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Life After Death

6 Origin of the Natural

6 Origin of the Natural Immortality Theory Who started the theory of the natural immortality of man, of his soul? The Egyptians believed in the immortality of the soul, and passed the doctrine on to the Greeks and Romans, who in turn gave it to Christianity. But this belief did not originate with the Egyptians, but with the devil himself. God said, “You shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). The devil said, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). The devil deceived Eve and nearly the entire world. Countless millions live in fear, dread, and superstition, and under religious tyranny because of the devil’s lie and by reason of the multiplied horrible theories that have been built upon this original falsehood. After man sinned, God removed him from the tree of life, lest he live forever (Genesis 3:22, 23). God did not propose to have everlasting sinners. Death is Like a Sleep Death is like sound sleep. There is no consciousness of the passing of time. When David is resurrected, it will seem but the next instant after he died—“the twinkling of an eye” as it were. In the Bible death is called “sleep” fifty-four Life After Death Text.indd 6 5/26/11 1:26 PM

times. Said Paul, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [died]” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). In sound sleep there is no thought or remembrance. A man lies on a bed as in a complete coma. His heart beats, his blood circulates, and his breathing is regular, yet he knows absolutely nothing about anything. Someone hits him over the head and kills him. Then, he knows everything, some say. Says the Bible, “The dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5). It was Thomas Gray, in his well known Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, who wrote: The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour: The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Can storied urn or animated bust Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honor’s voice provoke the silent dust Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). That was the question raised by suffering Job as his body wasted away, as his bones 7 Life After Death Text.indd 7 5/26/11 1:26 PM

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