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"The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything." Eccl. 9:5.

Satan was the first to teach that the human soul is naturally immortal. He said to Eve, "Ye shall not surely die." Gen. 3:4.

"The Egyptians were the first to assert the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal." —(Herodotus, Greek Historian, 484-425 B.C.).

Plato (427-347 B.C.) taught that the soul is divine, uncreated, immortal and passes through many incarnations.

Plato, Pythagoras, and many Greek philosophers studied in Egyptian colleges, where they mastered mystical arts, and absorbed occult beliefs.

Philo (20 B.C. - A.D. 47) a mystic Jew, tried to fuse Platonic and Egyptian philosophy with Judaic teachings. He taught that the soul is immortal, and the lost suffer eternal torment.

Athenagoras (A.D. 127-190), Platonic philosopher and quasi-Christian, was the first in Christendom to use the term "immortal soul." He based this view not on Scripture, but Greek philosophy.

Tertullian (A.D. 160-240), Bishop of Carthage, advanced the idea of the soul's natural immortality. and of ceaseless torment for the lost. He wrote, "The [wicked] are consigned to the punishment of everlasting fire—that fire which, from its very nature indeed, directly ministers to their incorruptibility.. . . It does not consume what it scorches, but while it bums it repairs."

Christians did not adopt "soul immortality" until certain North African church fathers, influenced by Plato, espoused it about AD. 200. A century later, they split into two antagonistic schools, divided over eternal torment and universal restoration.

Based on the heathen notions of immortality, the Roman Catholic church adopted the myth of purgatory.

Our hope of enjoying immortality should not rest on the heathen concept of the immortality of the soul as taught by the ancient pagan philosophers, but should instead rest on the sure word of Scripture.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:23.

"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.

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Created: 8/1/01 Updated: 2/5/04