The true God is a God of justice. The Bible at Deuteronomy 32:4 says of him: ". . . Perfect is his activity. For all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness who is never unjust; Righteous and upright is he."
This God has four major attributes: love (1John 4:8); wisdom (Job 12:13); power (Isaiah 40:26) and justice. God's power is evident in creation: his ability to bring forth things that never existed.
In the Garden of Eden, God expressed his wisdom in that he created everything man would need to lead a happy life first. The he created man himself. Not only that. By his love, God gave the man something more to satisfy the desire of his heart--a woman--even without the man requesting it!
God is not power drunk. He exercises his power within the bounds of the other attributes. He does not act tyrannical. He lovingly explains matters to puny creatures. For example, his first command laid upon Adam was clearly set out : "From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it. For in the day you eat from it, you will certainly die."
So clear and self-explanatory, isn't it? You aren't deprived of anything you desire. Even satisfy yourself with all you wish. But just this: To show the extent to which you recognize and honour your creator, you must not eat or even touch only one of the trees in the garden. What if you do? Certainly, you will die.
However, an enemy came onto the scene. While appearing concerned and friendly, he was actually deceitful. The deceit began with his appearance. He put on the form and figure of another creature. He is an angel, but he appears as a serpent. Deceitfully, he twisted God's statement to ". . .you must not eat from every tree in the garden." Remember, he was an eyewitness to God giving the instructions.
Having heard the correct version of the instruction restated, he told Eve: "You certainly will not die." He thus took an opposing stand against God and earned himself the name SATAN meaning opposer. He further told Eve that God knew what was best for man but was withholding it! He said: "God knows that in the say you eat from it, your eyes wiil be opened and you will be like God knowing good and bad." Accoding to him, disobeying God would bring untold benefits. One, there will be nothing like death. Two, disobedient mankind would gain promotion and become like God. Three, man will be able to determine what is good or bad, independent of God. Thus he slandered God and earned his other name, Devil, meaning slanderer.
The major issue here goes beyond mere opposition or slander. God's sovereignty is being challenged. This enemy is saying that God's rulership is devoid of love, without mankind's interest and therefore, wrongly exercised.
This enemy of God was actually an enemy to man himself. It's a pity, Eve first and later Adam, both fell into the enemy's trap! And instead of their becoming'gods' themselves, they made that enemy their god.
Let us consider the effects of this first lie. As with every lie, the truth must overtake it at some time. Then the liar must fabricate another lie to cover up. That process then continues in a chain.
Adam and Eve disobeyed their loving heavenly father. They fell into sin, lost perfection and the favour from God. They were sent out of their beautiful paradise home. Outside the garden, they lived a life of stress and suffering. They ended up dying. They lost for themselves and their offsprings, the prospect of living forever as perfect creatures in perfect conditions.
Ask the enemy: Did Adam and Eve die as God promised them? Again he answers "No". But they no longer existed! Where are they then?
Another lie got invented. The enemy now says that any man who dies only transits to glory, into heaven. That means death is not a punishment but an elevation to a higher level. A stand again in opposition to God.
But would they go to heaven when God never promised they would go there?
Initially, it was all who died that went to heaven according to Satan. Another lie of course because when passing judgment on the sinful humans, God said, "you will return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return."
And if the dead actually go to heaven, in what form: with their fleshly human bodies?
The enemy gave a new explanation, another lie of course, that the physical body is the only thing that dies. God preserves the soul for life thereafter. According to him, man possesses a soul that is immortal. But God's own account of creating man is clear: man became a living soul. Two things here. One, the man himself is the soul. Two, the soul is either living or dead.
Death knows no bounds. It kills the righteous and the unrighteous alike. Would all of them thus transit to heaven? The enemy needs another lie to cover up.
The enemy resorted to the greatest blasphemy on the God of justice. According to him, God has abandoned his original judgment. He has created another avenue for souls that survive the death of the body. So, the souls of the righteous go to heaven and the souls of the unrighteous go to hell. What then happens to the souls? He continues: the righteous live in heaven enjoying eternal bliss, but the unrighteous are in hell where God has added another feature, fire. So, the wicked souls are in hellfire where they continue burning and suffering for all eternity. Unfortunately, some who accept this lie even demarcate between the cold and the hot types of hell!
The questions are: Could a man be sinful from conception to death? Even if so, how long does man live? Never up to one thousand years. If a man lives for less than a thousand years and is put in fire for more than a thousand years, does that indicate justice on the part of the judge? So once again, the enemy slanders the true God, the righteous God of justice.
Finally, imagine that a criminal committed a serious crime against you. You go to court seeking redress. Would you as the victim accept as justice a judgement to beat the criminal's shadow or to heap fire on it? When the wicked practise sin, was it the soul and not the body that did the wrong? What justice is in only the soul, (the shadow) excluding the body (the real criminal as you see commit the crime and arraigned in court) suffering the punishment for the sin? Does it make sense? Surely, the true God is all-wise and cannot be fooled into doing such a thing.
God created man from the dust, breathed into him the breath of life which makes man a living soul. (Genesis 2:7) Man is not given a soul but he himself is a soul. The soul is mortal not immortal. (Ezekiel 18:4, 20) Once the breath of life goes out, the man dies just as any animal dies. (Psalms 146:4; Ecclesiastes 3:19,20.) Since both the righteous and the unrighteous die, God has made a provision that differentiates between them. Through the resurrection, the righteous return to life and live eternally. (John 3:16,36) For unrighteous people, death is the wages sin pays. (Romans 5:23) Their death is everlasting just as life for the righteous is. (2Thessalonians 1:9; 2Peter 3:7; Deuteronomy 7:10)
Each man now has a choice to make. Either to support the true and wise, God of love and justice or to support his archenemy, Satan the Devil. When one agrees with the Bible truth regarding the soul, death and life, he won't slander or oppose God. When one subscribes to a soul outside the human body, an immortal soul that continues living after death and is probably burning eternally, he supports God's enemy, slanders and paints the God of justice cruel.
Make a choice!
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