"And the very God of
peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be
preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Thessalonians 5:23)
Now here is a very
enlightening passage of Scripture.The Apostle Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, refers to man
as a triune being, one with three primary components.Paul refers to the spirit, soul and body
of the human being.
Let’s look at all three
of these, beginning with the spirit of man.That’s where Paul started and after all, the spirit you is the real
The Spirit of Man
“And God said, Let us make man in our
image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,
and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon
the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
The Bible reveals that man was made in the image and likeness
of God.The term “man” is a generic term
for humanity.It means man and
womb-man, as well.
God is a Spirit Being.Jesus even said so.He would
know.After all, He spent all of
Eternity Past with God.That makes
Him an authority on what God is.Here is what Jesus said.
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in
spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
God is a Spirit. Grab hold of that. This means all human beings
are first and foremost spirits, not bodies.On the inside of every living human body there is a human spirit.That is the real person, the one created
in the image of God.
“But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the
Almighty giveth them understanding.” (Job 32:8)
Speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Job confirms what the
Apostle Paul and Jesus both taught.There is a spirit being on the inside of every living human
body.It is the real person, the one
created after the image and likeness of God.
It is through the spirit of man that God communicates with him
or her. God does not communicate
with humans through their souls because He does not live in the soulical realm.God does not communicate with humans through their bodies because He
does not live in the physical realm.God is a Spirit and He lives in the spirit realm.This is why He communicates with humans
through their human spirits.
It is the spirit of man that is “Born Again”
when Christ becomes their Savior, not the body.The “New Creation” which the Bible speaks
of occurs in the human spirit, not the soul or the body. (2Corinthians
5:17)This is what the Apostle Paul
meant when he said that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. (1Corinthians
15:50)When a human being is Born
Again they become brand new in their spirit, not in their body.This is why the body looks identical to
the way it did before someone was saved as it does after they are saved.
So, let’s get this right.God is a Spirit; therefore, man is a spirit.The spirit of man – the real person,
departs the body and heads for Heaven or Hell at the moment of physical expiration.Because of this fact we can have absolute
confidence that we will see our Born Again departed loved ones again.
The Bible says, “To be absent from the body is to be present
with the Lord.” (2Corinthians 5:8)
This is another reference to the fact that at physical
expiration, the spirit, the real person, vacates the body and heads for its
The Scripture also says, “To depart and be with Christ is far
better.” (Philippians 1:23)Notice
two things here.First we have
another reference to the fact that the human spirit can actually “depart”
the human body.Second, we see that
to depart the human body, for the Christian, is not just “better” but “far”
Therefore, if you’ve been grieving the loss of a Born Again
loved one who departed for Heaven before you, you need to make some
adjustments.You need to make a
decision, as a conscious act of your own free will, that
you are going to receive the joy of the Lord today and no longer the grief
Your loved ones are not “lost in space” or floating on a cloud
somewhere surrounded by a bunch of half-naked, wrapped in ribbons, plump
little baby angels playing harps and shooting bows and arrows!No, Sir.No, Ma’am.They are on the
Planet Heaven, living life to its absolute fullest.The Bible says their present
circumstances are far better than anything you could even imagine.
(Ephesians 3:20)You could not drag
them back to this dusty ole Earth with its Curse of the Law of Sin and
Death with a team of spirit horses!That’s right; there are horses in Heaven, too. Spirit horses.
As a matter of fact, everything you see on Planet Earth is a
replica of what is on Planet Heaven, only it’s better there. (Romans 1:20;
Hebrews 9:23)There is no curse
there! (Revelation 22:3)That means
no death, no corruption and no loss of any kind whatsoever – ever.Just things the way you wished they
always could be here on Planet Earth.So, if you have been fixating on the heartbreaking circumstances
surrounding your loved one’s departure, it is time to take authority over
your thought life.
The Bible says you are to cast down every vain imagination and
every high and lofty sorrowful thought that is attempting to exalt itself
falsely above that which is revealed in the Bible. (2Corinthians
10:4-5)It’s time for you to receive
the joy of the Lord in this matter.That’s how you are going to be able to go on.The joy of the Lord is your strength!
(Nehemiah 8:10) If you call yourself a Believer then it is time for you to
believe what the Bible says about your loved one.
Now I went a little longer than I intended on this point, but I
believe it helped you.It is
important for you to realize you are a spirit.You and every other human being ever
birthed into this Earth.
By the way, your spirit looks just like your body.Your face, height, shoe size, etc., look
the way they do right now because your skin and skeletal system are
stretched tightly over and around your spirit man, revealing who’s really
in there.Now, if you’re packing
some extra pounds, don’t blame that on your spirit.Your spirit is slim and trim and in
perfect condition.You should be
doing all you can to be sure your body properly represents that.
So, again, just relax.You
will recognize your loved ones in Heaven even as you recognized them
here.They look identical to the way
they did while here, with the exception of any symptoms of deformity,
sickness or aging.You will not find
yourself searching for name tags until you find them, either.As a matter of fact, as soon as you
arrive, they will probably walk right up to you and say, “Hey, I told you
there was nothing to worry about.Here I am.Fit as a
fiddle.You aren’t looking too bad
yourself. C’mon, I want to show you where you live.You’re going to love the color.Jesus picked it out Himself.He said He knew you’d love it.” (John
Soul of Man
The soul of man is actually the mind of man.The soul is comprised of the mind, the
will, the intellect and the emotions.The human soul is where the human being acquires knowledge.It is a storage and operational area for
information, learning,logic, and reason.It
is kind of like a hard drive on a computer only it is alive.
It is also the battlefield where every
Christian battle is won or lost.That is why Paul said to be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
(Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10)He
was saying to fill your soul with knowledge of God’s Word so you will be
forearmed when Satan comes to deceive you in any given area of life.Skip this responsibility and pay
Satan thrives on taking
advantage of Believers who have not bothered to learn the Book they claim
to believe in.
When you do not know God’s written Word, you cannot possibly
know God’s perfect will for your life.God’s written Word is His revealed will. Satan will take full
advantage of any Scriptural ignorance, giving you and your family a
thrashing in any area where he knows you are lacking.
So, fill your soul/mind with the truth of
God’s Word, not the trash of the world or the unscriptural, religious
teachings and traditions of man.That way, you will be able to discern between what is God and what is Satan
when the fiery darts start flying all around you.It is not God’s fault when His children
refuse to learn how to rightly divide His Word and end up paying the
penalty for it.God said, “My people
PERISH for a lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)
It is important to reiterate at this point that God does not
contact or communicate with the soul of man.The soul is in contact only with the soulical realm and God does not live in the soulical realm.God is a Spirit.He lives in
the spirit realm and He contacts man through the human spirit.
Somehow the soul is based in the human brain yet closely
connected to the human spirit.How
is this possible?I have no earthly
idea.No one does. We just know that
it is.When the human spirit departs
from the human body, the human soul packs up and heads right out with
it.The two cannot be
separated.I will illustrate this
for you from the Bible, but first I must explain something about the
passage I will use to do so.Hang in
there with me, now.You will find
this fascinating. Read it slow.
Under the Old Covenant, before Jesus died for the sins of man,
Heaven was off-limits to all human beings, even those who lived right and
believed that the Messiah was coming. This was because human blood was tainted by Adam’s sin and
man's spirit was corrupted and in union with Satan. (Ephesians 2:2,3).Sin and corruption cannot survive in the presence of
God.So God devised a plan.When a human being who believed the
Messiah was coming died, their spirit went to a special compartment of
protection formerly located somewhere in Hell.This place was called “Abraham’s
Bosom.”It was also called “Paradise.”This is why Jesus told the thief on the
cross, “This day you’ll be with Me in Paradise” only to go down
into Hell on the same day. (Luke 23:43)
On that day the thief went to the special protected compartment
for Believers called “Paradise” while Jesus went
to the unprotected part of Hell to pay the penalty for man’s sin.This is where Jesus whipped the fire out
of Satan and demon powers, restoring man’s authority.
God-given authority that had been stolen from Adam in the Garden. (Genesis
3:14-24; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14-15)
As I said, under the Old Covenant physically expired Believers
had to go somewhere other than Heaven to comfortably and safely await the
arrival of Jesus.Therefore, God
made this special compartment just for them.When Jesus completed His three-day
assignment in Hell, He went into the compartment known as
Paradise/Abraham’s Bosom, gathering up those who were held captive there
and taking them back to Heaven with Him.Here is the Scripture for that.
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended
up on high, he led captivity captive,
and gave gifts unto men.” (Ephesians 4:8)
The Scripture is clear.Jesus descended into Hell to pay for man’s sins.On the way out of Hell He went into
Abraham’s Bosom.He gathered up all
those protected, precious, waiting, excited, captive Believers and moved
them and the entire compartment into Heaven.Now, when a Born Again human spirit
leaves an expired human body, they skip the holding-tank-in-Hell part,
“Abraham’s Bosom” and “Paradise,” proceeding
directly to Heaven.
Do you remember that we are talking about the human soul?I do.I needed to explain all the above to you for a reason.Here is that reason.
A man in the Bible died and went to Hell.He looked across a great divide and saw
Father Abraham being protected in Paradise (or Abraham’s
Bosom).He shouted over to Abraham
in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments,
and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his
bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water,
and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said,
Son, remember that thou in thy
lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise
Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.”
Notice something here.This man had departed his body back on Planet Earth and was now down
in Hell, in spirit form, shouting to Abraham over in Paradise.Abraham shouted back to him, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivest thy good things …”
Reader, I have a question for you.How could Abraham tell this man to
remember his life on Earth if that wasn’t possible?It was possible and it is possible.People presently in Hell, people who were
once in Paradise and all people who are now in
Heaven have all their soulical capacities with
them.This includes their intellect,
will, emotions and the power to recall past events as is proved by the
above Scriptural illustration.This
proves that the soul is directly connected to the human spirit and travels
wherever the spirit may go.
We do not know how this works but we know from Scripture that
it is true.This means your loved
ones in Heaven will remember you and recognize you. They are not little “Caspers”, angels or zombies from Nightmare on Elm Street.They are cognizant, aware, living beings
with all the capacity to reason and recall they had while on planet
Earth.Unfortunately, this is also
true with those who end up in Hell. Let’s not even go there. No pun
The soul of man is the mind of man. It is separate from the
human spirit but somehow it is connected directly to it.It is comprised of the will, the
intellect and the emotions.It is
connected to the spirit but it is not the spirit.It is important to get this straight and
to keep it straight.We could say
much more about this but are limited by time and space. I am confident you
are getting the big picture.
Body of Man
Now we come to the body of man.The body is a dwelling place and a vehicle of expression for the
human spirit.The spirit actually
gives animation to the body.The
body is NOT the real person.The
SPIRIT is the real person.However,
in order for the spirit to live in the Earth realm it must be contained
within a human body. I call the human body my earth suit.You have to have an earth suit to live in
the earth realm.As soon as an earth
suit fails, a human spirit immediately departs for one of two places that does not require one – Heaven or Hell.
Here is another analogy.Your body is the house in which your spirit man lives while you are
here.Your body is the
tenement.Your spirit man is the
tenant.This is why when you speak
to another human being you look them in the eyes.It’s like looking in the tenement
windows.The eyes are the windows to
the inner man.You read earlier in
this article where Job said, “There is a spirit in man….”The spirit man, the real man, is on the
inside of the outer flesh tenement.
Here is one more way of looking at it.Your body is like a balloon and your
spirit is like the air that keeps the balloon inflated.
It is important to reiterate at this point that God does not
contact or communicate with the body of man.The body is in contact only with the
physical realm and God does not live in the physical realm.God is a Spirit.He lives in the spirit realm and He
contacts man through the human spirit.
When Jesus came the first time as man’s Redeemer, it was to
begin the work of Redemption, not to complete it.It was the spirit man, the real man, He
came to restore back to God in phase one of Operation Redemption.It was to keep folks from going to Hell
while phase two continues to unfold.As I said earlier, the “New Creation” or the “New Birth” occurs only
in the spirit of man.From that
point on man becomes responsible for renewing his own
mind with the Word of God. This is something the Holy Spirit will help man
with but He will not do it for him. The Apostle Paul makes this clear
“And be not conformed to this world: but be
ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that
good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Eventually Jesus will return to redeem man’s body even as He
once came to redeem man’s spirit, completing Operation Redemption.This is evidenced by the following
“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.” (1Corinthians 15:52)
the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of
the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise
first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with
them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be
with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
the Lord comes to complete Operation Redemption, the outer man, the body,
will continue to decline or “perish”.However, the inner man, the Eternal spirit, will continue to be
renewed and to gain strength day by day. (2Corinthians ) This is because the human spirit is
already immortal, even as God’s Spirit is immortal, due to phase one of Operation Redemption.
until the Lord returns, all human bodies will ultimately fail, releasing
the immortal human spirit.Somehow,
the human spirit is connected to the human body by what King Solomon
referred to as a “silver cord.”Let’s look at it.
ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the
pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then
shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return
unto God who gave it.(Ecclesiastes
the body fails, the cord is loosed and the spirit-soul team travel on to
their Eternal destination. This is why Paul wrote, “To be absent from the
body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)If you are Born Again, that is!
So there you have it.A
mini-course on “Spirit, Soul and Body.”You are not a soul.You are
not a body.You are a spirit,
created in the image and likeness of Spirit God, the Creator of all human
spirits.It is vital to a successful
walk with the Lord to understand that you ARE a spirit, you POSSESS a soul
and you LIVE in a body.
Believers who do not grab hold of this most basic of all
Biblical revelations unnecessarily live in fear and torment.Fear of death and dying
and torment concerning loved ones who have departed their earth suits
before them.Many of them end up
angry with God when He’s not guilty.In the midst of the Crisis of the Ages,
an actual Divine Dilemma, Almighty God gave His only Son that all who believed would not be lost eternally.What if He had not bothered to do
God is faithful.His
Word is true.He said to be absent
from the body is to be instantly and effortlessly in His presence.He also said to depart these earth suits
and to be with Him is far better. (Philippians 1:23)If God said it is far better, it is far better!According to Him, a great big part of Eternal Life in Heaven is a beach!
If you have a loved one who has gone on to a far better life in
Heaven, rejoice.You will see them
again and sooner than you think.
the meantime, there is work to be done to make sure everyone in your world
of influence and responsibility is ready to depart their earth suits when
the time comes.After all, we are
going to spend Eternity based upon how effectively we obey God and get the
Word out about Jesus – the only Savior of mankind.We are our brothers’ keeper!
Once that’s over, we go immediately to
the Judgment Seat of Christ.There we will have rewards either given
or taken away, all based upon actions and attitudes while living on Planet
Earth.Some will even receive Crowns which represent positions of
power and tremendous privilege.
It is vital to our Eternal existence that
we not live our Probationary Period selfishly.
If Jesus is not yet your Savior say, “Jesus, You’re my choice.”You will be glad you did when it comes time to lay down your far
from perfect earth suit.
Remember, you are a spirit being.You possess a soul and you just live in
Be blessed … John and Barbara Hamel
PS. Be sure to check out the JHM page on “Cremation vs. Burial.”The Bible has a lot to say about empty