You Are a Spirit Being

You Possess a Soul & Just Live in a Body

by Pastor John Hamel


"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 you.


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 Eternal destination. 


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” better.


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 of unbelief. 


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. (2Kings 6:17) 


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 14:2)


The 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 dearly!  


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 as follows.


“And 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.” (Luke 16:23-25)


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 intended.


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.


The 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 below.


“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 verses.


“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)


“For 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.” (1Thessalonians 4:16-18) 


Until 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 4:16) This is because the human spirit is already immortal, even as God’s Spirit is immortal, due to phase one of Operation Redemption.


Eventually, 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.


“Or 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 12:6,7)


Once 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 so? 


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.  


In 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! 


The short time we’ve been granted on Planet Earth is what I call a Probationary Period.  


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 that body.


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 Earth-suit management.



How to Be Born Again (Receive Christ as Your Savior)


How to Receive The Holy Spirit & Power



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