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Spirit, Soul and Body

Discussion in 'Christian Debate Forum' started by MTPockets, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. MTPockets

    MTPockets New Member

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    I'm jus' going to hurriedly submit some pertinent considerations which might be helpful for those needing to know how the body, soul and spirit composite of man functions.

    In Genesis 2:7 we read that the God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being. Man was given a visible material body which is composed of the elements of the earth. It contains all faculties to function on earth. The visible body of man has eyes to see, ears to hear, a mouth to speak, feet to walk, hands to work and a mind to fathom all things relative.
    However, because God used two 'materials', (dust and spirit), it caused an incredible uniqueness to belong to man, Man was created for a life in two worlds. God has equipped man to be simultaneously active in both heaven and on earth.

    What does the Bible verse mean when saying, "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life"?
    In the original Hebrew, it has the word 'neshamah'. The Old Testament translates this Hebrew word on a number of occasions by the word 'spirit''; (eg: Job 26:4, Proverbs 20:27). And also with the word 'soul'; (eg: Proverbs 20:27, Isaiah 57:16 SV). Therefore, the breath of life is something invisible; something originating from and intended for the invisible spiritual world.
    When God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life", it took the form and shape of an invisible inner man which was created from the elements of heaven and equipped with heavenly abilities. It is this inner-man which permits man to function in the invisible spiritual world.

    Paul speaks about the eyes of man's heart (Eph 1:18). Mark writes that Jesus knows in His spirit (Mark 2:8).
    Therefore, the spirit of man has the ability to see. Man has spiritual eyes.
    Revelation frequently states that whoever has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church.
    Therefore, besides having natural eyes and ears, man also has spiritual senses with which he is able to perceive in the spiritual world.
    Isaiah speaks about: expecting your voice to be heard on high, (Isaiah 58:4).
    So, clearly man also has a spiritual mouth with which he is able to speak in the spiritual world.
    Man also has the ability 'get hold of' something in the spiritual world,
    Thus, man has spiritual hands.
    Ephesians 6 calls on us to put on the full (spiritual) armor of God and to dress our inner man with it.
    Paul was not speaking here about our natural body but about our spiritual body; our invisible hands, feet,head and waist..
    John 13:21 says that Jesus was very sad. Jesus was moved in the spirit. His spiritual heart is touched.
    Man not only has a natural heart but also a spiritual heart.
    So it is that we understand the call in Proverbs 23:26 saying, "My son, give Me your heart. It is speaking here about our spiritual heart; the very core of our inner being and life.

    Man was not created like the animals and the birds which have their substance out of the ground; from 'dust' alone, (Gen 2:19). Animals do not possess 'neshama' which would enable an existence and a conscious functioning in the spiritual world. They only live on earth.
    The angels were formed out of 'spirit' alone. Angels do not have a material body and are incapable of building an existence on the earth. Their spiritual body does not function as 'neshama'.in a natural body. Angels can only function from the heavens.
    However, God created man for a life in both heaven and on earth with the intent of an eternal life in alliance with Him. Because of this, man has the glorious ability to simultaneously function in both the invisible and visible worlds. Such is the stupendous unique being 'man'! It's not for nothing that man is named the crown of His creation.

    The invisible inner-man functions similar to the visible outer-man,
    Therefore, the meaning of Paul's words in Corinthians now become obvious: "If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body", (1Cor 15:44).
    Paul is not speaking about obtaining a spiritual body at the resurrection from the dead. On the contrary! Paul was speaking about having a spiritual body at this very moment.
    Every man has from the instant of his birth both a natural body and a spiritual body.
    When Paul wrote, "May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ", (1Thess 5:23), he included both the inner-man and the outer-man ... the spiritual body and the natural body.
    The invisible spirit and soul together form the invisible spiritual body of man.


    The Bible speaks about the inner man with the words 'spirit of life' and/or 'breath of life' which is meaning the spiritual body of man as 'neshamah'. It functions in his natural body and forms an entity with it. It is through this inter-relationship between the spiritual and natural body that man lives; how he exists as a living being, (Gen 2:7).
    The 'dust' becomes animated by the 'spirit'.


    The point I wanted to make with this Thread is that each person from the very beginning of his existence has one life in two worlds at the same time. We have a natural body with which we function on earth and with which we can live to the glory of God. And we also have a spiritual body with which we function in heaven and can live in fellowship with our heavenly Father.
    For those who doubt this, I ask you to once again read Ephesians 2:6 where it says, "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus ".
    Please note the past tense of the verb "HATH' raised us up together".
    The Amplified Version makes this verse even more plain:
    "And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together giving us joint seating with Him in the heavenly sphere by virtue of our being in Christ Jesus the Messiah, the Anointed One".

    It is exceedingly crucial for every Christian to properly comprehend the trinity-composite of man. Without a proper understanding, it's near impossible to live and walk and have our being in the kingdom.

    There is a lot more that could be added to this subject; in particular concerning the soul and spirit. ... the heart and mind ... and how all these seamlessly function together in a regenerated man. But I don't want to risk writing a book here. :)
     
  2. JB_Reformed Baptist

    JB_Reformed Baptist Many are called but few are chosen.

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    Have you ever read the book the "SPIRITUAL MAN" by Watchman Nee? He covers things like this but in greater depth than any I know. :)
     
  3. MTPockets

    MTPockets New Member

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    Hi! 'JB_Reformed Baptist'
    Every time I'm asked this question, I laugh aloud to myself.
    Why?
    Well, I was such a total mess when I first heard the Gospel (1969) that a Christian who had volunteered to 'adopt' me into the fold became so despaired with me that he gave me "The Normal Christian Life' to read. I was certainly not a 'normal' Christian at the time and this eager but frantic man was at his wits end about it.
    Anyways, yes, I have read all the Watchman Nee books and also his close associate's books too, (forgotten his name). I sortta' gave up on his writings because I began to realize that this man was so busy 'dying to self' and crucifyin'-whatever that he hardly had time to exhale and perhaps begin to genuinely live.
    All the same, he did write some excellent foundation teachings and I'm very much grateful for that.
    I especially did not agree with his ideas concerning the total depravity of man. I found it much to similar to the strangeness of 'original sin'.
     
  4. williemac

    williemac New Member

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    Very nice, MT, but I want to add my two cents worth. I believe that in the beginning there was no separation between physical and spiritual. There was just one realm. They were divided when we saw Adam and Eve taken out of the garden of Eden. They will be restored to one realm in the end. Our new resurrected body be a hybrid of sorts, containing properties similar to that of Jesus, after His resurrection. In the meantime we have two bodies, one natural and one spiritual. However, our being seated with Christ is not about location, but rather position. There is a difference.

    As for the heart. I have a long testimony about how I came to the understanding, but for time's sake ( I am off to work shortly), I will suggest you consider that the heart is that which the secular world calls the subconscious mind. You can substitute that term for heart virtually every place in scripture and it fits. (Guard your heart, for out of it springs the issues of life) ( as man thinks in his heart, so is he) (thoughts and imaginations of the heart) etc.

    As for living in two worlds at the same time, not so much. Those who are absent from the body are present with the Lord. Math.10:28 speaks of the body dying but not the soul. In other words, we do not leave this realm until our physical body dies, and the soul leaves it. Then our soul requires a body in the spirit realm. This is seen in 2Cor.5:1.

    As for angels, well they can indeed materialize in the physical realm. (hint: it may have to do with the speed of the molecules, either being slowed down to our level, or sped up to the spiritual level, likely the speed of light) In fact there was a time before the flood that some had left their domain and came into women on earth and had offspring. This is biblically documented. There were giants on the earth back then. It would also explain things like the great pyramids and other historical feats of engineering that cannot even be explained or duplicated today.

    Good topic. Blessings
     
  5. MTPockets

    MTPockets New Member

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    Hi! Williemac
    Thank you for your most courteous and polite reply. Your Posting etiquette is very refreshing.
    After reading your reply, I began thinking about some questions that everyone might wish to ask themselves:
    Have you ever asked yourself how it is that there are people throughout the centuries who functioned on the earth as witches and spiritists and other such occult practices? Could it not be said that such people are active in the invisible world through the powers/spirit of the anti-Christ?
    That's why it's so astonishing to me that some Christians continue to have difficulty understanding that they too are equipped to be active in heavenly places.
    Doesn't our Bible plainly say that we have a citizenship in the kingdom of God? Can you imagine a citizen living in a country without becoming active with all the goings-on there? How can we rightly claim that we are seated in "heavenly places in Christ Jesus" if we refuse to acknowledge a conscious life there?
    In this day and hour, the children of God are witnessing a daily increase in the workings of the children of the evil one. While the sons of God are presently being inspired by the Holy Spirit, the sons of perdition are being inspired by the spirit of the anti-Christ. In both cases, they show the origin of their citizenship ... whether that be from out of the kingdom of light or the kingdom of darkness.
     
  6. williemac

    williemac New Member

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    Thank you for your kind words. Right back at ya. I have no problem with your point of view, but just wanted to put some experiential reality into it. We do not actually perceive the invisible realm with our Physical senses. We do know that it is real and very present around us, and that we can interact with it. However, we do not have to be in a location in order to have citizenship there. As I said before, location and position are not the same. Being seated in heavenly places is our 'position' in Christ. You are presently seated at your computer. That is your location. Blessings, Howie
     
  7. MTPockets

    MTPockets New Member

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    Hi! 'Williemac'
    You are correct in saying that heavenly places should not be thought of as a 'location'. Rather, it is better imagined as a 'climate' or 'atmosphere'..
     
  8. veteran

    veteran New Member

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    Not bad. :)

    Ecclesiastes 12:5-7 is also an important Scripture for understanding those distinctions.

    The "breath of life" is in connection with our soul and spirit which God put into Adam. It is also what He put into each one of us born in this flesh.

    The Eccl.12 Scripture gives another point about how... our flesh and our spirit are connected while alive here on earth. There's a "silver cord" involved. If it is parted, then a separation between the two happens, our flesh going back to the earth where it came from, and our spirit going back to God Who gave it.

    Per later instruction in the NT, like Matt.10:28, our Lord Jesus revealed that our soul is not killed with the flesh, but only by God Himself (pointing to the future "lake of fire" of Rev.20).

    Thus we are both spiritual and fleshy beings while on this earth.

    This should help others in understanding just how it is possible to be "born again" by The Spirit while living upon this earth. That is a literal operation to our 'spirit' inside our flesh body. We can't see it literally or physically happenning, but we can see the results of it. Likewise with visions that God gave His prophets, it becomes easier to understand how that is possible too once it's understood about our spiritual body that's dwelling inside our flesh.

    Understanding this should also explain to those who always wanted to know why God commanded us to not mess around with pagan practise and familiar spirits common in witchcraft, etc. Those evil spirits are very real, and can gain sway over our spirit if we invite them in. Through Christ Jesus they are cast away from us through His Name. This is why it's important to understand all this, because if one doesn't believe the Heavenly realm and spirit world existence, they will not recognize the importance of guarding theirselves and their loved ones through Christ Jesus here and now.
     
  9. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    Actaully, I have to disagree with this. There is nothing in Scripture that speaks of people going to heaven. Secondly, you quoted the Genesis account of creation which shows that man is two fold. He is dust of the earth and the breath of God. That's it. We can see this is so because Job says that if God retrieved His breath all flesh would die. This indicates that God's breath is in all living flesh.

    14 If He should set His heart on it, If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath,
    15 All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust.
    (Job 34:14-15 NKJ)

    Solomon states that man is no different than the animals, that all have one breath/spirit. We know from the creation account and Jobs words that that breath/spirit is God's.

    18 I said in my heart, "Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals."
    19For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity.
    20 All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.
    21 Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? (Ecc 3:18-21 NKJ)

    There is no disembodied consciousness that lives on after death. When God retrieves His breath all return to the dust.
     
  10. veteran

    veteran New Member

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    The Job 34 idea is of flesh ending, not one's spirit. Jesus showed in Matt.10:28 that one's soul does not die with flesh death. Apostle Paul showed the same in 2 Cor.5 and 1 Cor.15, as Solomon also did in Eccl.12:5-7.

    Eccl 3:21
    21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
    (KJV)


    You totally disregarded that Eccl.3:21 verse at the end of what Solomon was saying in order to keep your fleshy tradition of men. Solomon clearly points to the spirit of man going upward, back to God per Eccl.12, but that of animals going downward to the earth, meaning man's spirit is different... than the animals.

    Per your fleshy reasoning there can be no Salvation, no resurrection, no eteranl existence after one dies. That's the premise your fleshy doctrine is upon with thinking our flesh is all there is.
     
  11. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    Since we see in the creation account that there is only one spirit/breath in a man and that spirit/breath goes back to God at death because it is His, there is nothing left to live on. And no, neither Jesus, Paul, nor Solomon taught that the spirit/breath lives on after death, they were speaking of the Resurrection. The idea that the "soul" lives on after death has it's roots in Greek Philosophy and Gnosticism, not the Scriptures
     
  12. veteran

    veteran New Member

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    Then you fall into the same category of those in 1 Cor.15 that Paul rebuked for thinking those who sleep in Jesus are perished.


    1 Cor 15:12-20
    12 Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
    13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
    14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
    15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
    16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
    17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
    18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
    19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
    20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
    (KJV)


    Even in 2 Cor.5 Paul taught how if our flesh body were dissolved, we have another body not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. And that's the kind of body the "spirits in prison" were in per 1 Peter 3, when Christ went and preached to them.


    The actual idea that is heathen, and pagan, is the idea that man is a flesh being only, and once the flesh is dead the person then ceases to exist. There is nothing to raise from the dead with that kind of heathen view, for if the dead aren't raised, then those who sleep in Jesus are perished, like Paul said above.
     
  13. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    The dead are raised that is the whole point. They are not off existing in some state of limbo somewhere. There Scriptures clearly teach that when a man dies his body returns to dust and the spirit/breath (which is God's) returns to God. That's it, what is left? Nothing, there is nothing to live on. One can easily see a picture of the Resurrection by looking at Ezekiel chapter 37.

    KJV Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
    2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
    3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
    4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
    5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
    6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
    7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
    8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
    9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
    10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
    11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
    12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
    13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
    14And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD. (Eze 37:1-14 KJV)

    Here we see the same thing that we see in the creation account, the bodies from the dust of the earth and God's spirit/breath breathed into them and they live. Nothing is said of a man's spirit returning from some place of waiting or what not, it's simply not there. The text is clear that the body comes together and God's spirit/breath is breathed into it and it lives.

    However, it is actually the idea of a disembodied spirit that continues on after death that is from the heathen. It has it's roots in Greek Philosophy and Gnosticism. It actually entered into Christianity from the teaching of Plato.
     
  14. veteran

    veteran New Member

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    Solomon in Ecclesiastes showed that man's spirit is different than that of the animals, Christ did the same in Matt.10:28 when He said to not fear those who kill the body (flesh), but not one's soul. In the NT, the idea of man's spirit and soul are at times used interchangeably, because we are made up of a spirit with our soul attached to it which is put into the flesh, which is what Apostle Paul showed in 1 Cor.15.

    Thinking that we are like the animals and are flesh only is an old Pharisee doctrine of the fleshy mind. They didn't understand this then, nor do they today. And that's the origin of the 'dead in the ground' theories. Many of them even miss the distinction in OT Scripture about the Rephaim as 'the dead' that will not rise (not resurrect - Isaiah 26:14). Thus they often miss the idea of death to one's spirit separate from the flesh order, which is what the future "lake of fire" is about.
     
  15. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    You're basically just repeating this. The Scriptures are clear, what is left when the body returns to dust and God's spirit/breath returns to Him? Nothing, there is nothing left to live one. A soul is comprised of a body and God's spirit/breath.

    7 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 KJV)

    There is no difference between man and animal.

    8 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
    19For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
    20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
    21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? (Ecc 3:18-21 KJV)
     
  16. williemac

    williemac New Member

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    So someone in their infinite wisdom saw the word "became" and concluded that this was a definition of man!!?? I don't think so. It would not fit what the bible says in other places. We must proofread our conclusions with scripture. What the passage actually is saying is that when God breathed into man's nostrils, he came to life. The passage had no intention to define man's entire being as a "soul". The emphasis is on the word "living", not the word "became". It is not telling us that he turned into something else when God breathed into him.
    We know that the soul is separate from the body from passages such as Math.10:28..." do not fear the one who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy BOTH body and soul in hell( Gehenna) fire." The word "both" is non negotiable. It identifies two things or items as not being the same thing or item.
    As well, from 2Cor.5:1, we can see that if our earthly body dies, we have another one which is eternal in the heavens. Thus we have two bodies. One is earthly. The other spiritual. The soul is that part which is called "we", who dwells in these bodies. The body connects the soul with its environment. But as Jesus said in Math.10:28, the earthly body can be killed, but when this happens, the soul is not also killed. Not in the first death.
     
  17. veteran

    veteran New Member

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    And you're just repeating yourself, STILL wanting to focus on Eccl. as if it's the first and last word on the subject. What about Matthew 10:28? What about Matthew 25:41? What about 1 Corinthians 15:44 and 1 Cor.15:49?

    Yes, and Solomon even revealed in Eccl.12:5-7 that there's a "silver cord" that links our flesh body and spirit together while alive on earth, and is severed at flesh death, each part going back to where it came from.

    Thus the more in-depth meaning of God breathing the breath of life into Adam's flesh and he became a living soul is about God placing Adam's spirit inside an earth material flesh shell.

    The Jewish sect of the Sadduccees didn't believe in the idea of resurrection though, and that's an early origin for the 'dead in the ground' theories that have crept in among Christ's body.
     
  18. domenic

    domenic New Member

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    I am a writer of fiction. I understand how a simple word can confuse a reader. Many years ago, an old man was upset that people were taking short cuts across his lawn. This was a time when San Diego California was a Navy Town. The old man put a sign on his lawn which read, “Keep off. Sailors only.”
    Some took the sign to mean everybody could cross the lawn, except Sailors. Others took it to mean, only Sailors could cross the lawn.
    I guess that is why some believe man has a spirit which gives him the ability to live in Heaven also.
    Just trying to reflect on the subject, in the spirit of things.
     
  19. williemac

    williemac New Member

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    Disembodied spirit? This term indicates to me that one thinks a spirit has no body. But we know there is a spiritual body. Spirits look very much like they have bodies.
    However, back to the dead being raised. This does not mean coming back to life. It means coming back to earth in an appropriate body. In the resurrection, Paul declared that not all would sleep but all would be changed. If not all are sleeping (dead), then how could they be part of a resurrection, if resurrection means coming back to life?

    Are you forgetting Math.10:28? Jesus taught that it is possible to kill the body but not the soul. Then He said that at a later time, in Gehenna, which is actually the lake of fire, BOTH would be destroyed.

    In the meantime, before this event called the second death, a dead person does not go to Gehenna, but either to be with the Lord or to be in Hades, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Paul specifically used the term absent from the body (2Cor.5:8). This ought not to be glazed over. Absent means absent, as in not there. And this is in the passage where we find that we have two bodies; one for this realm and the other for when this fleshly body dies.

    So therefore, if we have an earthly tent, as Paul put it (2Cor.5:1), then there is another part of us that dwells in this tent, called "we" who dwell in it. So now we can see three parts. Two bodies and the entity dwelling in them. If we marry these three with 2Thess.5:23, where we also find three parts, namely spirit, soul, and body, we find names for the three.
    The part that dwells inside these bodies is the soul (mind, from psyche). We know this from Math.10:28, where when the body dies, the soul does not. Therefore if the soul is still alive, it still needs a body. By process of elimination, this would be our spirit, which goes back to God.

    If we call the spirit just 'breath', then we have nothing tangible. But there are spirits. They are tangible. They can be seen. When the disciples saw Jesus after the resurrection, they thought they were seeing a spirit, a member of the spiritual realm. Jesus corrected them, not by saying it is impossible to see a spirit, but by revealing that He had flesh and bone, unlike a spirit. They have bodies of a different type. It is a spiritual body.

    Our present spiritual body is not the same one we will have in the resurrection. That one will be different, as the spirit realm and physical realm will merge and be as one, just like they were in the beginning. Thus an appropriate body will be required; one like that which Jesus had when He rose from the dead. He had flesh and bone but was still able to seemingly walk through walls, and appear and disappear. His body is what we would call a hybrid body. And by the way, this is what at least some angels have. This is why they can move around undetected but also appear as men on earth, at will.
     
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