Many people today assume that righteous dead become angels in heaven. But the Bible reveals that this is a mistaken assumption. The Bible teaches that human beings are distinctly different from angels in that humans are souls while angels are spirits. Let’s examine the Bible definition of souls and angels:
Soul- A soul is a living being. According to God’s Word, souls do die (Ezekiel 18:20). Man is mortal (Job 4:17). Only God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:15, 16). The concept of an undying, immortal soul goes against the Bible, which teaches that souls are subject to death.
A soul is always a combination of two things: body plus breath of God. A soul cannot exist unless body and breath are combined “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” (Genesis 2:7).
Spirit- The words “spirit” and “breath” are the same and are used in the Bible interchangeably. “The body without the spirit [margin “breath,”] is dead” (James 2:26). Job also presents the same concept “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3).
The spirit that returns to God at death is simply the breath of life. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Nowhere in all of God’s book does the “spirit” have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10). At death the breath of God goes back to Him and the soul simply ceases to exist.
For more on the state of the dead, check the following link: https://bibleask.org/bible-answers/112-the-intermediate-state/
Angelic spirits- Angels are spirits and unlike men they are not bound by a physical body “angels… Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:13,14). Also, men have different rank than angels “For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5). And, angels existed before people were even created (Job 38:4-7).
In His service,
A closing message from BibleAsk:
Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps 🙂