THE LAMB OF GOD
According to the word of God, the “man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5) is “without controversy… God… manifest in flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1Timothy 3:16; John 1:14). As the two of them went up the mountain, Isaac asked his father Abraham, “…where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering…” (Genesis 22:7-8). This prophecy was fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist declared Jesus to be “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36).
The sure word of prophecy — God has given us a “sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2Peter 1:20-21). The entire “volume of the book” (Psalm 40:7) of “the holy scriptures” (Romans 1:2; 2Timothy 3:15) is “…the record that God gave of his Son” (1John 5:10).
The soul-saving gospel — The “glorious gospel of Christ…” (2Corinthians 4:4), “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1Corinthians 15:3-4), “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
The sin of unbelief — Jesus told his apostles that when the Holy Ghost “is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:8-9). “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son” (1John 5:10). The record of God’s Son was given to men by the Holy Ghost (1Peter 1:20-21). Any man who rejects the scriptures and speaks “against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31-32; Luke 12:10).
The throne of the Lamb — Isaiah prophesied that the government shall be upon the shoulder of the Son of God: “and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Creator of all things — By God’s “dear Son…were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:13-17). When the apostle John was caught up to heaven in the spirit, he saw that “a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne…” (Revelation 4:1-2).
“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting… and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind… And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:4-11).
The Lamb upon his throne — After this John wrote: “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:13; 6:16; 7:9-10; 22:1-3; 1Kings 22:15-19).
The everlasting God — The prophet Isaiah declared: “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding” (Isaiah 40:28; Romans 16:26). Jeremiah wrote: “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation” (Jeremiah 10:10). Moses prayed unto the Lord and said, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2; Micah 5:2; Psalm 41:13; 93:2; 106:48; Habakkuk 1:12).
The soul of the Lamb — On the cross, the LORD [the Father] made Jesus Christ’s “soul an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10) — “for the sins of the whole world” (1John 2:2). On the cross, the Father saw “the travail of his soul [and was] …satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11). On the cross, the Lord Jesus “poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). When his body died, his soul descended “into the lower parts of the earth” (Ephesians 4:9). But his soul was not left in hell (Acts 2:27).
The Lord Jesus Christ “rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1Corinthians 15:4)!
CREATION OF THE SOUL OF MAN
“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). “The first man Adam was made a living soul” (1Corinthians 15:45).
The trinity of man—As God “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost… are one” (1John 5:7), so man — created “spirit and soul and body” (1Thessalonians 5:23) in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), is also one.
Definition — The soul is ‘The spiritual, rational and immortal substance in man, which distinguishes him from brutes; that part of man which enables him to think and reason, and which renders him a subject of moral government. The immortality of the soul is a fundamental article of the Christian system. Such is the nature of the human soul that it must have a God, an object of supreme affection.’ (Noah Webster, 1828)
Attributes of the soul of man — According to the word of God, the soul of man is eternal, has many characteristics, and experiences many things, both good and evil. The soul has been called ‘the seat of the emotions.’
According to the scriptures:
– the soul blesses others, cleaves in love, has many longings, makes choices,
– hates, loves, lusts, grieves, cries out, weeps, trusts in God, waits on God,
– pants after God, thirsts for God, boasts in the Lord, follows hard after God,
– suffers leanness, faints, can refuse to be comforted,
– longs and faints for the courts of God,
– abhors meat, may find and return to rest, longs for God’s judgments,
– melts for heaviness, may dwell at ease, has adversities, keeps God’s testimonies,
– praises God, has knowledge, may be destitute, waits and hopes,
– may be won to God, has delight, has bitterness, loathes, delights in fatness,
– desires evil, sins and dies, delights in abominations, abhors God, can love God,
– can be sorrowful unto death, can be subverted, can suffer tribulation and anguish,
– may be kept in well doing, and will be divided from the body at physical death.
– Also, the soul is kept by obedience, is discouraged, is afflicted, has desires, is vexed,
– may enter into a covenant, becomes weary, mourns within the flesh,
– is taken away by God, is abhorred, takes counsel, is converted by God’s law,
– is restored by the LORD, is joyful in the Lord, is humbled, is healed,
– is cast down and disquieted, is bowed down, is chastened with fasting,
– is delivered from lying lips and the lowest hell, is melted and full of trouble,
– is delighted by God’s comfort, is satisfied and filled with goodness,
– is preserved by the Lord, is filled with praises for the LORD
and with the scorning and contempt of the proud, is strengthened by the LORD,
– is wronged, is in danger of everlasting destruction, is famished, is liberal,
– is made fat, is delivered to God, is snared by lips, has need of knowledge,
– is sinned against, is kept by God, is refreshed, is sought by the just, enjoys good,
– is filled with good, is wearied, is joyful in God, is satiated and replenished,
– is polluted, is hunted, is lifted up, is required of God, is possessed in patience,
– is destroyed for not hearing, is subject to higher powers, is anchored by hope,
– is warred against by fleshly lusts, is unstable, is righteous, is able to prosper.
God’s words are sweet to the soul, and the hearing soul shall live. A wise man loves his own soul, but a partner with a thief hates his own soul.
Everlasting unity of soul and spirit — “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). According to this verse, the “soul and spirit” continue to be eternally united. At death they are divided asunder from “the joints and marrow,” the physical body.
A revealing example — During the time of Jacob’s trouble, when the Lamb had opened the fifth seal, the apostle John wrote: “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Revelation 6:9-11).
From this account, we understand that the soul and spirit are together because it is by the spirit that a man has wisdom and understanding and revelation (1Corinthians 12:8; Ephesians 3:5; 1John 3:24). We also learn that the soul of man has a bodily shape and can wear a robe.
The temporary house of the redeemed soul — A man is saved when he believes in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9). The soul is saved by believing the engrafted word of God (Hebrews 10:29; 1Peter 1:9; James 1:21; 5:20), and by returning “unto the Shepherd and Bishop” (1Peter 2:25) of his soul. His soul is then progressively purified by obedience to the truth (1Peter 1:22). At the very moment of his salvation, his spirit is “born again” (John 3:3-8), and his soul is redeemed (1Corinthians 15:12-13, 21, 42; Revelation 20:6) “with the precious blood of Christ” (1Peter 1:18-21).
But his body will not be redeemed until “the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5-6): “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels [our fleshy bodies], that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2Corinthians 4:6-7). God has made known to us “…what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Waiting for the redemption of the body — The scriptures call the mortal body of the born-again believer (Romans 6:12; 2Corinthians 4:11) “our earthly house of this tabernacle” (2Corinthians 5:1), “…the body of the sins of the flesh” (Colossians 2:11), “our vile body” (Philippians 3:20-21), and “the body of this death” (Romans 7:24). Speaking of his “fleshy” (2Corinthians 3:3) body, Job said unto God, “Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews” (Job 10:11). David said: “Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me” (Psalm 142:7; 119:109).
As long as the souls of believers remain in their mortal bodies, they are subject to experience many sufferings. We “know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:18-23).
Location of the soul between death and resurrection — The soul departs the body at death (Genesis 35:18; 1Kings 17:17-22). According to the word of God, we believers “are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2Corinthians 5:5-8). When the Lord descends from heaven to resurrect all the members of his “body, the church” (Colossians 1:18), he will bring the souls and spirits of the “dead in Christ” (1Thessalonians 4:16) with him (1Thessalonians 4:13-18).
The eternal house of the redeemed soul — According to the word of God, at “the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14), the Lord Jesus Christ “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). Believers must be changed (1Corinthians 15:52) and receive new glorious bodies, for the LORD told Moses, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Exodus 33:20).
As long as we are at home in our corruptible body, “we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2Corinthians 5:6-8). “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1Corinthians 13:12). At the resurrection of the just we will be caught up “to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4:17) Then we “shall see his face” (Revelation 22:4).
Job said unto his friends, “…And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27). David declared, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psalm 17:15). The psalmist wrote: “My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word” (Psalm 119:25). All born-again believers should “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (2Corinthians 5:1-4). We know that God will make “all things new” (Revelation 21:5), “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
It is amazing and entirely beyond the ability of believers to imagine or comprehend “the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1Corinthians 2:9). After the resurrection of life, their redeemed souls will be for ever clothed with bodies “like unto his [Christ’s] glorious body…” (Philippians 3:21). Then they will dwell “in the light which no [natural] man can approach unto…” (1Timothy 6:16). They will dwell in the glorious light of the Lamb (Revelation 21:23) for ever!
The mystery of the first resurrection — “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1Corinthians 15:47-52).
The imagined house of the heathen — Some unbelieving evolutionists are Transhumanists who have become “vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). Being spiritually blind, some of them have insanely put their hope in man’s ability to create a hybrid body for man—a chimera, through genetic manipulation. Others believe that man will produce a body through technology for the human mind to animate. This worldly wisdom “is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (1Corinthians 3:19).
These poor fools—who have said in their heart, “There is no God…” (Psalm 14:1), seek to live for ever without God! These unbelievers are “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
The eternal house of the unbelieving — Jesus told his apostles: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Everlasting destruction — According to Jesus Christ, except men repent of their sin of unbelief (John 16:9), they “shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3-5). One of the definitions for perish is: ‘To be lost eternally; to be sentenced to endless misery. 2 Pet 2.’ Noah Webster, 1828.
This definition agrees with the word of God, which says that the “unbelieving… shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8; 20:14-15; Luke 13:3-5)! The prophet wrote: “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isaiah 33:14). The Lord Jesus declared, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:41-46).
Jesus said, “…it is better for thee to enter into life maimed… halt… [and] with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48). Speaking of the unbelievers “…who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” during “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21) in “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), the word of God declares: “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night…” (Revelation 14:11). At the time of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29), all the unbelieving will be cursed with “eternal damnation” (Mark 3:29)!
God will clothe the souls of all the unbelieving with bodies prepared to “dwell with everlasting burnings” (Isaiah 33:14)! As God made “…the bush [that] burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2-3), so God will also make bodies for the unbelieving that can burn and not be consumed! The Lord Jesus said, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26; Luke 18:27).
Equipped only with “the wisdom of this world [which] is foolishness with God” (1Corinthians 3:19), brilliant men of “science falsely so called” (1Timothy 6:20) reject God’s “words of truth” (Acts 26:25; Proverbs 22:21) and declare these things to be impossible. These unbelievers are blinded to the truth that the science of “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) is not suitable or sufficient to understand the operations of the Lord’s kingdom, which “is not of this world…” (John 18:36; 8:23)! Except these men repent of their unbelief, they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2Thessalonians 1:9)!
RELATIVE VALUE OF THE SOUL OF MAN
Great value to man — The Lord Jesus asked, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). There is nothing more valuable to a man than his everlasting soul, for the soul of the redeemed will enjoy “fulness of joy [and]… pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11) in the presence of God. But the soul of the unbelieving man “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2Thessalonians 1:9)!
The LORD’S estimation of man’s soul — In the past, “God commendeth [expressed] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16; 2Corinthians 5:14-15). It is certainly true that God “now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30) because the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9). Nevertheless, every man is given the choice of receiving or rejecting God’s free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ (Joshua 24:15).
The soul of believers — The Lord Jesus Christ “gave himself a ransom” (1Timothy 2:6; Matthew 20:28) for every member of his “body, the church” (Colossians 1:18). Every born-again believer has been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ…” (1Peter 1:18-19). They have been “bought with a price” (1Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). God has purchased his church “with his own blood” (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:12-14). The church is typified by “one pearl of great price,” which the merchant man found, sold all that he had, and bought (Matthew 13:45-46). The price of redemption given by God to purchase a man’s soul is a measure of his estimation of the soul of every believer.
Loved and preserved for ever — The LORD “…loveth him that followeth after righteousness” (Proverbs 15:9; Psalm 145:8). The LORD “…preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 97:10; 145:20). “For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:28). “The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked” (Proverbs 10:3).
The soul of unbelievers — According to the word of God, “the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. All nations [unbelievers] before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (Isaiah 40:15-17). “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth” (Proverbs 10:20). Unbelievers “shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1)!
God forewarns them: “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you [When they die, they will lift up their eyes in hell (Luke 16:23]. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:24-33).
ALL SOULS ARE CALLED
Jesus came to save lost souls — Jesus declared, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10; Matthew 18:11; Ezekiel 34:16), and: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:24-25).
God’s final invitation — In the last chapter of the Holy Bible, it is written, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
The Spirit of God is still calling (2Thessalonians 2:14; Ephesians 4:4) men by “the word of the gospel” (Acts 15:7), “the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13-14). For “the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1Peter 1:25), “…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1Corinthians 15:3-4).
Will you come? — The Lord commanded, “…hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:1-3). Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
God promises all lost souls — The righteousness of faith says, “…The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:8-13).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).