Nature of Man

by Gertrude Battle (Used by permission)


l. Man is Mortal

A.Is man mortal or immortal? Job 4:17 ; Rom. 8:11

Man lost his chance for immortality when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. See Gen. 3:22-24 We all die today because we no longer have access to the fruit of the tree of life. The natural death of man is the result of sin, not the punishment for sin.

B. Where do we find the only place in the Bible where the word immortal' is found? 1 Tim. 1:17

It is found only once and it refers to God.

C.The word immortality' is found only five times in the English Bible.

1. Who only has immortality? 1 Tim. 6:14-16

God only has immortality.

2. Where do we learn of it? 2 Tim. 1:10

Through the gospel. Otherwise, we would know nothing concerning life after death.

3.What are we supposed to do? Rom. 2:7

To seek for it. When you are seeking for something, you obviously do not have it.

4. When will we receive it? 1 Cor. 15:51-54

We will receive it when Jesus comes.

II. Creation of Man

A.How and when was man made? Gen. 2:7

He was made a perfect man from the dust of the ground, but he did not become alive until the breath of life was breathed into him. He became a living soul. It was the breath of life that caused him to live.

B.What is the breath of life called? Job 27:3 ; Gen. 7:22 margin

The word spirit' is used in many ways in the Bible. Angels are called ministering spirits'; the third person of the Godhead is called the Sprit of God; a person is spoken of as having either a good spirit or an evil spirit. The breath of life is also called the spirit of God.

C. When man dies what happens to him? Eccl. 12:7

He goes into reverse. His breath leaves his body; his body returns to the earth as it was. How was it before he was made? As Job asks, Where is he?'

III. Animals are Souls

A. Do animals die the same way? Ps. 104:25 , 29 ; Eccl. 3:18-21

If a man and a dog perished in a desert, they would both die the same way. Their breath would leave their body and they would both return to the dust as they were.

B.What is a soul? Gen. 1:20 , 30 margin

Here God is not speaking of man, but animals. They are called souls'. A soul is any creature belonging to the animal kingdom that lives and breathes and dies. This is speaking from a biological standpoint. In one sense man is made up of three parts--the mind, the body, and the breath of life. When the breath of life leaves the body, the brain ceases to function and the body dies. You cannot separate them. Man is a higher order of being and is moral or immoral. Animals are neither. Man will be held accountable to God for his actions. Animals do what nature tells them to do. They have no choice.

IV. Both the Righteous and the Wicked Unconscious in Death

A. How does Job describe a person in death? Job 14:1, 2 , 7 , 9-15

If you cut down a tree it may sprout and come up again, but when man dies, he is not raised nor awakened out of his sleep. Job expected to wait in the grave until his change would come. Job 17:13-16

B.Does this mean that both the wicked and the righteous rest together in the grave? Job 3:17-19

Yes. All classes will remain in the grave until the resurrection. Compare Job 21:30 , 32 KJV ; 2 Peter 2:9 KJV

V. Called a Sleep

A. What was the change that Job spoke of and when will this take place? 1 Cor. 15:51-53

The change from mortality to immortality takes place when Christ comes. See also 1 Thess. 4:15-17

B. What did Jesus call death?

Death is a sleep. It is a wonderful thought that God does not consider His people as dead, but only taking a nap.

C. What is man's condition in death? Ps. 6:5

He has no memory, nor does he praise the Lord. Ps. 115:17 It is called a place of silence. Ps. 146:3,4 He does not even think. How can he think without a brain? How can he praise the Lord without a mouth? Eccl. 9:5, 6 , 10 Whatever you wish to do, do it now.

VI. Foolish to Try and Contact the Dead

A. In view of what we have just read, what pertinent questions does the Psalmist ask? Ps. 88:10-12

How foolish to try to contact the dead.

B. In what is man's only hope? John 11:20-26

In the resurrection of Christ. In the eyes of God His people are asleep awaiting the coming of Christ, who will awaken them and take them to heaven.

VII. Some Exceptions

A. Enoch Gen. 5:24

Enoch did not die.

B Elijah 2 Kings 2:11

Elijah did not die.

C. Moses Deut. 34:5, 6

Moses died, and God buried him. But if you compare the following texts you will see that he was resurrected and was on the mount with Peter, James and John when Jesus was transfigured before them. He was seen and heard talking to Jesus along with Elijah. Peter, in relating this experience later, called it power and coming of our Lord,' thus fulfilling the prophecy made by Jesus in Matthew 16:28. This was a miniature picture of the second coming of Christ, when He comes in all His glory. God's people were represented by these two men. Rom. 5:14 ; Jude 9 ; Matt. 16:28 ; 17:1-5 ; 2 Peter 1:16-18 Moses represented those who will be resurrected, and Elijah, those who will be translated without seeing death. Up until Moses died, death reigned. But Moses was the first to be resurrected. Rom. 5:14

D. What did Isaiah prophesy concerning the resurrection of Christ? Isa. 26:19

'Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.'

E. When was this fulfilled? Matt. 27:52, 53

When Jesus came from the tomb He brought a multitude with Him who witnessed to His resurrection>

F. What happened to them? Eph. 4:8 margin

They ascended with Jesus as the firstfruits of the harvest.

VIII. Thief on the Cross

A. Did Jesus go to Paradise on Friday when He died? John 20:11-17

No. He rested in the grave until early the morning of the first day of the week. When He saw Mary, He had not yet gone to His Father.

B. Did the thief die on Friday? John 19:31-33

No. Jesus died of a broken heart and, therefore, was dead before sundown that evening. Victims of crucifixion were sometimes known to live for several days. Some people believe that the thieves' legs were broken to keep them from escaping. They were taken down from the cross over the Sabbath--a very cruel custom.

C. What did Jesus mean in Luke 23:42, 43 ?

Place the comma behind the word today' instead of the word thee.' Jesus was telling the thief that very day, even though He was hanging on the cross dying, that he would be with Him when He comes into His kingdom. That is still in the future.

IX. Conclusion

A. When will the righteous be with Christ in Paradise? 1 Cor. 15:21-23

When He comes for His people to take them home with Him.


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Updated 6/19/2006 by Kim Rollins