way off in the future. You have plenty of time to consider that eventuality at a later time. But no one knows how long he will live and at some moment, Job’s question becomes overwhelmingly important. Job answered his own question.
All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands (Job 14:14–15).
But when, and how? Man is more than an intelligent ape. While the bible makes it crystal clear that man does not have an immortal soul, it explains that man is given a spirit that empowers his brain, makes it possible to have a genuine relationship with his Creator, and records his life’s experiences.
Job 32:8 tells us,
But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding (Job 32:8).
What this spirit does for us is partly explained in 1 Corinthians the second chapter. We read there of two spirits: the spirit in man and the Holy Spirit. Each spirit imparts to man different degrees of understanding. Let’s begin in verse 9:
… “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. … For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
Through the spirit in man, we are off the chart in intelligence. Animals with larger brains cannot begin to compete. But this spirit in man has a second purpose. It combines with the Spirit of God to give us an understanding of godly things. This is why intelligent people without God’s Spirit cannot undwerstand spiritual knowledge. But the spirit in man can combine with God’s Spirit, and when it does, it makes us children of God. Romans 8:16–17 explains,
The Spirit Himself [that is, God’s Spirit] bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…
So this Spirit gives us mind power, and makes it possible for us to have an intimate relationship with God. But it does one more thing: it records who and what we are, and at a future time, God will plant that spirit into a new resurrected body.
Paul addressed the subject of death with the Church at Thessalonica.Some members had died in the faith, discouraging others, so Paul explained that death is like a sleep, but there’s coming a future resurrection to life:
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
For lack of time I won’t read every verse in this passage, but I encourage you to do so. As we often say on Tomorrow’s World, don’t believe us just because we say it. Prove it for yourself. Paul continues by explaining WHEN the resurrection will take place. Verse 16:
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17).
It’s only at the return of Jesus Christ that the dead come back to life. Notice this passage from 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul explains that we are mortal and must put on immortality. And he shows exactly when that takes place, beginning in verse 50:
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:50–53).
We were made to form a relationship with our creator. This subject requires more time than I have on this program, and I’ll have to save a greater explanation for another day, but in the meantime, why is it that the true message of the Bible is obscured by the ideas of Plato and other Greek philosophers? Why is the so-called Christian holy day that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ named after the pagan goddess Ishtar, and celebrated with eggs, rabbits, and other fertility symbols? Why is the birth of Christ celebrated on the birthday of the sun god Mithra? These are only a few of the questions you ought to be asking.
The astounding answer is found in our booklet Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. Be sure to order your free copy today. And if you don’t want to miss another tomorrow’s World program, hit the subscribe button and the notification bell. Until then, may the peace of God the Father and Jesus Christ be with you!
The astounding message in this booklet will affect you in the years just ahead, and it will also affect your eternal future! It is vitally important. This information has been suppressed for many centuries, but it is information that you need to know!