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throwback
04-30-2011, 12:56 PM
What are we? Are we spirits temporarily 'housed' in tents of flesh or are we living souls quickened by the breath (spirit) from God our creator which gives life and being to us? Is there a part of us that lives on after death or instead, when we die, are we truly just dead?

Richard Amiel McGough
04-30-2011, 01:12 PM
What are we? Are we spirits temporarily 'housed' in tents of flesh or are we living souls quickened by the breath (spirit) from God our creator which gives life and being to us? Is there a part of us that lives on after death or instead, when we die, are we truly just dead?
Great questions! I've been wondering about these things a lot lately. The traditional position is that we are "souls" inhabiting physical bodies like houses. There's plenty of Scriptural support for this view. But some Christians, like Nancy Murphy, have proposed the idea that we are nothing more than our bodies, and that's why the physical resurrection is so important. If our bodies are destroyed then we don't exist at all.

Another idea, which has a lot of "intuitive validity" for me, is that there is only one "Self" that shines through the eyes of every conscious being like a single Light refracted through many prisms. This is the Hindu view which teaches the path to Enlightenment is found in realizing your identity with the one Self.

But I really don't know what I believe about this question yet and I've been thinking about it a lot lately, so I'm glad you brought it up.

throwback
05-02-2011, 10:07 AM
My views on this subject have changed over the years dramatically. I used to think as mainstream religion does that we have immortal souls that 'reside' in tents of flesh until we die, and at that point, our souls 'relocate' to either bliss or torment.
Needless to say when I started really studying the Hebrew scriptures just as vigorously as I had studdied the NT texts that I realized that the ancient view of death and man's nature for that matter was different than what I had always believed. The more I looked to the scriptures, the more convinced I become that man, as opposed to having a soul actually was a soul made alive by God's quickening spirit. I came to the realization that it is God's quickening Spirit that leaves us at death to return to the Father and NOT our souls.
In coming to that realization, I looked for someone, anyone who had come to such conclusions as had I and I found unlikely bedfellows that included JW's and SDA's and I realized that though I disagree vigorously with each on many subjects, we have much harmony in our understanding of the nature of man. Go figure that.

joel
05-02-2011, 11:49 AM
My views on this subject have changed over the years dramatically. I used to think as mainstream religion does that we have immortal souls that 'reside' in tents of flesh until we die, and at that point, our souls 'relocate' to either bliss or torment.
Needless to say when I started really studying the Hebrew scriptures just as vigorously as I had studdied the NT texts that I realized that the ancient view of death and man's nature for that matter was different than what I had always believed. The more I looked to the scriptures, the more convinced I become that man, as opposed to having a soul actually was a soul made alive by God's quickening spirit. I came to the realization that it is God's quickening Spirit that leaves us at death to return to the Father and NOT our souls.
In coming to that realization, I looked for someone, anyone who had come to such conclusions as had I and I found unlikely bedfellows that included JW's and SDA's and I realized that though I disagree vigorously with each on many subjects, we have much harmony in our understanding of the nature of man. Go figure that.

Throwback, Paul admonished Timothy to hold to a pattern of sound words (II Timothy 1:13). My personal experience is that when we learn the expressions of those who have led us in the faith, often these expressions cannot be found in scripture, but, have become common place terms that may not be "sound".

A good example is....the immortal soul.....this cannot be found anywhere in the OT or NT that I know of. Our bodies, upon death, return to the soil. Our spirits return unto God. The soul, which is expressive and conscious as long as spirit and body are joined, enters into an imperceptible state awaiting the reunion of body and spirit. This is what I have come to understand. It seems that you hold beliefs similar to these.

Joel

throwback
05-02-2011, 01:06 PM
Throwback, Paul admonished Timothy to hold to a pattern of sound words (II Timothy 1:13). My personal experience is that when we learn the expressions of those who have led us in the faith, often these expressions cannot be found in scripture, but, have become common place terms that may not be "sound".

A good example is....the immortal soul.....this cannot be found anywhere in the OT or NT that I know of. Our bodies, upon death, return to the soil. Our spirits return unto God. The soul, which is expressive and conscious as long as spirit and body are joined, enters into an imperceptible state awaiting the reunion of body and spirit. This is what I have come to understand. It seems that you hold beliefs similar to these.

Joel

I hope I do not sound crazy, but in many ways i wonder whether or not the Earth itself is not alive. It produces all the material for biological life and even when sentient beings, (those which have been quickened by the breath from God), die, life continues.

joel
05-03-2011, 07:26 AM
I hope I do not sound crazy, but in many ways i wonder whether or not the Earth itself is not alive. It produces all the material for biological life and even when sentient beings, (those which have been quickened by the breath from God), die, life continues.


Paul says in Romans that the system of the creation is subject to corruption. I see this a deteriorating process whereby the elements are broken down, and are in continuing cycle of decay....birth (physical), and the impartation of life (spirit)....introduces each of God's creatures into the environment in which they exist until the corruption causes a breakdown.......Jesus described the kernel of wheat.....which if not subjected to the process.....would exist alone.

However, when it falls into the ground and "dies".....much life will spring forth from the "death" of its outer shell.

there is coming an event which is the culmination of this wondrous process....Paul describes it as......huiosthesia- son placing. This will occur when we will be housed within bodies fit for that creation.....the new creation.
Those bodies will neither be dying, nor corrupting.

That is the hope of those who await His triumphant return.

Joel

duxrow
05-03-2011, 08:49 AM
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. 1Thes5:23 KJV

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any
twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of
the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
heart Heb4:12 KJV.

"Wherefore when he[Jesus] cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me" Heb 10:5 KJV
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Rom8:3
"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" Phil 2:7
So we are 3-part: Spirit, Soul, and Body, as Paul wrote. Back in Genesis when God said "Let US make man in our own image" we decided God looked just like us, but probably on a massive scale and maybe with a long beard. Times change, and we probably re-thought after John wrote about God being a Spirit (with the Holy Spirit..).
Just my thinking -- subject to change, of course..

throwback
05-03-2011, 10:23 AM
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. 1Thes5:23 KJV

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any
twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of
the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
heart Heb4:12 KJV.

"Wherefore when he[Jesus] cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me" Heb 10:5 KJV
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Rom8:3
"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" Phil 2:7
So we are 3-part: Spirit, Soul, and Body, as Paul wrote. Back in Genesis when God said "Let US make man in our own image" we decided God looked just like us, but probably on a massive scale and maybe with a long beard. Times change, and we probably re-thought after John wrote about God being a Spirit (with the Holy Spirit..).
Just my thinking -- subject to change, of course..

What is meant by 'soul' and 'spirit' in the scriptural texts? I ask this question because understanding how the Bible defines these terms will help us to accurately understand the meaning of the scriptures you quoted. For instance when the Hebrew writer speaks of the LOGOS (my rendering of 'word') of God being being able to divide soul from spirit, does that mean it divides man's immortal essense from man's immortal essense or does it infact say that it is powerful enough to divide the breath from the breather/breathing thing?

duxrow
05-03-2011, 10:46 AM
Sorry, Can't really get a handle on your last question. Tell myself, 'I AM a Spirit, I have a Soul (memories), and I live in a Body'. Song and music are likely to impact the Spirit more than the Soul, is the way I think of it.

2Cor 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. is where "taking things with a grain of Salt" is probably a good idea. (Not being too exacting or persnickety - ha.)

throwback
05-03-2011, 12:30 PM
My question was intended to bring into the discussion the Bible's uses of those terms. Typically in scripture when the term soul is used it is a reference to one of a number of things ranging from:

1. a living breathing creature
2. one's life
3. the thoughts, feelings, and emotions
4. one's entirety both physical and emotional

It is important to note that NOWHERE in scripture are we told that the soul is immortal.

As for 'spirit', in scripture it has various meaning as well ranging from:

1. an unseen force or power
2. breath or wind
3. a being's nature, charactor, or makeup

In Genesis we are told about man's creation and how God formed man from the dirt and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. The word translated as breath is the same that is translated as 'spirit' in other places. That means that we can properly understand man's creation as God breathing His spirit into a clay design to give it life. The scripture goes on to tell us that once God did this that man then BECAME a living soul. So according to scripture as opposed to being the possessor of an immortal soul, we ARE mortal souls quickened by God's life giving spirit that as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, "returns to God to gave it" at our demise.

Now let's deal with Matthew 10:28 in light of what has been established by scripture about what man is. It reads:
And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
Admittedly alone and on its surface apart from the greater context of God's revelation to us this texts seems to indicate that the soul lives on after death of the body. So we must dig a bit deeper and view this in light of what scripture has established and even look for some parallels that could help us better understand Jesus' words here. We can start with a nearly identical text in Luke 12 which reads:
I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who after killing has power to throw into Gehenna: yes, I say to you, fear him.

What does it mean or better yet how did Jesus and his countrymen understand being "thrown into Gehenna"?
Gehenna was a burning garbage dump outside of the city of Jerusalem's wall where trash as well as the bodies of criminals were thrown. It was considered by the Jews as a destiny of the wicked from which there was no hope of being raised to life (e.i. experiencing a resurrection).

duxrow
05-03-2011, 01:57 PM
The Soul?
1. a living breathing creature..
2. one's life
3. the thoughts, feelings, and emotions
4. one's entirety both physical and emotional
#4 definitely rubs me the wrong way and #2 also...
The Spirit sometimes compares to the heart (or the bowels: whatever turns you on when you see something breath taking). At least that's the way I think of it...

Understand Mt10:28 to be referring to Satan (god of this world, 2Cor4:4) who is the oppressor, Acts 10:38, and Our Adversary, Rev12:10.

You touched on it: how God breathed into Adam who became a Living Soul -- then in John 20:22 Jesus breathes on his disciples, and finally in 2Tim3:16 we learn of the "God-breathed Word" available to us for our reading and understanding.

Bob May
05-10-2011, 08:32 AM
My undersdtanding is that we are Body, Soul and Spirit.
Our spirit returns to God from whence it came at death. Raw material.

Our spirit died because of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
That fruit is death. Fruit=outcome, the outcome was death.
The knowledge that we partook of is the "cause and effect" do good, get good mentality. This is the beginning of the Law mindset. The end of the law is death also.

We recieve a new Spirit when we believe. It is alive.
Our soul needs restoring because it has all the wrong ideas. We have created our own soul, in the sense that we have filled it with memories, thoughts, emotions, etc... all based upon cause and effect mentality.

We have to change our soul (ideas, our view of reality) to fit the new life we have been given. This is the work of salvation of the soul. But it cannot happen while we are under the law mentality or we would just be filling it with more cause and effect ideas. When we believe we become aware of Grace. That is that which flows down from God. A gift. And part of that gift is the restoration or Re-storing everything that makes up our soul.
The Father does that. We just watch and agree with the choices He makes.

It has always been the soul that we are worried about at death. It is US as far as our normal waking consciousness is concerned. Where does it go? Where do we go? It is the fear of losing ourselves, the fear of death that has held us in bondage.
Oblivion or eternal pain? Those are the choices for someone who is under the law and knows of the requirement of perfection.
But along with an awareness of Grace comes an awareness of imputed righteousness. That is also one of the gifts. (Not taught enough in churches)

The body is planted and rots and like a seed we get another one of a different type. Paul writes about this. The plant is not the same as the seed planted.

Good question tough to answer. That is my current understanding.
Bob

duxrow
05-10-2011, 04:15 PM
Hi Bob, from another Bob,
..Our spirit died because of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That fruit is death. Fruit=outcome.
Hadn't thought of it like that - so maybe this was the famous "poison apple"? and then we were only 2-part? Problem for me though because I believe babies and young children haven't lost anything (yet..).

We have created our own soul..? No: God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul, Gen2:7--now our "breath" comes via 2Tim3:16 "the God-breathed Word".
Personally I think of soul as the memories and understanding, which don't change automatically just because we're born again, even though (at least in my case) my motives are not what they used to be. amen?

Bob May
05-10-2011, 09:27 PM
Hi Bob, from another Bob,
..Our spirit died because of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That fruit is death. Fruit=outcome.
Hadn't thought of it like that - so maybe this was the famous "poison apple"? and then we were only 2-part? Problem for me though because I believe babies and young children haven't lost anything (yet..).


Yes, two,... spirit and soul at that point. We got the bodies later when we got the coats of skins. God said we would die when we ate. We did and we did. That was our spirit in my understanding.
They didn't lose it if they never had it. We all lost it in the garden.



We have created our own soul..? No: God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul, Gen2:7--now our "breath" comes via 2Tim3:16 "the God-breathed Word".

""...We have created our own soul, in the sense that we have filled it with memories, thoughts, emotions, etc... all based upon cause and effect mentality.""
We didn't actually create it. That was not my point. We made it what it is. We filled it.




Personally I think of soul as the memories and understanding, which don't change automatically just because we're born again, even though (at least in my case) my motives are not what they used to be. amen?


Your memories don't change but your viewpoint of those memories will. For one thing you will not feel ashamed at things you were ashamed of before because when God forgives he forgets. And shame was nailed to the tree.
Also memories sometimes change in the respect that you may see things in your past that happened only now you may see a reason you did not before.

As we grow in the awareness of Grace our entire viewpoint changes. So does our understanding. What was filtered through a mind disconnected from God is now filtered through a mind that is becoming aware that we are forgiven.
Everything changes.

I don't know what you mean by automatically. I would say gradually but there are times in which there is more or less change.

Bob

duxrow
05-11-2011, 06:18 AM
Not bodies until clothed w skins? Sounds like you're ribbing me.., since Adam's "flesh" was closed after Eve was extracted. 2:21. "The foolishness of God is wiser than man"..1Cor 1:25.
Agree I should've said 'gradually' instead of 'automatically. Somezymers again.
Adam lived 70 yrs. short of making it to 'Day Two' by the Lord's POV when a thousand years are as a day, so he died on Day One.. at least that's the way I see it. Not sure whether eating was a sin worthy of death. ??

Bob May
05-11-2011, 09:49 AM
Not bodies until clothed w skins? Sounds like you're ribbing me.., since Adam's "flesh" was closed after Eve was extracted. 2:21. "The foolishness of God is wiser than man"..1Cor 1:25.
Agree I should've said 'gradually' instead of 'automatically. Somezymers again.
Adam lived 70 yrs. short of making it to 'Day Two' by the Lord's POV when a thousand years are as a day, so he died on Day One.. at least that's the way I see it. Not sure whether eating was a sin worthy of death. ??

Isa 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Isa 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

Various levels spoken of here. Both of the "earth" and of mankind.
We are threefold in nature. Body soul and spirit.
Man was called forth, created formed and made.
The earth was created "not in vain"
Formed to be inhabited.
The "made" we fell into.
Man is threefold. With a forth level for those who are called by His name.

The way I see it the spirit and soul of man who was created androgynous were separated at the taking Eve out of Adam. The "flesh" was of the formative world.
It also says at that event that God put a deep sleep upon Adam. It never mentions that God ever woke him up. But there is a lot in the rest of the bible that shows that God has been trying to wake us up since then.

Maybe the significance of that is that because of this separation between soul and spirit, they have been out of communication or synch. Just speculating here.
But whatever the case may be with that, the process of waking up or coming back to life begins with belief. With being born from above.

With that experience comes the ability to begin to hear what the scriptures are saying as it applies to us.
Without the Spirit, it is just words.

"Ribbing me!" Now I get it.

Also Bob