At death, these two components separate. The body returns to dust, and the breath returns to God. The soul goes nowhere it simply ceases to exist. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life.
According to the Bible, the words “spirit” and “breath” are the same as seen in the following verse “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3). The spirit is found in the nostrils where the breath is. So, the spirit that returns to God when a person dies is the breath of life, not a disembodied soul.
In the Bible, except in allegorical usage, the soul does not go in and out of the body; neither does it have an independent existence outside of the body. The soul is simply the conscious life which resulted when God added the breath or spirit to the body.
After death a soul: returns to dust (Psalms 104:29), knows nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possesses no mental powers (Psalms 146:4), has nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), does not live (2 Kings 20:1), waits in the grave (Job 17:13), and continues not (Job 14:1, 2). There is no reference in all of the scriptures that the “spirit” have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. The dead sleep unconsciously in their graves (John 11:11-14) till the Lord raise them up at the Resurrection Day at the end of time (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
Here is a simple illustration: Let us liken the body to a light bulb. The electricity flowing into that bulb represents the breath of life which God puts into the body, and the light itself will represent the soul which man became after the breath joined the body. It is a representation of the completed creation. If we turn the light off, the electricity leaves the bulb just as the breath leaves the body at death. But did the light go up into the electric socket? No, it simply ceased to exist. Now where is the soul when the breath separates from the body? It simply ceases to exist.
So, at the resurrection, God gives the breath of life to the body and the soul comes alive again.
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In His service,