The Bible Echo


December 20, 1897

Outgrowths of the Immortal Soul Doctrine


It is a marvel that Satan has succeeded so well in making men believe that the words of God, “The soul that sinneth it shall die,” mean that the soul that sinneth it shall not die, but live eternally in misery. Life is life, whether it is in pain or happiness. Death is without pain, without joy, without hatred. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 1

Satan and his angels have made a special effort to spread the deception and lie first repeated to Eve in Eden. “Thou shalt not surely die.” And as this error has been received by the people, and they have been led to believe that man was immortal, he has led them on to believe that the sinner would live in eternal misery. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 2

It Leads Men to Hate God

This has prepared the way for Satan to work through his representatives, and hold up God before the people as a revengeful tyrant,—one who plunges all those into hell who do not please Him, and causes them ever to feel His wrath; and while they suffer unutterable anguish, and writhe in the eternal flames, He is represented as looking down upon them with satisfaction. Satan knew that if this error should be received, God would be hated by many, instead of being loved and admired; and that many would be led to believe that the threatenings of God's word would not be literally fulfilled, for it would be against His character of benevolence and love to plunge into eternal torments the beings whom He had created. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 3

It Leads to Universalism

Another extreme which Satan has led the people to adopt is to entirely overlook the justice of God, and the threatenings in His word, and to represent Him as being all mercy, so that not one will perish, but that all, both saint and sinner, will at last be saved in His kingdom. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 4

It Leads to Infidelity

In consequence of the popular errors of the immortality of the soul, and endless misery, Satan takes advantage of another class, and leads them to regard the Bible as an uninspired book. They think it teaches many good things; but they cannot rely upon it and love it, because they have been taught that it declares the doctrine of eternal misery. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 5

It Leads to Atheism

Another class Satan leads on still further, even to deny the existence of God. They can see no consistency in the character of the God of the Bible, if He will torment with horrible tortures a portion of the human family to all eternity. Therefore they deny the Bible and its Author, and regard death as an eternal sleep. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 6

It Leads to Insanity

There is still another class who are fearful and timid. These Satan tempts to commit sin, and after they have sinned, he holds up before them that the wages of sin is—not death, but—life in horrible torments, to be endured through the endless ages of eternity. By thus magnifying before their feeble minds the horrors of an endless hell, he takes possession of their minds, and they lose their reason. Then Satan and his angels exult, and the infidel and atheist join in casting reproach upon Christianity. They claim that these evils are the natural results of believing in the Bible and its Author, whereas they are the results of the reception of popular heresy. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 7

God's Object in Giving the Bible

God knew that Satan would try every art to destroy man; therefore He caused His word to be written out, and made His purposes in regard to the human race so plain that the weakest need not err. After having given His word to man, He has carefully preserved it from destruction by Satan or his angels, or by any of his agents or representatives. While other books might be destroyed, this was to be immortal. And down near the close of time, when the delusions of Satan should increase, it was to be so multiplied that all who desired might have a copy, and, if they would, might arm themselves against the deceptions and lying wonders of Satan. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 8

God has especially guarded the Bible, yet when copies of it were few, learned men have in some instances changed the words, thinking that they were making it more plain, when in reality they were mystifying that which was plain, by causing it to lean to their established views which were governed by tradition. But the word of God, as a whole, is a perfect chain, one portion linking into and explaining another. True seekers for truth need not err; for not only is the word of God plain and simple in declaring the way to life, but the Holy Spirit is given as a guide in understanding the way to life therein revealed. BEcho December 20, 1897, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White