Does the Bible say that you have an immortal soul that immediately goes to Heaven or Hell when you die?
Christain religious doctrines concerning the immortal soul, Heaven, and Hell are based upon the ancient teachings of Plato and other Greek philosophers. The belief is that a physical body dies, yet a soul is immortal and leaves the body at death to go to Heaven or Hell. This belief originally came from the ancient pagan world. Let's consider some background before turning to the Bible.
Here's what the Jewish Encyclopedia says about the subject.
"The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato, its principal exponent, who was led to it through Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries in which Babylonian and Egyptian views were strangely blended with others, sufficiently prove, According to Philo, the soul exists before it enters the body, a prison-house from which death liberates it; to return to God and live in constant contemplation of Him is man's highest destiny"
(Jewish Encyclopedia, 1941, Vol. VI, "Immortality of the Soul," p. 564)
So according to a PAGAN philosopher,
an immortal soul exists before you are physically created. It enters your body at conception and leaves it when you die, then it goes to Heaven to be with God for eternity. Should you base your beliefs on some ancient pagan philosopher? No, you should base your beliefs on the Bible, the Word of God. Is the doctrine of an immortal soul also found in the Bible?
The concept of an immortal soul already having separate eternal life seems to have originated with the pagans thousands of years ago, but where did they get it? The idea of a person having an immortal soul really began with Satan in the Garden of Eden.
The immortal soul belief is based on the first lie
that Satan told mankind.
The Tree of Life was at the center of the garden. Adam and Eve could have eaten of it and had eternal life. They would have been immortal! There was another tree in the garden whose fruit Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat. Satan came along and very subtly combined two tempting ideas into one thought. He told them a lie that changed human history. Satan said if they ate of the fruit they would be like God
and they would not die.
Genesis 3:4-5, "Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
The Devil placed in the minds of Adam and Eve the idea that they also would be like God, an all knowing immortal Spirit that wouldn't die. He suggested to them the REAL person, who Adam and Eve really were, would now be immortal souls.
The big lie that has been passed down for 6,000 years is even though our physical bodies die, "our immortal souls", the REAL person,
lives on for eternity in Heaven or Hell. The majority of people today still choose to believe the Devil rather than God. God says the wages of sin is DEATH not immortal life!
Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
God told Adam and Eve they would die if they ate of the forbidden fruit.
Genesis 2:17, "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Adam and Eve didn't believe God. They believed the Devil! The wages of their sin was death!
Satan lied to them! The way to the Tree of Life was now blocked and would remain blocked for four thousand years until Jesus arrived and offered a new path to eternal life through Him.
Genesis 3:24,"So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life."
John 20:31, "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."
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Do the Old Testament Scriptures support the idea of an immortal soul?
This is what the Jewish Encyclopedia says concerning the soul in Scriptures.
"The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture."
(Jewish Encyclopedia, 1941, Vol. VI, "Immortality of the Soul," p. 566)
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says this.
"We are influenced always more or less by the Greek, Platonic idea that the body dies, yet the soul is immortal. Such an idea is.... nowhere found in the Old Testament"
(1960, Vol. 2, p. 812, "Death").
Theological speculation? Nowhere expressly taught in the Holy Scriptures? Nowhere found in the Old Testament? A core belief of Christianity is based on speculation? The Old Testament did not teach the doctrine of an immortal soul. Jesus didn't teach it. The Apostles and first-century Christian Church did not teach it. So, when did the idea of an immortal soul enter Christianity?
As early Christians traveled the world, they began to be influenced by the cultures around them. They began to apply human reasoning to some of the pagan teachings about death and assimilate them into their own Christian beliefs, even though these beliefs were contrary to what Scripture says.
This belief in an independent immortal soul began to infiltrate Christianity around the second century. Many Christians knew it was not true. They knew what the scriptures said concerning the mortality of a soul. Unfortunately, by 400 A.D. the doctrine had been assimilated into the Roman Christian church by the church fathers who were influenced by the Greeks.
The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology notes this.
"Origen, an early and influential church theologian, was influenced by Greek thinkers: "Speculation about the soul in the subapostolic church was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy. This is seen in Origen's acceptance of Plato's doctrine of the preexistence of the soul...."
(1992, p. 1037, "Soul").
The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, in its article on death, states this.
"the 'departure' of the nephesh [soul] must be viewed as a figure of speech, for it does not continue to exist independently of the body, but dies with it ... No biblical text authorizes the statement that the 'soul' is separated from the body at the moment of death"
(1962, Vol. 1, p. 802, "Death").
The teaching that you have an immortal soul cannot be found in the Bible. It was not taught by Jesus, the Apostles, or the early church. This unbiblical idea of the immortality of a soul entered the church centuries later. Church leaders today believe that Scripture assumes
the immortality of a soul. Should you assume
this, or should you look to the actual words of the Bible to understand the truth about the immortality of a soul?
Do the words "immortal soul" appear anywhere in the Bible? What exactly is a soul?
The original Hebrew word translated "SOUL" in scripture is "nephesh"
. It comes from "naphash"
, a primitive root meaning to breathe or to be breathed upon.
Nephesh is simply a breathing creature, animal , beast, body, breath, man, me, mind, life, or person.
Wickepedia provides this definition.
"Nephesh (נפש) is the Hebrew word commonly translated as soul in English. It literally means "animal" though it is usually used in the sense of "living being" (breathing creature). The term nephesh applies variously to humans and to lower animals. The concept of an immaterial soul separate from and surviving the body is common today but was not found in ancient Hebrew beliefs."
By looking at the inspired Hebrew word for soul, and it's root, you can plainly see that a soul is primarily a breathing living being, a person, or an animal in which God has breathed the breath of life. A soul is the "man". It is "you". It is your "mind". It is your "life". It is your "spirit". None of the definitions of nephesh say anything about a soul being immortal, or being separate from the body. In fact, a soul is actually the most integral "self"
the very person, body, mind, and spirit that you are.
Nephesh is used a total of 753 times in the KJV Bible. It is translated "soul" 475 times, as "life"
117 times, as "person" 29 times, as "mind"
15 times, as "heart"
15 times, as "creature" 9 times, as "body" 8 times, as "himself" 8 times, as "yourselves" 6 times, as "man" 3 times, and as "themselves" 3 times.
When referring to living physical beings Nephesh is translated as "person, body, or creature". What people
think of as a soul fits the other definitions of Nephesh, your mind, heart, and spirit. It is who you are. It is your thinking, reasoning, loving, moral, inner mind. It is "you", not separate from you. It is a mortal part of your brain and dies when you die, as the Bible plainly says. Your mind does not live on after death.
Ecclesiastes 9:5, ".... the dead know not any thing
Nephesh would correlate with "psuche"
, the Greek word in the New Testament that is also translated soul. Psuche comes from the root word "psucho"
which simply means breath. Psuche is defined as breath, heart, life, or mind.
"Psuche" is used a total of 105 times in the KJV Bible. It is translated as "soul" 58 times, as "life"
40 times, as "mind"
3 times, as "heart"
The inspired Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible tell you that a soul is a living being in which there is the breath of life. A soul is a "person". The Bible says a soul is "a living, breathing being", your "life"
, your "mind"
, your "spirit"
, or your "heart"
. The Bible does NOT say a soul is an immortal, independent, separate spirit entity in you with it's own consciousness that can live apart from the body for all eternity!
You cannot find the words "IMMORTAL SOUL"
anywhere in the Bible. It's simply not there!
God let you know the truth right from the beginning of His Word. God defined soul for you by it's first use. The first time the word nephesh (soul) appears in the Bible is in Genesis 2:7. Notice what the Bible says about a soul being created by Gods breath.
"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."
Notice that very carefully. The Bible does NOT say God gave man a soul. It says man IS
a soul (nephesh)! When God's breath, His
life spirit, entered the man, the man became
a living being, a life, a soul. Man's very life is his soul. With this understanding of what the Bible clearly says, many confusing scriptures now make very simple sense. The TOTAL MAN, his LIFE, his HEART, his MIND, his SPIRIT, collectively is the "soul" mentioned in many verses in the Bible.
What does the Bible really say about an immortal nephesh? The Bible says souls can die! Two very plain and simple statements in the Bible about what can happen to a soul are Ezekiel 18:4 and 18:20. When something is very important for us to understand in Scripture God usually repeats it more than once. Both passages clearly state that souls can die.
Ezek 18:4, "the soul that sins shall die."
Ezek 18:20, "The soul that sins shall die."
Can the Bible be any more clear on a subject? The Bible plainly says a soul can die, therefore, a soul, whatever it is, cannot be immortal. The Hebrew word "muwth"
in Ezekiel 18:4 and 18:20 means "die, kill, death, destroy". It doesn't mean a "change of state", a "change of consciousness", or "living apart from the body". It's the total cessation of life, it's total destruction. A soul ceases to exist when dead! If nephesh was immortal spirit it could not die. If nephesh is a mortal life, a living being, it can die! The Bible says so!
Other translations render the correct sense of nephesh and recognize that a soul is really just a person that can die eternally in Hell fire if someone sins. Look at these various translations of Ezekiel 18:20 which show the correct understanding that a nephesh/soul is not immortal spirit but a person.
"The soul who sins shall die." (NKJV)
"The soul who sins is the one who will die." (NIV)
"The soul who sins shall die." (ESV)
"The one who sins is the one who dies." (NLT)
Men say that a "change in state" or a "change of consciousness" is a "form of death", but Christians should not be using human reasoning of fallible men as a measure of truth. They can't change the definition of "death" to fit their beliefs about the soul. Death is the total cessation of all life. The Bible says nephesh/souls can die, and then the Bible (not human reasoning) tells what it means to be dead. The Bible says that dead souls have no consciousness. When a nephesh/soul dies there is no consciousness, no separate existence, no knowledge or remembrance of anything. King Solomon, the wisest man ever to live said this.
Ecclesiastes 9:5, " ...the dead know not any thing,"
King David was also saddened by the fact that death ends a relationship with God, not continues it in Heaven in some other form.
Psalm 6:5, "For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?"
King David is plainly saying that he will not even know God when he is dead! The Bible says dead souls don't know anything, can't remember anything. This precludes any possibility that an eternally living soul in believers goes to Heaven when they die and lives with God. It wouldn't know God or remember God from this life according to what the Bible says.
The dead know nothing until they are resurrected by God at the return of Jesus Christ. God then gives the person the gift of eternal life by resurrecting him again as a living spirit being, (this time immortal). If the person is a wicked sinner he is resurrected later as a physical human being and sent to his eternal death in Hell, according God's judgment.
Romans 6:23. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord".
Right from the start there is a problem with the basic premise of an immortal soul. If a soul can die it cannot be an eternally living spirit in any way! It cannot have it's own eternal life. Spirit cannot die. Angels are spirit and cannot die. Satan is a spirit and cannot die. Demons are spirit and cannot die. If a soul is spirit it cannot die, yet the Bible, plainly states, "the nephesh (soul) that sins shall die."
So a soul can't have eternal life and it can't be immortal spirit. A nephesh has to be mortal according to the Bible. Resurrected sinners have to be mortal.
You have been taught that an immortal soul separates from the dead body and is conscious and living in Heaven or Hell while the corruptible physical body decays in the grave. Now you know that according to what the Bible plainly says, the soul IS the total and complete person
in the grave. Ecclesiastes says the dead know nothing. The breath of life has gone out of them and these once living souls, all body, mind, heart and spirit of them, are now totally dead. The soul that sins shall die! Death is the cessation of his LIFE, not life in another form.
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Let's look further for more Biblical teaching on this subject in the New Testament. Did Jesus have anything to say about souls?
Matthew 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul (psuche). But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul (psuche) and body in hell."
In this scripture Jesus plainly says that "who you are", your LIFE, your "psuche/soul", (your mind, heart, and spirit), can be destroyed forever in Hell fire along with your body. Jesus is warning people about Gods eternal judgment. Immortality has been promised by God to those who accept Jesus. He tells people not to fear those who can only kill your physical body, which is just corruptible dust from the earth. This has nothing to do with the real YOU.
Killing just your physical body cannot destroy your spiritual life for eternity. Someday you will be resurrected with a spiritual body with all of your "LIFE", (mind, heart and spirit) fully alive and operational. The Bible says to fear God who is able to destroy THIS very LIFE, not just your physical body for all eternity.
The apostle Paul also said the wicked will die, (not live somewhere else in a different state of existance). He says this in reference to unrepentant sinners.
Romans 6:20-21 "For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death."
Notice the Bible does not say it is life in Hell. Those souls who are slaves of sin perish completely. Their LIFE will be totally destroyed and they will cease to exist forever! Paul clearly understood the truth about eternal death in Hell. He absolutely states that the life of the wicked will come to a complete end.
2 Thessalonians 1:9, "These shall be punished with everlasting destruction ..."
Again, notice the Bible does not say everlasting life for their soul in Hell. It's everlasting destruction
for those living beings who sinned. Their destruction will eternally and completely remove them from the sight of the Lord. These nephesh "that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ"
(2 Thessalonians 1:8) will be dead souls forever!
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The Bible plainly says in 1 Corinthians 15 that we put on immortality at the resurrection,
at the last trumpet, not at the end of our physical life.
We don't have it now.
1 Corinthians 15:50-54, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump : for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible , and we shall be changed. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
Romans 2:5-7, "But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who " will render to each one according to his deeds:" eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul (psuche) of man who does evil..."
Paul told the church in Rome to "seek" immortality because they did not have it. Living, breathing, mortal, souls
will die. Christian "souls"
will be totally dead and corruptible in the grave. At the resurrection when the last trumpet sounds and Jesus returns, these formerly living souls that totally died will be raised IMMORTAL. Dead, mortal psuche/souls must put on immortality
to enter the Kingdom of God and live forever with Jesus. There is nothing immortal about anyone prior to the resurrection. The Bible says you put on immortality at the return of Jesus, "at the last trump"
, not when you die!
(future tense) render eternal life or eternal judgment. Every psuche of man that does evil does not receive the gift of immortality but "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish".
Eternal life is the future reward for the faithful souls who "by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality."
The Bible says that Jesus is the only human being who has immortality right now.
1 Timothy 6:12-16 ..." Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life ....Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;.....the King of kings, and Lord of lords who only hath immortality."
The Bible clearly says that no other human soul has immortality at this time. ONLY
Jesus has it. Your nephesh/psuche is not eternal unless God makes it that way. Eternal life is a "gift" from God plain and simple. You don't have it yet!
Romans 6:23. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord".
Since everyone dies, even believers, you know this verse is not about physical death in this life. "The wages of sin is (eternal) death."
The Bible says you don't have immortality right now. You receive it at the resurrection. Will you believe what the Bible says, or what men say?
Here's some food for thought for those who believe they have an immortal soul. What purpose would the resurrection serve if your immortal soul already has eternal life in Heaven? Why keep your body in the grave? Why not raise the complete person, body and soul together right after death? Furthermore, what would be the point of resurrecting your old, physical body when you no longer need it because your soul is already independently recognized as "you" in Heaven and functioning without your body? The Bible doesn't teach two resurrections for saved Christians.
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Some will point to the Book of Revelation as supposed proof that there are already immortal souls in Heaven. There are several verses that some Christians point to that supposedly prove that there are actual people in Heaven. A great amount of time could be used to explain each one, but a few key points will be noted here that effectively cover most of them. One verse will be explained in more detail.
1. A large part of The Book Of Revelation is a vision. It's mostly figurative. Only parts of it are literal. Much of it is symbolic.
2. God uses imagery to illustrate in vivid and powerful ways the important points He wants us to understand.
3. The Book of Revelation is not a literal chronology of events. Events are not necessarily listed in the order they occur. Some chapters of Revelation cover one day. Others cover thousands of years of history. There are inset chapters that are right in the middle of end time events. Revelation Chapter 12 is a good example. It starts at the time of Jesus birth and covers a time period in excess of 1200 years. This is inset all in one chapter.
4. Events in the Book of Revelation occur both in Heaven and on the earth. Many times it's difficult to understand where John is and where the events are actually occurring. Sometimes he is seeing events in Heaven. Sometimes He is seeing and hearing things on the earth. Sometimes they are events from years ago. Sometimes they are in his present time period. Sometimes he sees visions of future events, even 1,000 years after Jesus returns. You simply can't always KNOW where the people, souls, multitudes and beings are in his visions. Sometimes you can't even know if the multitudes or the armies mentioned are human beings or angels.
Here's an example concerning souls that you can understand. Let's see what the Bible really says when it interprets itself. This verse calls for a little more explanation and clarification of the Biblical interpretation.
Revelation 6:9-10, "When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
When the Bible speaks figuratively you can't interpret it literally. A figurative verse requires a deeper study of the Bible to help us understand the meanings of the images, symbols, stories, or visions. A good example is this "VISION "
in Revelation 13. You find a symbolic dragon, lamb and beast mentioned here.
Do you believe the beast
in Rev 13 is actually a real, giant, sea monster with 7 heads?
Do you believe the dragon
in Rev 13 is a real, flying, fire breathing, prehistoric creature?
Do you believe that the lamb
that was slain for the sins of the world was really a baby sheep?
Of course not. These are not literal beings. We know from other study of the Scriptures these are all figures that represent
a powerful end time power, and the devil, and Jesus Christ. They are purely symbolic images
So let's look at Revelation 6:9-10 in context. John was seeing a vision
of future events in symbol.
It is clear from it's context that the fifth seal is figurative because you know that the psuche (souls) in this vision cannot actually be in heaven. The Bible emphatically states this.
John 3:13. "no one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven"
The Bible plainly says that NO ONE has gone to heaven but Jesus. John 3:13 helps you interpret Revelation 6:9-10 So does Acts 2:29 below. No nephesh/psuche have gone to Heaven but Jesus. Even righteous King David was described as being "dead and buried"
not alive in heaven.
Acts 2:29, "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day."
The Bible is plainly saying that the person, the soul named David, was still in the grave. It doesn't say just David's body is dead and buried. It says "he"
, DAVID, the actual living, breathing soul who thought and reasoned and loved was dead and in the sepulcher. If David has not "ascended to heaven", then no life has. That includes any psuche that appear to be under the altar in Revelation 6:9-10. It includes ANY people who APPEAR to be in Heaven.
John sees in this vision an image
of the martyred believers who were killed for their Christian beliefs. They symbolically cry out,"Avenge our blood!"
This is just like Abel's blood "crying out"
Genesis 4:10, "And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."
Can Blood actually talk? No. It can't speak or cry out. It's also symbolic. Revelation 6:9-10 cannot be describing actual human lives who have gone to heaven and are crying out to God from under the altar. Dead souls cannot cry out anymore than blood can. They can't actually be under the altar speaking to God because Jesus says they cannot be there. The Biblical interpretation does not allow for psuche to literally be in heaven in Revelation 6:9-10.
The lives that John saw under the altar can only be purely symbolic images of all the Christian souls that were killed for their faith in Jesus. God knew it would be over 2,000 years before Jesus would return. He knew that millions of souls would be killed for their beliefs during that time. This verse symbolicly shows Christians that God hears the cries of his followers who suffer for Jesus. He is encouraging believers through the ages to be faithful and patient to the end. He will remember the evil deeds of men against the saints in His time.
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Many people are confused by the use of the terms in the Bible.... "spirit in man ", or "spirit of man". They assume
that "spirit" in these verses means an immortal soul, yet the Hebrew and Greek words for "spirit" are not translated "soul" in the Bible even one time
! Isn't that interesting?
The Hebrew word "ruwach"
is used 378 times in the Old Testament and not once
is this word ever translated "soul".
The Greek word "pneuma"
is used 375 times in the New Testament and not once
is this word ever translated "soul".
The translators correctly understood that these words did not apply to what they
believed was an immortal soul in man so they never translated them "soul". They are correctly translated "spirit". They have nothing to do with an immortal soul.
When used in the Old Testament the Bible shows that the word translated "spirit" usually refers to God's Spirit, or His breath, or wind. In the New Testament the word translated "spirit" usually refers to the Holy Spirit, God's Spirit, your heart, your life, your spirit, or your mind.
Collectively these words give the sense that your mind, spirit, and heart are empowered by God's spirit breathing life into you at conception. He gives you the ability to think, feel, reason, and love. Your mind, heart and spirit empowered by the Spirit of God is actually what performs the functions that most people attribute to an immortal soul. Let's look at these expressions for a moment and see what the Bible really says.
Job 32:8 "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
The Hebrew word in Job above and Ecclesiastes below is "ruwach" and it means mind, spirit, wind, or breath. You need to look at the context to let the Bible show which meaning applies.
In Job 32:8 the context of this chapter
clearly shows that it means "spirit ". Elihu was speaking of God's spirit in man that gives you "inspiration"
and "understanding "
that comes to your mind from God. You get wisdom from God.
Ecclesiastes. 12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
In Ecclesiastes 12:7 the spirit in man, the ruwach, is the "breath" of life from God that gives you your very living existence on this earth. It is His life empowering spirit that leaves you at death. The Bible shows that the context is about man dying and returning to the dust of the earth when God's life giving "spirit " leaves man and returns to God. This is God's spirit, not man's.
Job 33:4, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life."
Revelation 11:11, "And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them."
When God breathes His "ruwach" into someone they become living, breathing souls. When they die this breath, or spirit of life, that belongs to God, returns to Him and they cease to exist. Don't be confused by trying to combine your
"nephesh", with God's
"ruwach " in you that gives you life. They are not the same thing. Ruwach belongs to God and is not a part of man. Your mind, spirit, and heart lives and dies with you.
In 1 Corinthians 2:11 the Bible says...."For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?"
The Greek word for "spirit " in this verse is "pneuma" and it means wind, air, breath, vitality, an animated being, spirit, life, or mind.
The context of this verse would indicate a meaning of "mind" and "spirit". Your pneuma/mind is empowered by God's spirit, giving human beings the power to think, reason, decide, and KNOW.
Your "pneuma" is not eternal spirit, not immortal. Your Pneuma dies with you.
Notice the consistency of the definitions of "breath", "mind", and "life" in all of the Hebrew and Greek words used in the Bible that are translated "soul" or "spirit when referring to man. It leaves little room for misunderstanding the primary intent of these inspired words.
In 1 Corinthians 2:11 the Biblical context shows that the pneuma/spirit "knows the things of a man"
This pneuma thinks and understands and reasons. It KNOWS.
These are functions of your mind. No one can know what is in you better than your own mind.
It's important that you fully understand that the Bible doesn't say your pneuma is immortal or has any separate existance. The Bible doesn't say it has its own consciousness. The Bible doesn't say that it existed before you, or that it will exist after you die, unless Gods gives you His gift of eternal life through Jesus.
Your pneuma is only powered by God's spirit, his breath of life, and cannot exist independently after death. Nowhere in Scripture does it suggests that your nephesh/psuche/pneuma is a separate, independent, or immortal and lives on after you die.
God's spirit in you is not your soul.
The Bible does not say or suggest this. Your mind, spirit, and heart are your soul. It's where you make decisions. It is where your conscience considers actions of right and wrong. It is where you connect with God in prayer. It is from where your personality emanates. When your bodies die, (sleep unconscious) your mind dies (sleeps unconscious) too, until God restores you to full life in the resurrection.
When we consider all that the Bible says about nephesh, psuche, and pneuma it becomes obvious that your mind, heart and spirit is actually what is usually refered to as your soul. This is the real YOU!
Your mind, heart and spirit speak to God. They listen to Gods Word. They decides right from wrong. They chooses salvation. They sin. They understand spiritual matters. They bless God. They praise God. They sing to God. They magnify the Lord. They function in every way as you think a soul should except one thing. They can die just like the Bible says. They are not a separate, independent, spiritual entity. They do not have their own eternal life. They are mortal just like your bodies. They die when you die. You can call your "mind", "heart", and "spirit" your "soul" by Biblical definition, and when context allows it, as long as you understand the truth. They are not immortal and independant with a life of their own."
God's spirit in man that gives you your very life is like a video recorder. It is not part of the man. It's God's
spirit IN the man that records everything you think, do, and say for your entire life. When you die your physical body, with heart, spirit, and mind sleep unconscious in the grave while God's spirit will "return unto God who gave it"
, with all the information recorded about you that He will use as an account
of all your words and actions in this life. God keeps a record of EVERYTHING about you that He will use on judgment day.
Matt 12:36, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."
Matt 18:23, "Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants."
Today there are many Christians and millions of people in religions around the world who believe they have eternally living souls in them. Should you accept and believe an immortal soul doctrine that is not Biblical? Many people take it for granted that their beliefs are based upon the Bible. Jesus said in John 17:17.... "Your word is truth".
God's Word, the Holy Bible should be your ONLY source for your spiritual beliefs, not pagan philosophy and religion.
The truth is, there is no immortal quality about man at all, unless and until he receives it from God. If God doesn't give you the gift of eternal life you will be dead for all eternity! People still have the same choice to make today as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. You can believe God or you can believe the Devil. The choice is yours!
This is what THE BIBLE SAYS!