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#1. THE SPIRIT and SOUL LEAVE the BODY at DEATH

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Introduction 1.1

There is one fundamental mistake that many people seem to make when teaching about death, and that is that they treat the soul or spirit and body as a single entity after death. This is wrong. The soul or spirit leaves the body at death and can no longer be coupled together with it as a single entity after that, until resurrection. To get the right understanding the spirit or soul have to be treated separately when people are dead. This bible study gives plenty of scripture evidence that the spirit or soul leaves the body at death.

#1.1 THE SOUL GIVES LIFE to THE BODY and LEAVES the BODY at DEATH

GENESIS 35:16-20
16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor.
17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, Do not fear; you shall have this son also.
18 And it came to pass, as her soul1 was departing, that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin.
19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave to this day.

1 KINGS 17:17-23
17 And it came to pass after these things, the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so severe, that there was no breath left in him.
18 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with you, O you man of God? Have you come to me to call my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?
19 And he said to her, Give me your son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
20 And he cried to Yahweh, and said, O Yahweh my God, have you also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?
21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to Yahweh, and said, O Yahweh my God, I pray you, let this child's soul1 come into him again.
22 And Yahweh heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul1 of the child came into him again, and he revived.
23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother: and Elijah said, See, your son lives.

ISAIAH 53:12
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul1 to death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

MATTHEW 10:28
28 Do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul2, but rather fear him who is able to ruin both body and soul in Gehenna.

REVELATION 6:9-11 (John)
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls2 of those who were killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren who should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Note: In the Old Testament the Hebrew word translated soul1 is נֶפֶשׁ , 'nephesh' Strong's 5315. In Genesis 35:16-20 we see an account of Rachel giving birth to Benjamin. The labor was difficult and the scripture says, "Her soul was departing" (v18) "And Rachel died" (v19). It seems from this that when a person dies the soul departs; it goes somewhere but we are not told where it goes here. In the account of Elijah raising the widow's son from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-20) he prayed for the child's soul to come back into him. God answered his prayer and the child's soul entered into him and he came back alive. This refutes the false teaching that says the soul ceases to exist at death. Jesus "poured out his soul to death" (Isaiah 53:12) also confirms that the soul leaves when a person dies. In the New Testament the Greek word for soul2 is ψυχή 'psuche' Strong's 5590. It is basically the equivalent of the Hebrew 'nephesh' in the Septuagint but it is used more in a spiritual sense in the New Testament; the non physical part of a human being. In Matthew 10:28 we are told that men can kill the body but not the soul. This is proof from the words of Jesus himself that you cannot treat the body and soul as being in the same condition when a person dies. The soul does not die when a person dies. Jesus also said, "Everyone who lives and believes in me shall certainly not die for ever." (John 11:26). Now those who heard him all died physically so he could only be referring to the soul or spirit. The soul leaves and goes somewhere. In Revelation 6:9-11 we are told that the souls of the righteous dead are under the altar, which is obviously in heaven (Revelation 8:1-3; 9:13; 14:17-18; 16:7). These were killed for their testimony and they were crying out (Revelation 6:10). They were not asleep, or non existent, nor did they "know nothing" as some teach. They were receiving white robes (v11) and waiting for other Christians to be killed so that they could be resurrected when Jesus returns (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

#1.2 THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE to the BODY and LEAVES the BODY at DEATH

JOB 34:14-15 (Elihu)
14 If he sets his heart upon man, if he gathers to himself his spirit1 and his breath;
15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again into dust.

PSALMS 104:29
29 You hide your face, they are troubled: you take away their spirit1, they die, and return to the dust.

ECCLESIASTES 3:21 (Solomon)
21 Who knows the spirit1 of man that goes upward, and the spirit1 of the beast that goes downward to the earth?

ECCLESIASTES 8:8 (Solomon)
8 There is no man who has power over the spirit1 to retain the spirit1; neither does he have power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those who are given to it.

ECCLESIASTES 12:7 (Solomon)
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit1 shall return to God who gave it.

LUKE 8:54-55
54 He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, Child, arise!
55 And her spirit2 returned, and she rose immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat."

LUKE 23:46
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit2: and having said thus, he gave up the spirit.

JAMES 2:26
26 For as the body without the spirit2 is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

REVELATION 11:9-12 (John)
9 And they of the people and tribes and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.
10 And those who dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts to one another; because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half the Spirit2 of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon those who saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them.

Note: The word translated spirit1 in the above scriptures is the Hebrew word רוּחַ 'ruach' Strong's 7307. It occurs 378 times in the Old Testament and in the KJV it is translated Spirit or spirit (232x), wind (92x), breath (37x), side (6x), blast (4x), and 11 various other translations.
The word translated spirit2 in the above scriptures is the Greek word πνεῦμα 'pneuma' Strong's 4151. It occurs 385 times in the New Testament and is translated Spirit or spirit (273x), Ghost or ghost (91x), various others (21x) in the KJV. Ecclesiastes 3:21 can be interpreted spiritually, so 'man' refers to a righteous man and 'beast' refers to a sinful man. This would indicate that a righteous spirit returns to God as Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, even as Jesus expected his to go to his Father (Luke 23:46). An unrighteous spirit goes to 'Sheol' in the Old Testament (Isaiah 14:9-10; Ezekiel 32:21) or 'Hades' in the New Testament (Luke 16:23). As the body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26) it seems obvious that the spirit must enter into a person again in order for it to come to life. This is exactly what happens as the spirit of Jairus' daughter returned for her to be resurrected (Luke 8:55), and also the two prophets (Revelation 11:11 KJV).

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