Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Is There a "SPIRIT IN MAN"?
Why did Yeshua say, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit'? Is Satan able to take a dead spirit? What is a spirit? Is it alive? Is there really a "spirit in man"? And if so, just what is that essence called "spirit," anyway? Is it an "immortal soul"?
by HOIM Staff
Amazing as it may seem to many, the Bible teaches that human kind does not have an "immortal soul," as so many religions teach. Angels are composed of spirit, they are spirit beings (Psalm 104:4). But man is flesh and blood, composed of the dust of the earth -- "And the LORD God formed MAN of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [air, with oxygen]; and man BECAME a living soul" (Gen. 2:7).
In the Psalms of David we also read of man, "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts PERISH" (Psalm 146:4).
In other words, when a man dies, he "dies like Rover -- he dies all over." There is no thinking, no planning, no thoughts of any kind, in the grave, where a man goes at death. All vital functions cease; life is extinguished. Dead means just that --- dead!
Contrary to the religious beliefs of many people, including many mainstream "Christians," mankind does NOT possess an "immortal soul." This belief is pagan to the very core. Our article on Does the Bible Teach Reincarnation? explains the origin of the "immortal soul" doctrine thoroughly.
Rather than possessing an "immortal soul," the Scriptures teach that man IS a "soul" -- that is, a mortal "soul" -- for Ezekiel said, "The soul that sinneth, it [the "soul" itself!] shall die" (Ezek. 18:4, 20). He said this twice!
The "Soul" is MORTAL
The Hebrew word here is nephesh, #5315 in Strong's, and means "a breathing creature, i.e., animal or (abstract) vitality," and is translated in a wide variety of ways -- "appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, man, mortality," etc.
Notice how this word is used in the Scriptures. We read: "And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul [nephesh] shall be CUT OFF from his people" (Gen. 17:14). Thus a "soul" can be "cut off" -- that is, KILLED!
Abraham was afraid for his life, on another occasion, because his wife Sarah was so beautiful. He thought Pharaoh of Egypt might seize her and kill him to get her, so he asked Sarah to pretend to merely be his "sister." He told her, "Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul may live because of thee" (Gen. 12:13). Clearly, then, "souls" can DIE!
Many Scriptures show that "souls" can be "cut off," or killed (Exo. 12:15, 19; 31:14; Lev. 19:8, 22:3, etc.). We read further of any man who would defile the Day of Atonement by working upon it, "And whatsoever soul that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I DESTROY from among his people" (Leviticus 23:30). Thus human souls can be destroyed! Obviously, then, the "soul" of man is NOT "immortal"!
Showing that the "soul" or nephesh is a temporal, fleshly, entity which can die, or be killed, the very same word is used in the Bible translated as "creature." We read: "And God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh] that moveth" Gen. 1:21). "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [nephesh] after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth . . ." (v. 24). After the Flood, God said to Noah, "And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature [nephesh] that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast . . ." (Gen. 9:9-10).
The word nephesh is also used of "DEAD BODIES" in the Scriptures. Notice!
"Neither shall he go in to a dead body [nephesh], nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother" (Lev. 21:11).
A man under a Nazarite vow was commanded, "All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall come at no dead body [nephesh]" (Num. 6:6).
This principle that a nephesh is not an "immortal soul," although it is sometimes translated as "soul" in the Old Testament, is further shown in Numbers 9 where we read: "And there were certain men who were defiled by the dead body [nephesh] of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day. . . . And those men said unto him [Aaron], We are defiled by the dead body [nephesh] of a man . . ." (Num. 9:6-7). YEHOVAH God then told Israel that if any man were "unclean by reason of a dead body [nephesh]," then they could sacrifice and observe the Passover at a specially appointed date, exactly one month after the normal Passover (verse 10-11).
Plainly, then, "souls" are the same things as "bodies" and can DIE!
This proves beyond any doubt that the "soul" of man can DIE! The word nephesh refers in the Scriptures to mere animal, sentient LIFE! It often refers directly to animals, and men, as well as living or dead creatures. There is nothing "immortal" about it!
We NEED to YET Receive "IMMORTALITY"
In other words, there is nothing immortal about mankind, in his present existence! We are created from the dust of the earth, and we return to the dust when we die!
Only YEHOVAH God, at this point in time, possesses true "immortality." We read in Paul's first epistle to Timothy, his son in the faith, that "our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who ONLY hath immortality . . ." (I Tim. 6:14-16). Of all human beings, only Yeshua the Messiah now has or possesses immortality!
As human beings, then, we are distinctly "mortal,' and capable of DEATH! And, unless at some future point in time YEHOVAH God GIVES us "immortality," we shall all PERISH!
That is why Paul spoke of the resurrection of the dead! He declared, "So is also the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a SPIRITUAL BODY. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul [Greek, psuche, the equivalent of the Hebrew nephesh]; the last Adam was made a quickening [living] SPIRIT" (I Corinthians 15:42-45).
Paul goes on, explaining, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew 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. For this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY" (I Cor. 15:50-53).
Did you get that? As human beings, we do NOT YET possess any 'IMMORTALITY"! We DO NOT have any "immortal soul" that lives on after DEATH! When we die, it is all over -- UNLESS WE ARE RESURRECTED, and our fleshly bodies are CHANGED into immortal spiritual bodies!
We must "put on" immortality at the resurrection! (I Cor. 15:50-52). At that time, our vile and corruptible human bodies will be changed into glorious spirit bodies! As Paul also wrote: "For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall CHANGE our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his GLORIOUS body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Phil. 3:20-21).
This will not happen until the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah, at the RESURRECTION!
Therefore, in our present state of existence, we are mere mortal beings -- like just any flesh-and-blood creature that walks the earth. We are composed of DUST! As the Scripture says, when man dies, he returns to the dust; and his body decomposes -- "for dust thou ART, and unto dust thou shalt return" (Gen. 3:19).
As Solomon himself pointed out, man, being of the earth, has no physical preeminence above a beast -- one dies just like the other. Solomon wrote,
"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even ONE thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other: yea, they have all one breath: so that a man hath NO preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place [the grave]: are of the DUST, and all turn to DUST again" (Eccl. 3:19-20).
But is that all there is to the story? Or is there more?
"The SPIRIT in Man"
Solomon continues, "Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of beasts that goeth downward to the earth?" (v. 21). The Tanakh has this passage:
"For in respect of the fate of man and the fate of beast, they have one and the same fate: as the one dies so dies the other, and both have the same life-breath; man has no superiority over beast, since both amount to nothing. Both go to the same place; both came from dust and both return to dust. Who knows if a man's life-breath does rise upward and if a beast's breath does sink down into the earth?"
Solomon speaks of "the spirit of man." What is this?
The patriarch Job wrote, "There is a spirit in man" (Job 32:8). What is this "spirit"?
The word for "spirit" in the Hebrew is ruach, number #7307 in Strong's Concordance. It is the same word used for "holy spirit." We read elsewhere in Job, "The spirit [ruach] of God hath made me" (Job 33:4). In the Psalms, David declared, "take not thy holy spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11), and, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit?" (Psalm 139:7).
The word ruach is defined as
"wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; fig. life, anger, unsubstantiality . . . by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being . . ."
The Greek New Testament equivalent of this word is the Greek word pneuma, number #4151, which also means
"a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by anal. or fig. a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by impl.) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit."
It is variously translated in the King James Bible as "ghost, life, spirit, mind."
This word is the same word used in John 4:24, where Yeshua said that YEHOVAH God Himself IS "spirit," and those who worship Him must do so in "spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).
Man, then, at this time, is not "spirit," nor is he a "spirit being." Nor does he have an immortal "soul" in him. But he does have "breath" of life, and a spirit within him which imparts "life," as well as "mind" power, and rationality -- the ability to think!
What then is this "spirit," as it is applied to mankind?
Clearly, from the words of both Solomon and Job, we know that mankind does have a "spirit" in him. What is that spirit? That spirit is what we might call "human spirit" -- or that special "essence" which distinguishes mankind from animals in general. This "spirit" is the part of man's mind, which gives him cognitive, thinking, creative powers -- like the very powers of YEHOVAH God. It is given to us by YEHOVAH, and is from Him, and is therefore part of YEHOVAH's essence, which causes us to literally be "in his image, after his likeness" (Gen. 1:26). It is what sets us apart from beasts, and gives us the potential of becoming literal "sons of God" and divine children of the Almighty (II Cor. 6:14-17).
What is this "spirit"?
It is a spiritual essence which gives man his distinctiveness, his originality and creativity, his "God-likeness," as it were. At death, it returns to YEHOVAH God.
The Process of Conversion
When a man is converted, and receives the spirit of YEHOVAH God as a begettal (Rom. 8:9-10, Eph. 1:13-14), that spirit unites with our human spirit, becoming one. (It might be compared to the divine "sperm" uniting with the human "egg" and thus forming a new spiritual being inside us.) Thus we partake of YEHOVAH's divine nature (II Pet. 1:4). Paul wrote that as Christians, then, we come "To the general assembly and church of the firstborn [or, "first-begotten"], which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect" (Heb. 12:23).
The spirit of YEHOVAH God unites with the spirit in man, thus forming a new spiritual entity. Thus we are commanded to "be renewed in the spirit of your mind," and become literally a "new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph. 4:24). We are to "put on the NEW MAN, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Col. 3:10).
The "spirit in man" is literal spirit essence. It is not, however, an immortal soul. When we die, it returns to YEHOVAH God who gave it. As Solomon wrote,
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it" (Eccl. 12:7).
A New Look at the "Spirit in Man"
The spirit itself has no consciousness, no knowledge, doesn't think, or create, or do anything, of itself. It is comparable to a "tape" recording of a person's life, attributes, character, memory, mind, and "essence." It must be "activated" in order to "play." But it has no consciousness of its own. That is why Solomon could write, "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything" (Eccl. 9:5). Solomon also wrote: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest" (Eccl. 9:10).
The spirit in man is a form of energy, power, like the spirit of YEHOVAH God (compare Luke 1:35). It is a spiritual component of man's brain, or mind-power. It has or reflects human emotions, those emotions which again make us "in God's image" even insofar as human emotions go. As Mary said, upon hearing that she was to be the mother of the Messiah, "My soul [life] doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Luke 1:46-47).
This spirit essence is invisible, and is therefore also eternal. As Paul declared, "for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Cor. 4:18).
When the spirit of man returns to YEHOVAH God, it is kept in storage, as it were, until the resurrection, when it is given a new body, made in heaven (II Cor. 5:2), and is thereby "clothed upon," by this new spirit body,
"that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit" (vs. 4-5).
Paul discusses the spirit in man, when he writes to the Corinthians,
"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew . . . But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so, the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:7-14).
YEHOVAH's Spirit unites with our human spirit, or spirit essence within us, and imparts to us spiritual wisdom, knowledge and understanding. But the carnal, natural mind of man cannot discern or understand these spiritual truths -- they seem like "rubbish" to him. He is completely blinded to the real spiritual world, and the spiritual dimension revealed to us by the spirit of YEHOVAH God.
The Spiritual Dimension
There has been much confusion on this subject, because Satan the devil has attempted to deceive and delude all mankind into believing the "immortality of the soul" lie. But only YEHOVAH God is truly immortal, at this point. When we are born of Him, at the resurrection, then we too will share in His divine immortality.
As physical human beings, we are only familiar with the four dimensions -- the first dimension is that of a flat straight line; the second dimension of flat space (a plane), with intersecting lines; the third dimension of height (the cube or sphere); and the fourth dimension of time. But there is a fifth dimension -- the world of spirit -- the spiritual dimension! YEHOVAH Himself, and the angelic kingdom He created, dwell in that unseen, invisible dimension.
But in the future, when YEHOVAH God returns, our human spirit, which is even now united with his holy spirit, will be given a new spirit body of awesome glory and radiance, power and energy, strength and might just like the Messiah -- for the Messiah our Saviour is "the brightness of his [YEHOVAH God the Father's] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power" (Heb. 1:3) -- and "we shall be LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2).
Having YEHOVAH God's spirit united with our spirit, as a divine begettal, therefore, makes us the children of YEHOVAH God, in an embryonic state, spiritually. At this time we have received the "beginning" of our inheritance -- the "down payment" as it were -- the "earnest money." As Paul writes, YEHOVAH has called us,
"That we should be to his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the EARNEST of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory" (Ephesians 1:12-14).
To the Corinthians Paul wrote, "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" (II Cor. 1:21-22). Further, Paul wrote,
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven [it will come from heaven to earth!]. . . . Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the EARNEST of the Spirit" (II Cor. 5:1-5).
The word "earnest" in these verses is #728 in Strong's Concordance, arrhabon, and means "a pledge, i.e. a part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest." My Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary says the word "earnest," in this sense, in English, comes from the "Greek arrhabon, from Hebrew erabhon," and means, "something of value given by a buyer to a seller to bind a bargain; a token of what is to come."
YEHOVAH God gives us of His holy spirit as a down payment, a "security deposit," showing us that He intends to complete our purchase and redemption by ultimately giving us the fullness of His spirit, and at that time we will become spirit!
But not yet! At this time, we have just the "earnest" of YEHOVAH's Spirit within us!
As Paul wrote,
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwellelth in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies BY HIS SPIRIT that dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:9-11).
Let's understand this!
Our Incredible Potential
Paul goes on, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (v. 14). Yes, literal SONS of Almighty GOD! Imagine that! So say the very Scriptures of truth! And what does this really mean? Paul explains, in epochal, universe-shaking words: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with OUR spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs OF GOD, and JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST . . ." (Romans 8:16-17).
This is our destiny! This is our supreme high calling!
Paul wrote in the book of Hebrews,
"But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the work of thy hands: Thou hast put ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left NOTHING that is not put under him. But now we see NOT YET all things put under him" (Heb. 2:6-8).
Did you get that? ALL THINGS ultimately are to be RULED OVER by redeemed man!
"All things" means, literally, EVERYTHING GOD MADE or CREATED!
That means the ENTIRE UNIVERSE!
Forget Star Trek, forget Star Wars, forget all the "Trekkie movies," and science fiction films you have seen or heard of -- they are nothing but a delusion, a fantasy, a mere whiff, a vapor, a tiny glimpse, compared to the AWESOME, STUPENDOUS, MIND-BOGGLING GLORIOUS DESTINY YEHOVAH God our Father has planned out for MANKIND!
As Paul wrote, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known" (I Cor. 13:11-12).
"Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit"
The KEY to this whole process, which YEHOVAH God is working out here below, is the spirit of YEHOVAH and the spirit in man.
YEHOVAH's spirit unites with our spirit to formulate and create a NEW MAN -- a new SPIRITUAL ENTITY!
Thus when Yeshua the Messiah died on the stake, we read in the gospel of Luke: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost" (Luke 23:46). The Greek words for "spirit" and "ghost" here are one and the same -- pneuma, #4151 in Strong's, meaning "a current of air, i.e., breath, breeze, i.e. vital principle," and can refer to "mental disposition," or "an angel, demon, or God, Christ's spirit, the holy spirit," and is translated "ghost, life, spirit, spiritual, mind." As we have already discussed, it is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word ruach.
Thus when the Messiah commended his spirit to YEHOVAH God the Father, he was referring to the spirit in man, his spirit, which was united with YEHOVAH's holy spirit. He committed his spirit to YEHOVAH God for its safe-keeping, and security, awaiting the resurrection, which in his case was three days later (Matt. 12:40).
David likewise prayed in the Psalms, when he was in trouble by evil men,
"Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth" (Psa. 31:2-5).
Our spirit is our character imprint, our essential being, recorded on "spirit" for YEHOVAH God to preserve and guard throughout our life, and even after we are dead and buried, till the resurrection from the dead. It is our essential link with the divine. Without it, we are no better than the animals or plants of the earth -- here today, gone tomorrow.
As Isaiah prophesied, "All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever" (Isa. 40:6-8).
A Human Analogy to "Spirit"
Spirit itself is alive, in the sense of being in existence, as a spirit-recording of our character; yet it is not "alive" in the sense of being active, sensory, or conscious. It will be, at death, in a state of suspended animation, "sleep," unconsciousness and inactivity -- like a computer that is turned off, or unplugged. It still exists. Its memories are still held within its data banks. But all this is meaningless unless or until it is "turned back on," reconnected with the "electrical circuit," and re-activated.
Technically, therefore, our spirit is never "dead" in the full meaning of the word "dead" -- destroyed, terminated, returned to dust. Rather, it becomes like a radio or television set that is simply "turned off." But it can be turned back on at any time of YEHOVAH's choosing. At human death, it becomes "deactivated." But it is still capable of being reunited with a body and "reactivated" at the resurrection of the dead!
Therefore, when we die, YEHOVAH God "stores" our spirit in a safe place, where only He can access it. The devil has no entry into this place of safe-keeping. It awaits the new body which YEHOVAH God will supply at the resurrection of the dead.
But what about those who don't repent of their sins -- or who turn to wickedness? What about those who refuse YEHOVAH's gracious gift and rebel against His authority, and trample on His commandments?
According to YEHOVAH's Word, they will suffer what is called the "second death.' In this death, their entire history, character, personality, and essential "being" will be utterly destroyed -- terminated with prejudice -- annihilated in the lake called "Gehenna fire"!
"The Second Death"
The "second death" is different from the "first death." The first death is merely cessation of life and all life functions. However, the "spirit" in man returns to YEHOVAH God until the day of judgment! And that will be another matter entirely.
Those who rebel against YEHOVAH God, and become incorrigible, will suffer the "second death" -- that is the final cessation of life, with no hope of a future resurrection -- the final complete extermination of life. John wrote in Revelation, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection [at the Messiah's coming!]: on such the second death hath no power" (Rev. 20:6).
The incorrigibly wicked however, who refuse to repent of their sins on a permanent basis, and who refuse to amend their ways, will suffer the "second death" -- which is death for all eternity, complete and irredeemable death! As John also wrote: "But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and ALL LIARS, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone [sulphur]: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).
This death will be final. The very essence of these individuals, recorded on their "human spirit," will be destroyed -- erased forever -- their very "life imprint" and spiritual DNA and character-historical development will be expunged, erased, annihilated in the lake of fire. The spirit itself, which is eternal, will survive, but that "person" and "personality" recorded on it during this life will be eternally erased, and obliterated, along with the individual's body.
To explain the difference between the "first" and "second" deaths, notice: In the first death, the "spirit" is preserved, like a tape recording or video put in storage. It can be taken out of storage, recombined with a body, and live again in the resurrection. But in the cast of the second death, it is as if that "tape recording" or "video" tape is not merely put into storage, for later retrieval -- rather, it is as if that tape recording or video is totally destroyed, trashed, ground to atoms and disassociated molecules -- it is PULVERIZED, with no hope of any future retrieval, the destruction is so complete!
The apostle Peter describes this age-ending destruction of the wicked. He declares, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be BURNED UP. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [conduct] and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (II Peter 3:10-12).
This "second death" will be total -- complete -- utter destruction. The spirits of the wicked will be utterly DESTROYED! They will have no life or essence of any kind whatsoever left -- no genetic "blueprint" or "code" to use to ever "resurrect" them again!
This is why Yeshua the Messiah said to his disciples, in Luke's gospel,
"And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell [Greek, Gehenna]; yea, I say unto you, Fear him" (Luke 12:4-5).
Matthew's gospel account renders this,
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul [Greek, psuche, #5590 in Strong's, meaning "breath, spirit, mind, life," the animal sentient principle]: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both SOUL [LIFE] AND BODY in hell [Greek, Gehenna]" (Matt. 10:28).
YEHOVAH God can not only kill the body, but destroy the person's entire life, body and soul, meaning their entire "essence." The word for "destroy" in this verse is #622 in Strong's Concordance, apollumi, and means "to destroy fully."
Satan's Fate, Also
Satan the devil is the "god of this world" (II Cor. 2:2), the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 4:4). He is a spirit being, although not divine. Eventually, in a manner not known to man, YEHOVAH God will literally "destroy" him -- and destroy his essence -- and obliterate him from all existence (Mal. 4:1-2; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:10; Ezek. 28:16, 18-19). Our article, What Is Satan's Fate? explains this mystery much more completely can we can do here.
Since "spirit" itself is eternal (II Cor. 4:18), how does this fact impact the truth that Satan himself will be purged, expunged, eradicated -- annihilated?
Perhaps this is best understood by learning from the physical world around us. Paul said the eternal truths concerning the Godhead are made plain via the physical creation -- "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen" -- or discerned or understood (Rom. 1:20). Therefore, consider: With modern technology, we can "write" or "print" or "copy" a story on a video tape, and then store that tape for future use. But if we decide we don't like a particular tape, or "story," we can ERASE the story on that tape, and RE-RECORD OVER IT! Even so, in the spirit world, what is to keep YEHOVAH God the Father from "erasing" the very nature, hostility, and "being" of Satan the devil from the spirit essence that has been his, and then re-using this "spirit" substance, or "re-recording over it" in a future creation?
Whatever YEHOVAH God is going to do with the spirit essence of the devil, we KNOW that He will destroy the devil himself, and his fallen angels. For Yeshua said plainly: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into ever-lasting [age-lasting] fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41).
This fire will be "so hot" that it will leave them neither "root nor branch" (Malachi 4:1). The wicked -- including the devil, the king of wickedness -- will be consumed into oblivion (Isa. 14:12-20). Even the demons, when they saw the Messiah coming, said to him, "Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to DESTROY us?" Mark 1:24). The Greek word for "destroy" here is #622 in Strong's, apollumi, and means, "to destroy fully, die, perish."
YEHOVAH God Is ALL Powerful
Satan himself was at one time an archangel called "Lucifer" (Isa. 14:12-14). But when he rebelled against YEHOVAH God, he forfeited his life itself, for "the wages of SIN is DEATH" (Rom. 6:23). That applies to the devil, as well as to mankind. Even the demons will perish in the lake of fire (Matt. 25:41). YEHOVAH says, according to The Moffatt translation, in Psalm 82:6-7, "Or I say, though you are gods, all sons of the Most High, yet, like mere men you shall die, you shall perish like a demon."
Although for the time being Satan is the "god of this world," and exercises power, his authority is definitely limited. He can do nothing except what the Father allows him to do (Job 1:8-12, 2:3-6). Satan cannot take, or have any power over, the spirits of YEHOVAH's people, which belong to YEHOVAH God the Father.
As the "god of this world," the "Destroyer" (Rev. 9:11), and "angel of death," he does have limited power over the human race, to cause destruction and carnage, and as the "prince of the power of the air" he does have power over tornadoes (see Job 2:18-19), hurricanes, and typhoons -- but only within the parameters of the limits YEHOVAH God has set for him.
Likewise, when it comes to the spirit in man, Satan has only limited power to effect it, or influence it, but he has no power to destroy it. Only YEHOVAH God has such power. And the spirits of ALL men return to YEHOVAH God upon their death (Eccl. 12:7) -- not just the righteous men. And YEHOVAH GOD will be the SUPREME JUDGE of all mankind, at the resurrection. The devil will not even be around to influence men, or their spirit, or any angel, at that time, or henceforth forever.
The Glory of Immortality
The Bible teaches that there definitely IS a "spirit in man." That spirit is our potential link to the "divine." When it is united with the Spirit of YEHOVAH God, a NEW CREATION -- a new creature -- is begotten -- a literal child of YEHOVAH God!
Paul wrote to the Colossians,
"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. . . . But now ye also put off these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the NEW MAN, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Col. 3:2-10).
In this life, we are to grow in the likeness and image of Yeshua the Messiah. We are to become like him in every respect. As Paul wrote, "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again unto Christ be FORMED in you" (Galatians 4:19).
Paul also wrote, "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on THE NEW MAN, which after God [that is, after YEHOVAH's own likeness and image] is CREATED in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:23-24).
Paul also wrote, again,
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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" (Rom. 12:1-2).
We are going to be in YEHOVAH God's own SPIRITUAL IMAGE and likeness, at the resurrection -- just like Yeshua the Messiah, our elder brother! We will reign with Him in unimaginable glory! Our entire bodies then will be composed of SPIRIT, and we will shine like the sun forever (Rev. 1:12-18; Dan. 12:3).
Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that simply incredible? Marvelous?
It is truly beyond the grasp of our human minds and intellect and understanding.
As Paul wrote, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: To whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Romans 11:33-36).
This may seem utterly astonishing, and unbelievable to many, but it is true! By means of the "spirit in man," YEHOVAH God is creating a stupendous, magnificent future for all mankind. You can be a part of it!
Praise YEHOVAH God for His wonderful truth!
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