We all don’t want to lose things of value. And often, the higher the value of something the more willing we get to pay a higher price for it.
Price is what we pay to get what we need or want. When a seller is setting up a price for something a number of things are considered. For example, how much does it cost to acquire, manufacture, or ship the product? Now, we all know that everything we possess or use, whether in our homes or offices or elsewhere, was acquired at a price. In the world of business they say “there is no free lunch”! That means it is impossible to get anything for nothing. But the prophet Isaiah has something different to tell us:
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? 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” (Isa.55:1-3).
How can we buy something without money and without price? In our world something without price means it is cheap. However, that is not so with the ‘commodity’ Isaiah is inviting us to buy; it is without price because its value is too high for any price in this world! Yes, there is one thing that money cannot buy – life! Isaiah 55:1-3 is actually an invitation to receive life. This can be seen in the third verse of the chapter – “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live”. In this we see that a soul can either be alive or dead!
We have a body. In it is a soul which constitutes our thoughts, awareness, and consciousness. All these characteristics of the soul exist by the power of the spirit of life which came from God – “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” (Gen.2:7).
To continue living man was to live by the wise counsel of God; partaking of the forbidden tree would result into death (Gen.2:17).
Man began his existence in the presence of God. Getting detached from that presence would result into death! It is important to note here that a thing is sustained by the substance from which it was made. As long as something is attached to the substance or place of its origin, it will continue living. In the beginning God caused plants to come forth from the soil. The soil was the origin of the plants and so as long as a plant is attached to the soil it will continue living; its leaves and flowers will continue looking beautiful. But when a plant is removed from the soil it gets detached from its origin and it won’t be long before it dies. Similarly, when God was creating fish he brought it forth from the water. Water is the place of origin for the fish and so it will continue having life as long as it is in the water. If you remove a fish from water, whether it’s a great and strong fish like a shark or whale, it will die! Now when God was creating man, he first made him in his image as a spirit being before placing him into a body of dust (Gen.1:26, 2:7). Man was created in the presence of God and was filled with the spirit of life. That spirit of life is what made the soul become conscious as a “living soul”. The soul in turn related to the physical world through the five senses of the flesh that was formed from the ground.
Physical death occurs when the soul, together with the spirit of life in it, leaves the body. When that happens the body cannot respond to anything because consciousness or awareness has gone out with the soul.
The death of the body can be caused by the piercing of a sword. However, the sharp edges of a sword can only sever the soul from the body. But there is another kind of death which occurs when the spirit of life leaves the soul! If life leaves the soul all awareness of existence will cease and that would simply mean becoming non-existent! This kind of death can only be caused by God because his sword is sharper than any sword – “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit” (Heb.4:12). And so, “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” (Mat.10:28).That is the fate of all “children of disobedience”. They will burn in the Lake of Fire until they extinguish out of existence!
The lake of cleansing fire
Why will God burn souls in hell-fire? Will it be for them to just feel pain? What kind of fire will this be for it to be able to burn spiritual beings like fallen angels as well as human beings?
It is beyond the comprehension of our minds to fathom what exactly will characterize hell-fire, but one thing we know is that God uses fire for cleansing. Souls in the Lake of Fire will comprise people who had been ‘loaned’ the pure spirit of life but which they contaminated, so to speak, with their corrupt lifestyle. Before that life returns to God, the soul that held it will have to pass through fire. The fire will burn the vain soul until the pure spirit of life is severed from it! “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev.20:14-15). When the spirit of life would have departed from all wicked souls and angels of darkness Evil would have been annihilated.
A greater loss
I hope we can all see that the greater loss to be feared in life isn’t that of property or even of the body of flesh during the First Death, but the loss of one’s soul which will occur to children of disobedience in the Second Death! Like the Lord Jesus admonished, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mat.16:26). “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev.20:6).
Surely nothing can be given in exchange of the soul because the life that makes it to exist is too valuable for any price we know of. It is without price! One can only buy it with his own soul using the ‘currency’ of free will. Such a decision is made possible by consciousness which in turn is caused by the spirit of life.
That our creator’s will is what is right for us should be plain truth, but why is it that many people fail to perceive this? How do people afford to live through life, everyday beholding God’s wonders in nature and the universe, but yet still remaining blind to his purpose? In foolishness man even prefers to believe that a signal caught in space, which can exhibit a designed arrangement, would signify an intelligent source, but yet shunning the wisdom of extending the same logic to the question of why the DNA molecule in living organisms in every way functions like designed computer code!
Many people have failed to perceive the truth because they are blind and have chosen to follow the counsel of fellow blind people. Didn’t the Lord warn us that “if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Mat. 15:14)? But well, the good news is that the blind can see!