We understand that there is a substance or life force within mankind implanted by the Creator, which can be referred to as a life source, defined in English as ‘the soul’. It enables a person’s intellect to be exercised in co-operation with the functioning of the human body and spirit.
It is a part of our being which is generated in the embryo from which the natural body is formed.
It may be compared to the germ in a grain of wheat, and although the hull and the major part of the grain may be damaged or even destroyed, yet the germ can live.
We believe the soul has an existence independent of either body or spirit, and when a body dies, it sleeps in the grave until the resurrection, when it will be awaked out of that sleep (see Daniel 12:2).
The soul is capable of generating other souls in the offspring of individuals.
“All souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls” (see Exodus 1:5).
David realised that the soul of man is laid in the tomb with the body, for he wrote in Psalm 49:15, “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.”
The soul also contains the learning part of man, the intellect and emotions. Like a computer, it can store knowledge. We could say that the soul from experience and knowledge so stored is able to make decisions,· has the ability to choose between what is right and what is wrong (ie. the agency of obedience [seeGenesis 3:5])
· takes counsel (Psalm 13:2)
· refuses things (Job 6:7)
· is capable of grief (Job 30:25)
· is satisfied with good things (Psalm 63:5)
· feels bitterness of sorrow (Job 10:1; Mark 14:33, 34)
· is the seat of man’s emotions ( 1 Samuel 18:1)
The soul itself is not destroyed at death. The soul “sleeps” in the grave in either happiness or misery-depending on its relationship with God-until the resurrection (see Psalm 49:15; Daniel 12:2; 2 Esdras 4:40,41; Isaiah 57:2).
The soul is immortal and cannot be destroyed.
After a person has died, nothing can be done by other people to affect that person’s state in the grave. The soul “sleeping” is somewhat like our present physical sleep in which state we know nothing of what is going on around us, but yet sometimes can be aware of being in a distressed state of mind. This will not be clear until all souls awake to consciousness at Jesus Christ’s return (see John 5:25,28,29).
The soul is responsible in the day of judgment to give an account of man’s deeds done during his mortal life on earth (see Revelation 20:14).
We believe the soul and spirit are two separate parts of our being. Many understand that they are the same. Many do imagine that they are one and the same, but what saith the Scripture? It is written in Hebrews. 4:12, “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, and the joints and marrow.” Mary, the mother of Jesus, said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my Saviour” Luke 1:46-47.
The following quotations show a distinction between the soul and body. In Matthew 10:28 it is written, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul". Peter says of Jesus in Acts 2:31 that, “His soul was not left in hell, neither did His flesh see corruption”.