The Truth about
1 Sam. 28:8-15
1 Kings 17:21
1 Thess. 5:23
1 Peter 3:19
- Revelation 6:9
- "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held."
- This passage is quoted to support the teaching of Evangelicals that souls of the dead depart to heaven.
- It is generally taught that souls which go to heaven enjoy a state of bliss, but this passage speaks of souls crying "with a loud voice." (vs. 10).
- Instead of this passage supporting the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, the context shows the passage to be directly opposed to it. The souls are given white robes. (vs. 11). Can immaterial souls be clothed?
- The souls in this text are under the altar. Is this where immortal souls are said to reside?
- It is a principle in Scripture that "the life of the flesh (soul, 'nephesh') is in the blood". (Lev. 17:11). By personification, a slain person's blood is said to "cry" or "speak". (Gen. 4:10 cf. Heb. 12:24). The Revelation contains over 500 references to the Old Testament, and in this text the allusion is to the blood of the burnt offering which was poured at the base of the brasen altar. (Lev. 4:7). The passage, therefore, refers to the lives of martyrs given as a testimony to their faith. (Paul makes a similar allusion: "For I am already on the point of being sacrificed ['poured out'1]; the time of my departure has come." (2 Tim. 4: 6 R.S.V).
- The Greek word, "spendomai" translated "offered" in the A.V. means, "to be poured out". Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, (London: Lutterworth Press, 1965). Return