Will the Righteous Dead Become Angels?
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 spirits of angels:
The 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 the breath of God. A soul cannot exist unless body and breath are combined. The Bible describes creation as follows: “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). Dust + Breath of Life = Living Soul.
At death, the breath of God goes back to Him and the soul simply ceases to exist. “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to 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). Body – Breath of life (spirit) = Dead Soul.
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).
For more on the state of the dead, check out The Intermediate State.
Angelic spirits – Angels are spirits. 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 (man) 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,