What happens to the soul when the body dies and the spirit moves on to be with the Lord?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Automatic Transcript Generated:

Speaker 1

All right, so Ken is asking, if the spirit and soul are two separate entities, what happens to the soul when the body dies and the spirit moves on to be with the Lord?

Speaker 2

Ken, my friend, that is a fantastic question. The only thing I think I’ll say quite right, but we’re not quite in sync with is the equation. So imagine a plus B equals C. Okay? So if we’re going to think about it that way, if A is the spirit, like the breath of life that God gives us and B is our body, then C would be a soul, a living being. And you see that very clearly in the Book of Genesis, chapter two, verse seven. So if you want to go there really quick, in Genesis, chapter two, verse seven, God makes this really clear. At the beginning, it says, and the Lord God formed a man of the dust of the ground. So here’s his body from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, which know the spirit. And man became a living soul. And so here it’s very, very clear. A living being in the new King James version. So a soul is basically a living being. And unless you have A and B, the breath of life, the spirit, and the body together, you don’t have C, a living soul, or a living being.

Speaker 2

And so it’s kind of like the way I always think of it is if you’re going to make a peanut butter sandwich now, there’s peanut butter and there’s bread, and it’s not until you combine those two things together that you have a sandwich, it’s a different thing. Or just like, if you have water would be the main goal. If you need water, you need to have hydrogen, right? I’m trying to remember my chemistry. Hydrogen and then two, oxygen. You need to put those together to make two hydrogen. Excuse me. And an oxygen. Hydrogen and oxygen together in that combination would make water a totally different thing. And so it’s kind of the same with us being a living soul. I’m a living soul because I have a body. And thank God, inside of my body is the breath of life. God has given me the breath of life, and it’s still in me. So I am alive. I’m a living soul. But when somebody no longer has that breath of life, they are no longer a living soul. And you see this very clearly in different parts of the Bible, but I’ll show you a few verses, just so you know that I’m not just making this up.

Speaker 2

This is Bible ask. So I want to give you a Bible based answer. We see this really clearly, first of all, in the Book of Psalms, in chapter 146 and verse four. And so here David is speaking and he’s saying, to not put your trust in princes because basically they’re going to pass away. And he says his breath goes forth. So that breath of life leaves him. He returns to his earth. His body returns to the earth. In that very day, his thoughts perish. So that word perish means it’s gone, it’s no more. And so basically, he ceases to be a living soul. Those two things are now separated. The breath of life and the body are separate, and they are now two separate things. They are not a living soul. The same thing we see again very clearly in the Book of Ecclesiastes. And there’s actually a couple of verses in Ecclesiastes that make this really clear. In Ecclesiastes, chapter twelve, verse seven, it reads, then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. So when these two things separate, that’s it.

Speaker 2

That’s basically what death is. That’s when we are no longer alive. Living being or a living soul is when that combination is separated. And again, Jesus speaks about death and how it’s like a sleep. And it says that very many times in the Bible we see that in the Book of Psalms, we see that all over. First, Thessalonians four, it says, those that sleep in Christ, death is called basically a type of sleep. And again, Jesus says that really clear in John, chapter eleven, in verses eleven through 14, speaking about when Lazarus had died. And it says that these things he said, after them, our friend Lazarus sleeps. But I go that I might wake him out of sleep. And then, of course, in verse twelve, his disciples. So, oh, if he sleeps, he’ll do well. HE’ll get better. And Jesus, it says in 13 that Jesus spoke of his death, but his disciples thought he was talking about getting rest. But in verse 14, Jesus plainly says, Lazarus is dead. So Jesus again likens death like a state of sleep. It’s a state of unconscious thought, which is parallel to what we just read in Psalms, chapter 146, that in that day his thoughts perish.

Speaker 2

And again, that’s reiterated in the book of Ecclesiastes. If you go to chapter nine of Ecclesiastes and verses five and six, it’s very clear. It says, for the living know, a living soul knows that they shall die, but the dead know not anything. So there is no soul that lives on or some spirit that floats around or anything? No, it says that the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything. Neither have they any more. A reward for their memory of them is forgotten in verse six. Also their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished. It keeps bringing up this word, perish. It’s no more. Neither have they any more, apportioned forever in anything that is done under the sun. So basically, when somebody dies, it’s very clear that when somebody’s alive, their breath of God is there, the dirt, our body is there, and together we become a living soul. When those things separate, that’s our point of death. And we are no longer a living soul. We are simply a corpse that is dead, has no life in it, and the breath goes back to God and we perish.

Speaker 2

And obviously, it’s not God’s will that any of us should perish. We see that in John, chapter three, verse 16. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. That on that resurrection day that we read about in first Thessalonians chapter 413, through the end, we see that the dead in Christ shall rise, and those that are alive and remain. We go up to heaven, and so shall we ever be with the Lord if we are in Christ. So I pray that this is a blessing, and it answers your question. Jay or Wendy, any other thoughts on that?

Speaker 3

Oh, boy. I could go on and on on this topic because I’ve been studying this one thing in detail for about the past year, trying to figure out when did we get these ideas of what a spirit is, really? The Old Testament is very consistent when we look at it in terms of being clear that, yes, Spirit is our breath, and it’s the Hebrew word rua, and it’s the same word actually for wind. So when it says in Genesis one that the spirit of God moved over the waters, it was word Rua, the wind of God, and very much then becomes wind. Breath is associated with life, and it makes sense. The moment you stop breathing, you’re dead. And it’s the same word. When Jesus says unto you, Lord, I commit my spirit, and it says, he died and gave up his ghost. Really? Again, these are words that actually mean spirit. I’m sorry, not spirit, mean breath. And you go back and look at Jesus when he said that, into your hands I commit my spirit. He’s quoting the Old Testament, which, using the word ruach there. So where do we get this concept of.

Speaker 3

And I can’t say I’ve totally figured out, but it really looks like it traces back to Plato, the Greek philosopher Plato, who records the death of. And according to Plato, Socrates was put on trial. He was saying some things that were challenging the government. Government didn’t like it, so they sentenced him to death by poisoning. And so he gathers, Socrates has his friends that all come in, and they’re supposed to console him, and it turns out that they’re all really sad and depressed, and he’s just fine. And they’re like, Socrates, why are you not depressed? And this is where Socrates then starts sharing his view that there’s body and there’s spirit, and the Spirit is divine, and the Spirit will live on if you properly allow your body to separate from your spirit, to separate from your body. So this concept that we now call dualism, that you have a body and a spirit, seems to really emerge here, at least from my research on it. Again, I’m not the expert, but when we get to New Testament times, now, 400 years after Plato, this has become a much more accepted philosophy within the Greeks.

Speaker 3

And the Jews now have become very much influenced by Greek philosophy and Greek thought. There’s many Hellenized, that’s a word for people who’ve been trained to think like Greeks. There’s many Hellenized Jews in who are scholars and writing stories and implementing Greek philosophy into their teachings. And one of those teachings, for example, is the concept of Hades, where people die, and then they will be in a holding bank, semi conscious or not conscious or whatever, until whatever next part of the afterlife. So all these concepts of Greek philosophy, then by New Testament, times start creeping into, you know, sometimes it’d be hard to know, okay, the disciples in Jesus, are they just using this language because that’s what the people are familiar with? Do they really, really mean these things? It’s just like, for us, if we give an example and draw on Star wars and to say this is just like this event in Star wars, are we saying we actually believe Star wars, or are we communicating with language and stories and metaphors that everybody will understand because they know those Greek stories? That’s what’s really going on. Spirit, even New Testament, you really study it through.

Speaker 3

It’s talking about breath. There’s not this dualism concept. And when you think we’re separate components, including the Spirit, now, it could get taken to an extreme, like the monistic traditions where I’m going to attack my body, brutalize my body, punish my body so that I will have a better afterlife. And that’s completely contrary to how God wants you to be. God wants you to be an integrated being. Take care of your body, take care. Cheat it as a temple. Exactly. Let your body be holy because your body affects how you think, how you feel, how you act. Those my thought, it has big implications when it comes into real life. Then how do you view the soul? How do you view the Spirit? And the only viewpoint that’s really consistent with God’s expectations. What the Old Testament is telling us, and even in the New Testament, is, yeah, we are the soul and our spirit is but our breath. It is that spark of life, in a sense.

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BibleAsk Team

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