1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV84)
Spirit, soul, and body are all separate parts of a man. But the Word of God can help us to sort out what is what.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV84)
The heart and the soul are two different things.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV84)
The heart and body (flesh) are two different things.
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (NIV84)
The Lord God has a heart and soul.
I [Lord God] will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. (Lord God-NIV84)
The heart and the soul and the mind and your strength are all four different parts of a person.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (NIV84)
Understanding the heart and soul, the body and spirit, and your strength and mind is a very interesting topic for me. As I quoted [Hebrews 4:12] above you can see that the Bible is able to enable us to understand the subtle distinctions in all of this.
The way I see it, that is, the understanding that agrees with every verse in the Bible is that there are two realities, Heaven and the Physical Universe. The Physical Universe is made out of energy/matter/time and Heaven is made out of spirit, as it were. There is a physical me and there is a spirit me, but the body in both cases is just the clothing, as it were, that I am covered with. A sculpture may be carved out of wood, but that doesn’t make it a tree. I might wear a body of atoms and such but that in itself doesn’t make me a physical being. The me that is inside the physical body is a soul. My soul is me. Kill the body, yet my soul remains.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (NIV84)
When the Bible refers to the heart it almost never is talking about the blood-pumping organ, but rather it is talking about a core drive within your being. Your heart is a facet of your person.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV84)
Your heart is moldable, changeable, susceptible, and damageable.
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” (NIV84)
Take care of what you put into your heart.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV84)
What do you truly believe? It rests within your heart. Your heart believes a thing, or it does not. In your heart, you have faith and love and hope—spiritually speaking.
A soul can be alive or it can be dead. Dead souls do not cease to exist, but rather they have been separated from the life-sustaining person of God. They have died because in their hearts they have stopped believing in God, that is, they have succumbed to the tantalizing promises of sin, that is, in self-importance, the idea that they are adult enough to rule themselves. Selfishness is spiritual cancer that consumes its host—without exception. Spiritual love is the sustaining power that can endure eternally. Your heart within your soul either believes this or it does not. If your heart within your soul opens itself to spiritual love then the love that is God flows in to illuminate and sustain. You will then see things in the light of spiritual love, and in the light of spiritual faith and you will be patient in spiritual hope. If in your heart that is within your soul you do not believe in this, then you will put your faith in yourself or in something else that you can see and touch and understand. You are a being of faith and you will put your faith in something. You will believe in something, even if it is only in the hopelessness of evil. Think about my words, ponder, meditate, consider.
Satan separated himself from God when he elevated himself above God in his heart, which is within his soul.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”. (NIV84)
“I will…” words of where Satan’s faith was. Satan believed in himself and was deceived by his own self. He believed that he could and would establish a better existence than that which God could and would. What is the outcome of this thinking? Let us look at the verses that follow in Isaiah.
But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. 16 Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, 17 the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”
18 All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb. 19 But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, 20 you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people. The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again.
21 Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities. (NIV84)
I would like to point out something to you. God didn’t bring Satan down, and neither did he send him to Hell. The passage says, “you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.” Satan destroyed himself. Sin is like a fire that burns its host. The fire of sin destroys. God is not the destroyer, rather he is the Sustainer.
Where is your faith? Is it in the sustaining power of Divine Love, that is, in God, or is it in yourself and the things that you can see? Is your faith in your hard work and years of study? Perhaps it is in the university that you attended, or the diploma that you received. Or, perhaps it is in your network of friends, or in your seniority or your cheerful disposition? Where is your faith? Is it in the country of your birth? Perhaps in your ancestry? Where is your faith?
You are a soul and within your soul, you have at your core a belief. If you are a child then you have a natural faith in something outside of yourself because you recognize your vulnerability. Most children believe in their parents and in God, but now you are raised and the teaching that you receive in the fallen world may have deceived your thinking deep in your heart of hearts to believe in something other than God. (Please understand I am not talking about believing in God’s existence, no, I am talking about believing in spiritual Love that is a soul too. Do you understand what I am saying here?) When a person believes in God they put their trust in him.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV84)
You are not your body. You are not your body! Your body will pass away. It will, it’s guaranteed. Your body might die tomorrow, or perhaps in a hundred years, but it will die. You are an eternal spirit soul that is only temporally wearing a physical body. Symbolically the body is referred to like clothes that you put on.
1 Corinthians 15:53–55
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (NIV84)
If you belong to God by faith then when your earthly remains have been cast off you will be clothed with a new spiritual, imperishable, body. If you do not belong to God by faith then when your earthly remains have been cast off you will be naked and denied the presence of God.
After the man and the woman sinned in the Garden of Eden, they found that they were naked.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (NIV84)
Naked is not nude. They were nude before, but they had nothing untoward to be exposed. They were covered in righteousness. They were covered in holiness and purity. But after, what they had become was evident to all, they were naked, they were embarrassed, they were fearful, they sought to hide and cover themselves. The natural world is only a metaphor for the eternal spiritual state.
So, why did God put eternal spirit souls into physical universe bodies? What is the purpose of the world?
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. (NIV84)
If a spirit person can see the goodness of God and still break away then they are guilty of eternal sin because they have rejected the Holy God willfully. The Bible says this about Satan, “You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. ([Ezekiel 28:12]-NIV84) Then we see why Satan fell “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.” ([Ezekiel 28:17]-NIV84) Satan could see the glory and beauty of God but he also fancied himself, and his fancy led to pride which ended in sin and death. God hid you inside an animal body to keep you from pride and he hid his own glory and beauty from you so that you would not be guilty of eternal sin just by fancying yourself over God.
I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”
30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.” (NIV84)
Jesus is giving us a clue here. Look at what brought this statement from Jesus.
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” (NIV84)
The teachers of the law were filled with jealousy and fear when they saw Jesus. They were so full of themselves that Jesus appeared to them as threatening. Please think about what they saw and what they thought. They saw this unlearned nobody, this poor outsider, this person from the backwoods of Nazareth, gaining in popularity at every turn, and he was telling the people not to listen to them. The religious leaders of that day saw themselves as the elite. They expected and received, respect and honor and praise from the people. Next to the king, they were as high as you could go in that society. And they saw this Jesus person showing them up and taking away their place in society. They feared and hated him for that. That is what drove their desire to kill him. They were prideful and their pride blinded their eyes to the truth of Jesus Christ.
I want you to imagine someone like Jesus arriving on the scene today. Here comes this nobody of a person, a person that hasn’t any university education at all, and no political experience whatsoever. He comes and starts making speeches to common folks in parks and on street corners and part of his message is one that foretells the complete destruction of virtually everything in our society. He tells the poor people that every rich oppressor will soon die. That every corporation will be pulled down never to rise again, that every single national government around the whole world will soon be gone, that almost everyone on the planet will be dead, and not buried because there won’t be enough people to bury them. Now, imagine that people are starting to listen to him. They are pulling away from everything in the world and it looks like what this person is saying might actually happen. Well, my friend, do you imagine that the leaders of today would like this person, this nobody of a religious person, this poor uneducated troublemaker? You have to remember that this person, this nobody, was performing miracles and signs and wonders and the people were amazed and were becoming intrigued.
Don’t think that all of this is from some time in the distant past, no, it is right around the corner. Very soon, very soon, the Two Witnesses of Revelation chapter eleven will start to preach and they will be telling the world of the Second Coming of Christ and of everything that I just mentioned. They will be telling everyone about the impending destruction of the world as we know it. The people of the world will hate them because they fear them and their message. God’s judgment is coming, get on board with God and don’t even think of opposing him. Everything that is written will come to pass, nothing will fail to happen.
You are not your body. You are an eternal soul. Our bodies are tied to this world and we fear the loss of our bodies. Anything that comes along and threatens our bodies and the bodies of our families we naturally fear and oppose, but there is no winning against the Second Coming of Christ. We must educate our hearts concerning the will of God. God’s will is coming and we want to be ready for him. Our bodies will never be ready for God. Our bodies are selfish by design. That is why Jesus had to fast for 40 days before he began his ministry. Jesus had to get control over his body, and so must you. You are not your body. You were created in the image and likeness of God himself. Draw near to God in your spirit soul.