Due to various electronic necessities, insignificant formatting, punctuation, capitalization, etc. and other minor editing has taken place. Spelling has been addressed especially where scanning has caused errors.

Links to the various sections can be found at the bottom of the page.


The Truth Shall Make You Free



CHAPTER V

HUMAN SOULS CREATED

69

GOD made the earth to be inhabited by man. The sixth creative day was closing. The masterpiece of God's earthly creation was yet to come, to preside over all lower animal creatures and to do so in the image of God, who presides over all creation. To this end this earthly masterwork must be intelligent above the subject animals. It must be in the likeness of the Creator by possessing the needed measure of wisdom, power, love, and justice. Again the Lord God used his only begotten Son, the Word, as a master workman, and to him Jehovah God spoke when finally ready to bring forth the climax of his earthly creatures.

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over

70

every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1: 26-28) Here the Creator gave to the man and his mate a mandate respecting the earth. The mandate included more than being in the image of God by exercising dominion over all the earth and its living creatures. God by his "master workman" had made the first human pair by his direct power. He would make no more of them directly. He gifted them with the power to reproduce their kind by marriage union; unlike the angels, who "neither marry, nor are given in marriage", all of them being God's individual creations by his Word. Therefore the most responsible part of that divine mandate to the perfect man and woman was to "be fruitful and multiply" their own human kind and to fill the earth with a Godlike offspring.

The great Provider favored this beautiful human pair with perfect freedom from want and freedom from fear. There was plenty for all, man and beast alike. "And God said, Lo! I have given to you every herb yielding seed which is on the face of all the land, and every tree wherein is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you shall it be for food; and to every living thing of the land, and to every bird of the heavens, and to every thing that moveth on the land wherein is a LIVING SOUL, every green herb for food. And it was so. And God saw every thing which he had made, and lo! it was very good. So it was evening, and it was morning, the sixth day." (Genesis 1:29-31, Roth.) A period of about 42,000 years had passed by now since God said

71

toward the earth, "Let there be light." After all the preparatory work of those thousands of years the loving Creator Jehovah had given man and woman a start that was "very good".

Jehovah having pronounced it "very good", it was nothing short of a perfect start. By man's faithful continuance in the carrying out of the divine mandate to him things could remain perfect for man in that free original world in which man was created. What more work of Jehovah God was needed in man's behalf? None; and so the Creator turned over to man the dominion of the earth as God's visible earthly representative. Man's work and privileges must thenceforth proceed according to the divine mandate.

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:1-3) It is foolish to think this means that Almighty God was exhausted or weary from his work on this small planet earth and that thereafter he was obliged to rest for personal recovery. "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding. It is he that sitteth above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that

72

stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in." (Isaiah 40: 28, 22, A.R.V.) Hence, when Exodus 31:17 states that "on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed", it means he had achieved the work he had purposed toward the earth, and he felt the refreshing exhilaration and joy of achievement. He rested, too, in the knowledge that nothing that might develop thereafter could thwart or successfully block his purpose as to the earth. He would be equal to any emergency that could arise, and would overcome it.

Man's time the moon would mark off into months. The statement at Genesis 2:1-3 does not say that God divided time for the perfect man and woman into seven-day periods and commanded them to observe a rest or sabbath-day every seventh day. As long as this perfect pair observed the divine mandate they would rest in their Creator and enjoy freedom of worship and freedom from fear and want, and thereby they would enjoy God's sabbath rest with him. They would enjoy a perpetual sabbath by faith and obedience to him.

The account of creation of man given in Genesis, chapter one, is a general one. That in chapter two is a detailed one, filling out the shorter account above. In this chapter two the name of Jehovah appears for the first time, because thenceforth the name of the Lord God becomes involved with man on the earth. The account is very simple and revealing as to the human soul and how it was created. Study the language:

73

"And Jehovah 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, A.R.V.

Notice here the same expression "living soul" as in connection with the lower animals when created. In the Hebrew text the expression is nephesh chayyah. (Genesis 1: 20, 21, 24, 30) God made the human creature, man, or Adam, to be a "living soul" by first creating the human body and then breathing into it, not a soul, but the "breath of life", the energizing power, and then combining that life force with the body. A "living soul" means a living creature; and on earth it means a creature that breathes while alive. Man, or Adam, was a living soul like the lower animals, having a material body and breathing the atmosphere of the firmament the same as did those animals; only man, or Adam, was of a higher order, having an upright form and being of far superior intelligence. He was also in God's likeness and image. The lower animal souls die. Can the human soul die? And if it can die, is it nevertheless possible for it under right conditions to live forever? The Bible gives answer.

In the section of the earth called "Eden", which means "Pleasure", and in the eastern part thereof, Jehovah God planted a garden or paradise, and there he put the man, to "dress it and to keep it". It was in truth a pleasant place, the only specially prepared place on earth, and its life-sustaining trees and watercourses are

74

briefly described at Genesis 2: 8-15. Though but newly created, Adam was fully matured and perfect in stature, and he could talk with intelligence. The Creator caused Adam to get acquainted with the animals in the garden, that he, as one having dominion over them, might name them. Mark carefully the reading of the account: "God had formed from the ground every living thing of the field, and every bird of the heavens, which he brought in unto the man, that he might see what he should call it, and whatsoever the man should call it, any LIVING SOUL, that should be the name thereof. So the man gave names to all the tame-beasts, and to the birds of the heavens, and to all the wild-beasts of the field; but for man had there not been found a helper as his counterpart." — Genesis 2:19, 20, Roth.

Here the Record again applies the term "living soul" to the birds and other animals, the same as to perfect man in God's image and likeness. The animals were mortal souls and had been dying prior to man, either due to the limited span of life or due to the creative processes' yet operating about the earth, such as falling canopy belts from above the firmament. Is man also a mortal soul? That is, can a human soul die? Does it perforce have to die, like the lower animals, or can it survive forever? Is it immortal?

True answers to these questions are revealed in Jehovah's law to Adam. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of

75

the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." — Genesis 2:16,17.

This proves the human soul to be mortal, even when man is perfect and sinless as Adam was on receiving this command of God. If the human soul were immortal God could not have said that man's disobedience to God's law would bring the penalty of death upon man. Adam, the human creature, was a soul. He had no soul within him that was separate and distinct from his human body and that could exist independently even should the dissolution of the human body occur. God, who had made the human soul by the union of the earthly body with the breath of life, could unmake that soul if it proved rebellious against God's law. Then that soul would cease to be. It would die, forasmuch as the living creature, the man, who is the living soul, would die. So reads Ezekiel 18: 4, 20. — Psalm 104:29.

Nephesh, the Hebrew term for soul, is also many times translated life in the English Bible, whether it means the life of a beast or life of a man. Therefore, if a creature is possessed of life, it can be said of that creature that there is a living soul in him. For example, Genesis 1: 30 reads: "And to every living thing of the land, and to every bird of the heavens, and to every thing that moveth on the land wherein is a living soul." (Roth., and the A.R.V., margin) Also,

76

2 Kings 4: 27 reads: "Her soul is vexed within her." When the prophet Elijah miraculously restored a child to life he said to God: "Let this child's soul come into him again." "And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived."  — 1 Kings 17:21,22.

Because the blood circulating within the blood vessels is the basis of human and animal life, the life is said to be in the blood: "Flesh with the soul thereof, the blood thereof, shall ye not eat; and surely your blood of your souls will I require." (Genesis 9: 4, 5, Roth., margin) "As for the soul of the flesh, in the blood it is, therefore have I given it unto you upon the altar, to put a propitiatory-covering over your souls; for the blood it is which by virtue of the soul maketh propitiation." (Leviticus 17:11, Roth., margin) Therefore the life, or soul, can not survive and exist as an intelligent creature apart from the body. Like the blood drained from the body, so life or soul does not exist apart from the body. When the life forces are withdrawn from the body, the soul or living creature dies, and not merely the body.

In the warning to Adam of a death penalty for disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit Jehovah God made no mention of a place of conscious torment, either temporary or eternal, after death. In all the divine record of creation it says nothing of making a burning "hell" of torment to provide for torturing human souls there. No such place ever existed, and it would

77

be hateful to Jehovah and out of harmony with his wisdom, justice and love for him to provide such a place of everlasting torment for sinners. What is more, it is impossible for sinners to be sent to such a place, because at death the sinner soul dies and ceases to be. "The wages of sin is death." (Romans 6: 23) If after the disobedient partaking of the fruit God confined the human soul at death in a torment hell, as taught by religion, God would be changing the announced penalty by the enactment of an ex post facto law, a law made after the committing of the crime. However, Jehovah says: "I change not."  — Malachi 3:6.

Without wresting the Scriptures, it is seen that the human soul is mortal and that Almighty God can put it to death for sin. Contrary to religion's teaching that the human soul is immortal, God's Word of truth plainly states: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18: 4, 20) This does not mean, however, that the human soul cannot live forever on earth. In fact, God made provision for man to inhabit and live in paradise on earth forever, by causing to "grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil". (Genesis 2:9) What if man forever held back from eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or until God himself should lift the prohibition on the tree after a sufficient test upon humankind? Adam and his offspring could then

78

live forever on earth. Hence, while under test, Adam's right to everlasting life was only conditional, dependent upon obedience. Doubtless, after humankind would prove faithful and obedient under the test, God would lead man to the "tree of life also in the midst of the garden" and grant man to eat thereof, so symbolizing and guaranteeing to obedient tested man the right to life eternal.

After publishing the law of obedience God provided Adam with a wife, that there might be human offspring. God by his Word had made Adam direct from the elements of the earth; but with a rib taken from Adam's side as a foundation God built up a perfect woman, a female human, that they two might be one flesh. It was then that their Creator blessed them and gave them the divine mandate to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth". (Genesis 2:18-25; 1: 28, Roth.) It is wrong to apply to the perfect Adam and Eve the scripture at Hebrews 9:27: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." That scripture applied to the Jewish high priest on the Atonement Day and, later, to the Antitype thereof. As for Adam and Eve, a course of obedience which led to eternal life on earth was appointed to them. The searcher of the inspired Scriptures can therefore detect the untruthfulness of the religious catechism which says, without Scripture proof: "The chief blessings intended for Adam and Eve had they remained faithful to God, were a

79

constant state of happiness in this life and everlasting glory in the next." Jehovah God held out no hope to them of a "next life" supposedly in heavenly glory. For Adam and Eve it was a case of either continuing their present life by reason of unceasing obedience to God or death eternal for disobedience.

Adam and Eve lived on earth in a free world, because there was no sin or unrighteousness in it. They had the truth which makes the truth-keeper free. They worshiped God in spirit and in truth amid the open paradise of Eden. They had no tormenting fears, but only the godly fear which seeks to avoid displeasing God. They were given no law of the Ten Commandments. They were perfect, whereas 1 Timothy 1: 9,10 states: "The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine."

No definite time was set for them to begin carrying out that part of the divine mandate concerning filling the earth with their offspring. They were under no appointment to death, and all eternity was before them; and there was no pressing obligation or any undue haste required. Dressing and keeping the garden, and

80

exercising dominion over the lower animal creation, filled their days with joyful activity and untiring interest and divine blessing.





Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0!