by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XII

MAY, 1933

Number 10.

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.


The Greek word PSUCHE, answering to our word PSYCHE, means SOUL.  It is the sensation resulting from the combination of an organic body with breath of spirit.  The soul is declared in the scriptures to the soul of the flesh, and is in the blood.  See Lev. 17:14, where the word "life" is used in the King James Version, when the original says "soul". 

The soul is not the spirit.  It is not the flesh. But it is the soul OF the flesh, and is in the blood, which is in the flesh.  It manifests itself in bodily and mental pleasure or suffering.  It is much more closely allied to the flesh than to the spirit, and therefore the whole person is sometimes referred to as a soul. 

Psychology is a science relating to the soul.  While much in so-called psychological propaganda is "bunk", pity of it is, it is too often taken for spirituality. 

That the soul manifests itself in pleasurable sensation, is proven by the passage in Luke 12:18,19, where we are told of the successful farmer who said to his soul, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry."  Mentally enjoying prosperity, and eating, drinking and resting, is soul-joy.  That mental and bodily suffering is soul-suffering, is proven by Mat.22:38, where Christ said, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death".  Christ had a soul, as well as we.  That the soul is the seat of the sensations of bodily and mental joy is proven by the words of Christ in Matt.6:25.  "Be not anxious about your soul, what we shall eat, or what ye shall drink".  When we enjoy food or drink it is soul-enjoyment. 

"He who is finding his soul shall be destroying it, but he who destroys his soul on my account shall be finding it.-"Matt. 10:39.  This was said to Jews, in view of the coming kingdom, which shall be a kingdom of soul-enjoyment, rather than spiritual delight.  The Jew who refused to suffer for the sake of Christ was finding his soul, and he was told that he would destroy it-not be permitted to enter into the future kingdom. He who destroyed his soul by suffering for the sake of Christ should find it-enter into the kingdom when it is set up.  This, however, is not said to us. 

It is interesting to know what Paul the apostle to the gentiles, said of the soul.  Prisca and Aquilla had jeopardized their necks for the sake of Paul's soul. (Rom. 16:4)  For his bodily and mental comfort they had risked their necks.  Slaves were told to serve from the soul, and look to the Lord to requite them. (Eph. 6:5-8)  Because they were slaves they had to suffer.  They were to endure the suffering, (this is serving from the soul), and go ahead and render the service that was expected of them, Paul told the Corinthian saints, (2 Cor. 12:15), that with the greatest relish he would spend and be bankrupted for the sake of their souls.  He would spend all his money in serving them, rather than cause them to suffer mentally or bodily, in supporting him. 

"The soulish man is not receiving that which is of the spirit of God, for it is stupidity to him, as he is not able to know it, seeing that it is spiritually examined." (1 Cor.2:14).  The soulish man is the one whose spirit is not touched by the spirit of Christ.  After this is done he has spiritual understanding, and is supposed to respond to the spirit.  But the soul is not changed, any more than the body is.  The spirit is life, but the body is dead.  The man whose spirit is thus changed is supposed to be a spiritual man, but the body is dead.  The man whose spirit is thus changed is supposed to be a spiritual man, but the body remains a soulish body, until the change in the resurrection.  See 1 Cor.15:14.  While it is a soulish body, even though the spirit is life, (having been touched by the spirit of Christ), the body will respond to the soul hundreds of times more often than to the spirit.  But in the resurrection it will become a spiritual body, and be entirely responsive to the spirit. 

There are many soul-joys that are entirely legitimate.  Indeed, we must have them, in order to live.  But I propose to show that saints and sinners get the joys of the soul alike.  We are not to think we shall have soul-enjoyment as a result of divine service. 

I have already shown that eating is responding to the soul.  Paul shows that saints are to get their food by working for it, just like sinners get theirs.  Going to church and rendering divine service is not the means of getting it.  "If anyone is not willing to work, neither let him eat", (2 Thess. 3:19), is said of saints, as well as sinners.  We need such things as food, drink, money, homes, friends, social enjoyment, etc., but let us not imagine that we shall have them simply because we serve the Lord.  They are soul-joys, and all must get them alike.

The only respect in which these soul blessings come as a result of offering divine service is when the saints support the minister who gives his time to and for them.

Strange as it may seem, there is little in the divine service which we are supposed to render that is conductive to soul-satisfaction.  The devotions that we owe to God, if rendered faithfully, results in the opposite of the salvation of the soul.  We are supposed to be continually giving up the soul for the sake of Christ and the saints. 

Paul's first chapter, (1 Thess. 1), is a specimen of all his writings.  Note what we find here: Work, toil, endurance, affliction, slaving, waiting, etc.  See the next chapter: Suffering, being outraged, a vast struggle, not pleasing men, not seeking glory from men, refusing to be a burden, sharing the soul with the saints working day and night, etc.  Thus runs the course all through his epistles.

What joy is mentioned in the same two chapters is spiritual joy, not soulish: Holy spirit and much assurance, with joy in holy spirit, delight in sharing the gospel and his soul, with other saints.  This is a specimen of the joy of the saints.  It is not mental or bodily satisfaction, and, therefore, is not soulish.

Unpopularity, persecutions, sufferings, watchings, waitings, anxitieties, fastings, hunger, cold, these were the soul-experiences of the faithful saints in Paul's day.  Christendom has missed the point.  What will make us popular?  What does the wisdom of men dictate?  We must be disposed to things on earth.  The one who is not being persecuted is bound to be right.  We must be in high glee and not endure anxieties, colds, hunger, etc.  To do so is foolish; let us   avoid all these.  So thinks the religious world, and so acts the religious world. 

In 1 Cor. 1, Paul rebukes the saints for using their religion to foster the enjoyment of the soul.  They boasted of belonging to parties.  If let alone they probably would have formed denominations, known as "Paulinians" "Appollonians", and "Christians". None of these was the name God had selected for His church.  His name for it was "The church of God" (see vs.2).  Rejoicing in these names, the saints would soon have been non-fellowshipers, but it would have been psychological, not spiritual.  As great joy as saints have ever experienced in life is the joy of belonging to a sect.  Not many are satisfied to not "belong" Why?  Because they are spiritual?  No; because they are soulish.  "I am a Methodist", or  "I am a Baptist", or "I am a Primitive Baptist", has been the boast of thousands.  The very fact of belonging to a sect gotten up by man as all denominations are, causes shouting, tears of joy, ecstasy that is indescribable.  Yet it is all psychological.  It cannot be spiritual joy, when it is something God has not authorized.  Any kind of "religion", no matter whether heathen or "Christian", causes joy.  It is a thing that appeals to the tendency of man to belong to something.  The so-called "Holy Roller", when he loses all reason and sense, in a wild ecstasy of joy over his religion, is only going a little further along the same road that all sectarian saints are traveling, when they find psychological joy in belonging to sects.  It is simple joy of soul, and not of spirit.  That they are honest in it, makes it the more deplorable. 

Since the soul is allied with the flesh rather than the spirit, and since it is a recognized fact that ANY religion will make people happy, then is it not wise to stop and consider whether our joy is soulish or spiritual?  It is a fact that much of the joy that is obtained in revivals is psychological.  Much of the good feeling that is engendered by hearing preaching, without regard to whether or not the truth is being rightly divided, is soul-feeling, not spiritual delight. 

What do you know of persecution? Have you ever been unpopular with the masses?  Do you hold the truth that caused Paul to be persecuted?  Do you know what anxieties are? Have you been shut out of the synagogues?  Are people warned to not hear you?  Are people watching your every step hoping to catch you in an error?  If so, you know what it is to serve God in the way that is directly opposed to the soul.  In such service there is spiritual delight, but not such amount of it as to overbalance the soul loss.  You find the greatest delight in looking forward to the time when you shall be with Christ in resurrection, and have fullness of delight in His presence. 

If you get enough satisfaction out of your religion that you are satisfied with the present wicked eon, and the coming of the Lord does not appeal to you, you may be sure that your religion is psychological, and not spiritual.

If you insist on spiritual realities, and discount psychology in devotions, you will find yourself very lonely.  The world wants a religion of hilarity, popularity, psychology, sectarianism, earthly things, etc. 

I have no objection to the proper amount of soul-enjoyment.  You need it, such as food, clothing, companionship, etc.; but I do object to making these your object in serving the Lord.  In His service you are supposed to find joy in Him, joy in seeing the spiritual growth of saints, joy in suffering for the truth, and for others.  But bear in mind, these things are such joys as only the saint can have, and are, therefore, spiritual.  Nine tenths of the joys of religion are such as the unsaved can enjoy, and do, enjoy, as well as the saints, because they appeal to the soul.  Such are soulish joys. 

It you would be sure your joys are spiritual, compare them with those of Paul, our apostle.  He never found joy in the following: Sectarianism, denominations, water baptisms, meeting houses, associations, any kind of ritual, or any phase of divine religion that was not intended for the saints of the body of Christ. 

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