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Body, Soul, and Spirit


The Spirit of Man
   Man is a complex entity; a physical body composed of 15 major chemical elements. Seventy-two percent of this body is oxygen. These necessary elements are found in the soil in various compounds. Growing plants utilize these compounds, which are assimilated into man’s body through diet. Some plants are eaten by animals, which in turn end up in man’s diet.
   Upon death, man’s body decomposes into the basic elements and returns to the earth. “dust thou art and to dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19b). thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust” (Psa. 104:29b).
   One of the most widely held teachings of churchianity today is that within man’s body lives a soul. This soul is the ethereal part of man that leaves the body at death and goes to heaven or to hell, or (in the beliefs of Catholicism) to purgatory. The soul is thought to be the “real you” inside the physical body. The soul is assumed to be an immortal spirit that can never die. This runs counter to the plain teaching of Scripture which clearly states, "the soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ez. 18:4b); repeated v. 20.

Satan, the Father of Lies
   This most widely held fallacy originated when Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. Thus Satan is called the first liar in Scripture. Yahshua said he was a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Thou shalt not surely die, Satan told Eve, For Elohim does know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as Elohim knowing good and evil, Genesis 3:5. Then the aging process began. Their doom was sealed for Yahweh had said previously: “…of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof. THOU SHALT SURELY DIE” (Gen. 2:16-17). The Hebrew literally says, “dying, thou shalt die.”
   Had Adam and Eve not eaten the fruit, they would have retained the ability to live forever. They would have had everlasting human life by living in the Edenic paradise without aging. The bodily processes would have gone on, such as eating, working, resting, sleeping, tiring, but they could have enjoyed a happy, abundant life in the garden as human beings without sickness and without growing old. However, once they had eaten the prohibited fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the aging process began. Now they would begin dying.
   This first lie came down to us in the form of the “immortal soul” doctrine not found in the Bible. The Bible nowhere says that we have an immortal soul. Rather, it clearly teaches that we are mortal. The word mortal comes from the Latin,
mors, which means death, and Webster’s New World Dictionary defines mortal as “that which must eventually die; of man as a being who must eventually die; of this world; causing death; deadly; fatal.”

The Breath of Life
   Man’s dust-formed body was lifeless until animated by the breath of life (spirit). And Yahweh Elohim 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. The word “soul” means creature, being, and a life. Some Bibles translate this verse, “And man became a living being.” See Moffatt, Goodspeed, and Revised Standard versions. To say that man is a soul is to say that he is a creature, a being, a life. When Yahweh blew air (spirit) into Adam’s lungs, Adam became a breathing, living creature.
   The existence of a living creature demands a union of a dust-formed body and the breath of life. Before Adam received the breath of life he was a dead soul, a nonliving creature. When air was forced into his lungs, oxygen was carried by the blood to all parts of the body and man became a LIVING soul. When man dies and the breath (spirit) goes from him, he then becomes a DEAD soul, a dead creature. We are a soul; we are a life, a creature, a being. We are not IMMORTAL. We can die. It is so appointed (Heb. 9:27).
   The word soul is translated from
Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary (5315) nephesh. Nephesh occurs 752 times in the Old Testament and is translated 44 different ways. In English the primary meaning of nephesh is “creature, person, man, life, and lives.” Strong’s Greek is (5590) psuche. The Greek word psuche occurs 105 times in the New Testament. It is variously translated “soul, life, lives, mind, you, us, heart, and heartily.” Psuche in Greek and nephesh in Hebrew mean the same. Examples are Romans 11:3; 1 Kings 19:10; Acts 2:27; and, Psalm 16:10.

Animals, Fish Have Souls
   The Bible’s use of nephesh includes animals and fish. “And Elohim said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature (nephesh or soul) that hath life” (Gen.1:20a). “And Elohim created great whales, and every living creature (nephesh) that moveth,” (Gen.1:21a). On the sixth day of creation, Elohim said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature (nephesh) after his kind, cattle, and creeping things…” (Gen.1:24). Verse 30 tells us that Yahweh has given every green herb for food to every beast, every fowl, and every living thing that creeps upon the earth where there is life (nephesh). Even though both humans and animals are said to be souls or to have souls (which really means “life”), there is a difference in that man was created in the image of Yahweh. He is of a higher order than mammals which also have blood and breathe air. Man is a thinking creature who has emotions and has a higher intellect than brute animals which act by instinct.
   Nevertheless, we do not possess immortality, but seek it: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality eternal life, Romans 2:7 ASV. Man is promised immortality through the Savior’s return and being in the first resurrection. (Read our mini-study
Is There More Than One Resurrection?)

Soul Means Life
  Nowhere does the Bible say that only a man’s body dies. The Bible clearly declares that the person himself died. Never does Scripture say that the body died and the person himself (his soul) went somewhere else. When life departs from a person, death ensues, and the body is LIFE-less. Man’s soul refers to man himself and the life he possesses. The soul is not an entity distinct from the person’s body.
  Not only does the word translated soul mean life, but we find the Bible teaches that animals are also known as souls. Other verses that show animals possess the same life (
nephesh or psuche) as humans include: Genesis 2:19; 9:10, 16; Leviticus 11:46; Numbers 31:28; Proverbs 12:10; Ezekiel 47:9; Revelations 8:9; 16:3.

Immortal Soul Unscriptural
   Nowhere in the Bible do we find the term “IMMORTAL SOUL” mentioned in those words. Neither is soul ever referred to as “undying,” or “eternal,” or “ever-living.” The soul is mortal. It can be killed. It can die. Note the following verses:

   • Leviticus 23:30 “The same soul will I destroy”
   • Joshua 10:35 “The souls that were therein he destroyed”
   • Psalm 22:29 “None can keep alive his own soul”
   • Psalm 78:50 “Spared not their soul from death”
   • Psalm 89:48 “Deliver his soul from the hand of the grave”
   • Jeremiah 18:20 “Digged a pit for my soul”
   • Ezekiel 18:4 “Soul that sinneth, it shall die”
   • Ezekiel 18:20 “Soul that sinneth, it shall die”
   • Ezekiel 22:27 “Destroy souls”
   • Revelation 16:3 “Every living soul died in the sea”

   Man is a body in which dwells the breath of life. That life cannot exist without the body, and the body cannot exist without the life principle. In the resurrection, it is the body that will be raised up. The Bible does not teach that the soul will come back from heaven or somewhere to get into the body. It is the body that is raised from the state of the dead and changed to spirit in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6).
   Man is superlative among Yahweh’s physical creation, being able to think, feel, and choose. In his complex composition, man has social, moral, and religious values. Various drives, goals, ambitions, and energies make up his character and personality. His physical nature and his mental nature cannot exist separately. His mental capacity is really a part of his physical nature.
   Man’s mind is the functioning of his brain. Newborn babies do not have a fully developed brain, nor is their mind completely developed. Therefore, they are limited in knowledge and ability until they mature and develop.

Spirit = Mind, Attitude
   Through the development of the brain we attain a mind which enables us to think and act for ourselves instead of responding to stimuli only through instinct. A baby cries when it is hungry, wet and scared. It is content when it is warm, dry and has a full stomach. Most babies walk at about one year of age. They learn to say one-word sentences like “up,” “drink,” “down,” “bye,” etc. about this age. As the body matures, the child’s mind also develops. It is the parents’ responsibility to train the child to be a responsible adult, both physically and mentally.
   Paul wrote to the Thessalonians
And the very Elohim of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray Elohim your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Master Yahshua, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Paul reveals to us that man consists of soul (life), body and SPIRIT. The word “spirit” is from the Hebrew, ruach, and the Greek, pneuma. The English word spirit comes from the Latin, spirare, meaning “to breathe.” All three words have the sense of “to breathe or to blow.”
   The underlying meaning of the word translated spirit is invisible force. In man we view this as being one’s attitude, disposition, dominant feeling or propensity. It is how we perceive life and our surroundings. It is that invisible force that is capable of producing visible effects. It is not uncommon for us to speak of someone’s being in good “spirits,” meaning he has a positive attitude. We speak of high-spirited horses, meaning frisky and active. It is still in vogue to speak of the “spirit of Camp David” meaning an optimistic outlook for peace.
   Our spirit is the driving force in our life. Some people might be described as having a “bad spirit, meaning an attitude of gloom and perversity or of defiance and negativism. A group of persons might be described as getting into the “spirit of the occasion” or they might be impelled by a “mob spirit.”
   Genesis 26:34-35 reveals that
“bitterness of spirit” of Isaac and Rebekah over the marriage of Esau to the Hittite woman. (Mind is from the Hebrew, ruach, also translated spirit). When Ahab could not obtain the vineyard of Naboth, we read that his wife Jezebel was prompted to ask, “Why is thy spirit so sad that thou eatest no bread?” (1 Kings 21:5b).
   A man can be so taken up with the spirit of jealousy that he views his wife with deep-seated suspicion and could even charge her with adultery (Num. 5:14, 30). Thus the type of spirit, or mind, is the basic force that moves and gives the thrust to one’s actions and speech. It is our attitude, or outlook which is a factor in determining our actions.
   Scripture further defines the Hebrew,
ruach, and Greek, pneuma, as being mind, attitude, driving force, outlook, disposition, posture and stand. Romans 11:8 speaks of the spirit of slumber; 1 Corinthians 4:21 of the spirit of meekness; 1 John 4:3 of the spirit of anti-Messiah.

Spirit of EliYah
   The prophet EliYah represents one of the highest examples of driving force. He had an ardent desire to serve Yahweh in spite of a world around him that served the popular false mighty ones of his day. EliYah was unflinching in his fervor to carry out Yahweh’s will in spite of the unpopular position he held. So desirable was EliYah’s zeal that when he asked his disciple Elisha what he most wanted, Elisha asked that a DOUBLE portion of EliYah’s spirit be given him (2 Kings 2:9-11). Elisha wanted his mind, his spirit to be turned to heavenly things, to obey Yahweh and serve Him.
   This same earnest drive was given to John the Baptist (Luke 1:17). John was to prepare the people to accept the coming Messiah. He was a preacher of righteousness and his message was to turn the attention and attitude of the people to the coming Messiah. His message had a powerful effect upon his hearers. Yahshua stated that had the people accepted John the Baptist and obeyed his message, John would have fulfilled the prophecies of the coming of EliYah (Matt. 17:11-12). The people rejected that message, and so the prophecy of the coming of an EliYah was postponed and is for our time (Mal. 4:5-6). (Note! We are being given the opportunity to be the “EliYah” to herald the return of Messiah!)
   The Scripture tells us the Messiah must remain in the heavens until both pure worship and the proper attitude toward Yahweh are restored, (Acts 3:19-21). This nucleus of people will be “poor in spirit,” that is, they will be teachable and meek, willing to follow the way Yahweh has directed in His Word. We are to be humble and learn of His ways and redeem the time as the days become more evil.

A New Heart & Spirit
   Yahweh explains that eventually He will give His people a new heart and spirit, A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them, Ezekiel 36:26- 27 ASV.
   The “new heart” is an attitude or mindset of meekness, becoming teachable and willing to learn Yahweh’s way. It is an attitude of changing one’s outlook from selfish goals to seeking the will of our Heavenly Father. It is a heart of determination to be faithful and courageous in full obedience to Yahweh.
   The “new Spirit” promised is actually Yahweh’s Spirit, His Holy Spirit. We are given the “earnest” or down payment of that spirit when we are baptized into Yahshua’s saving name.
Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts, 2 Corinthians 1:22 ASV. Now he that hath wrought us for the self same thing is Yahweh, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit, 2 Corinthians 5:5 ASV. (Read our several mini-studies on Baptism.)
   When we are immersed into Yahshua’s saving name, we are given a portion of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands of the presbytery. With that portion of His Spirit, we are to allow it to work in our lives to the point that we think and act just like Yahweh and Yahshua.
   The more we allow the Holy Spirit to dominate our lives and focus our attention and goals on the Kingdom, the more like Yahshua we will be. Having the same goals; the same concern for others, we also take up His view of our maturity and growth into the stature and fullness of Messiah. We are sealed as Yahweh’s property. We belong to Him. He will guard and protect us while guiding into the ways of His righteousness.
In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the evangel of your salvation; in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13 ASV.

The Fullness of the Spirit
   We will be given the fullness of His Spirit when Yahshua returns. Baptism into Yahshua’s saving name is how we are sealed into His Name and the Father’s name, (Rev. 14:1). We become Yahweh’s sons and daughters, a part of the family, And grieve not the Holy Spirit of Yahweh, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption, Ephesians 4:30 ASV.
   Even today Yahweh pleads with His people as we read in Ezekiel 18:31 to change their ways,
Cast away from you all your transgressions whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new Spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel, Ezekiel 18:31?
   The process of conversion begins with the individual. Each person must decide whether he will follow Yahweh’s way of life. Every individual must seek Yahweh as did Abraham and the ancient worthies.
   When we have made that decision, we have seen that Yahweh promises,
A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you an heart of flesh, Ezekiel 36:26. Yahweh tells us that He will help us overcome the world, the devil, and our flesh, if we determine to follow Him. He promises to give us a fresh new outlook on life now that the Holy Spirit is available. He will take away our rebellious attitude and give us a warm, loving “spirit” (or attitude).
   Continuing His promise of the restoration ahead of us, Yahweh says,
And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments and do them, Ezekiel 36:27.

Spirit of Obedience
   If we make the decision now to yield our life to Yahweh and do His will, He promises He will give us an entirely new outlook on life. He will change our goals and desires to conform to His Spiritual way of life. He will then place His Holy Spirit within us and we will walk in His statutes and do His judgments automatically, as this becomes our permanent custom or habit, and our character is fashioned after that of Yahshua. Yahweh has big plans for those who are called, chosen and are faithful, that love Him and keep His commandments, But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which Elohim hath prepared for them that love him, 1 Corinthians 2:9.
   The more obedient we are in keeping His commandments, the more we comprehend His word. His goals become our goals, and our spirit, or mind is attuned to His Holy Spirit,
But Yahweh hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Yahweh. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of Elohim knoweth no man, but the Spirit of Elohim. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of Elohim; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of Yahweh. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual, 1 Corinthians 2:10-13.
   Until we see things through Yahweh’s eyes, perceive things from His vantage point, and comprehend His program for us, we will have difficulty in grasping the fullness of the wonderful things He has prepared for us. We are to rise above the world.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of Yahweh, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Messiah, 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ASV. The closer we walk with Yahshua, the more our spirit (mind) is guided by Yahweh’s Holy Spirit, His mind! We think like Him, respond like He would, do as He would and become dominated by Him and His ways.
   We are promised blessings will accrue when we are entirely in His will, living in complete obedience to His laws even now in preparation for the restored earth. Man’s spirit must be changed and transformed to that of Yahweh’s. He will help us have the determination to change our proud, boastful, self-centered spirit to a Spirit of meekness concerning His word.
   Humbly following and doing those things that are commanded in spite of the ridicule that the world may heap upon us, we as a True Worshiper may find ourselves isolated because no one else seems to be calling on His Name, keeping His days, striving to learn of Him. But in the end the faithful will receive the adoption into the family of Yahweh. When Yahshua appears, “...we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2b).
   What about you? Are you willing to turn your soul (life), spirit (mind, attitude), and body over to Yahweh and live for Him? Join the growing number of Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua brethren seeking our Heavenly Father’s mercy for a double portion of the spirit of EliYah to help proclaim the ELIYAH message to the world—My MIGHTY ONE IS YAH!
   Yahweh continues to call out a people for His name, especially those who are afar off,
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as Yahweh our Elohim shall call, Acts 2:38-39 ASV.
   If you faithfully answer Yahweh’s call now, you are promised to be in that first resurrection. You will then be made immortal, a spirit being, no longer flesh and blood, but will have a body like Yahshua who brought life and immortality to life! (1 Tim. 2:10).

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