Monday, July 7, 2014

The Nature of man: Body, Spirit & Soul

I. Two different views of man's nature:

A. Carnalist/apostate view: Man is a monochotomous (single natured) being:

  1. "carnalist" groups all hold this view: Jw's, Adventists, Plain Truth/Armstrong, Christadelphians
  2. Carnalists are merely modern day Sadducees: Acts 23:6-9 notice that in regard to the three items mentioned, Paul sided with the Pharisees against the Sadducees.
  3. They teach man is composed wholly of matter and cannot exist or function apart from the body
  4. They define spirit and soul as breath, blood, energy, life force etc.
  • Spirit is to the body, what electricity is to a light bulb, gas to a car, electrons to a computer
  • When the power is turned off, the computer ceases to operate or "dies" and is no more "alive" than a stone.
  • If a computer is smashed to pieces while it is running, its "life force" leaves it and it ceases to operate and exist as a computer. So is man when he dies
  1. They do not believe man has any existence or consciousness after death: No life after death!
  2. They believe Jesus ceased to exist for the three days he was dead

B. Biblical view: Man is a dichotomous (dual natured) being:

  1. Man is composed partly of matter (body) and partly of non-material soul and spirit.
  2. In a more technical sense man is trichotomous possessing body, soul and spirit: 1 Thess 5:23
  3. Soul and spirit can be divided: Heb 4:12 "Joints & marrow" are to the physical half of man what "soul & spirit" is the spiritual half of man
  4. Soul and spirit, although different in some way are used interchangeable in scripture: Lk 1:46-47

II. Arguments to prove the dichotomous (dual) nature of man:

A. Properly define the meaning of the word death:

  1. Carnalists define death as the cessation of all activity, awareness and consciousness
  2. It is never defined by lexicographers as annihilation, non-existence or unconsciousness but a separation. Death in the Bible is pictured as a separation between two things.
  • Physical death: (separation of body and soul): Eccl 12;7; Gen 25:17; Jas 2;26
  • Spiritual death: (separation of God & man):Gen 2:17; Isa 59:1-2; Lk 15:24; Mt 8:22; Eph 2:1,5;1 Ti 5:6
  1. Hell is described as the second (spiritual) death: Rev 20:14-15 Our first spiritual death was when we first sinned and were separated from God. We will be reuited with God again at the judgement. The wicked will be separated from God a second time for eternity in hell.
  2. Dead to sin joined to God: Rom 6:2,11; Gal 2:24
  3. Dead to the Law of Moses, joined to Law of Christ: Rom 7:4; Gal 2:19

B. The word soul is used in many different ways in the Bible

  1. Carnalists emphasize that man does not have a soul, rather man is a soul. Soul=physical life
  2. Carnalists quickly point out that both man and animals have "souls": Gen 1:30; Job 12:10
  3. How can a corpse of a man be called a "soul" according to their narrow definitions? Num 19:13
  4. Different meanings of soul:
  • Physical body: Mt 2:20; Lev 17:11; (Dead: Num 19:13)
  • The immaterial invisible part of man separate from the physical life: Mt 10:28
  • The basic will: Mt 11:29; Jas 1:8; 4:8- "two-souled", Acts 4:32- "congregation was one soul"

C. The word spirit is used in many different ways in the Bible

  1. When Carnalists show you a verse to prove their definition of the word soul or spirit, their proof texts are usually interpreted correctly. Simply agree to their definition in that verse then turn to the many verses where none of their definitions fit.
  2. Carnalists teach that man's spirit is his breath or life force like electricity and is non-conscious
  3. Spirit means breath in Gen 2:7 & 2 Th 2:8, does it mean this every time it is used in the Bible?
  • "power over unclean breath" a bottle of listerine? Mt 10:1
  • "breath refreshed" a candy mint? 2 Cor 7:13
  • "troubled in breath" asthma? Jn 13:21
  • "Meek and quiet breath" Didn't snore? 1 Pet 3:4
  • "They thought they had seen a breath" vapour in very cold weather? Lk 24:37
  • "Father into thy hands I commit my breath" cupped in His hands for 3 days? Lk 23:46
  1. Spirit can refer to material things like wind-Jn 3:8
  • Vine: pneuma (pneuma) primarily denote the wind also breath; then especially the spirit, like the wind, is invisible, immaterial and powerful.
  • Spirit or wind is a "word picture" for the non-material part of man and the essence of God
  1. Spirit can refer to the sum of all character qualities:
  • Spirit of fear: 2 Ti 1:7
  • Patience of spirit vs. haughtiness of spirit: Eccl 7:8
  • Meek and quiet spirit: 1 Pe 3:4
  • Spirit of gentleness: 1 Cor 4:21
  • Fervent in spirit: Acts 18:25
  • the spirit is willing: Mt 26:41
  • stand fast in one spirit (purpose): Phil 1:27
  • his spirit stirred (motivated) within in; Acts 17:16
  • In the spirit (character) of Elijah: Lk 1:17
  1. Spirit can refer to intelligent conscious being apart from the physical body: Lk 24:39
  • God is a spirit: Jn 4:24
  • Jesus committed His Spirit into God's hands: Lk 23:46
  • The Holy Spirit is a "He" not an "It": Jn 16:12-14
  • Angels are spirits: Heb 1:14
  • Demons are spirits: Lk 4:33; Eph 6:12
  • Man has a spirit: Acts 7:59 (man is created in spiritual image of God, not physical image)

D. "I think I saw a ghost!" (Jesus' disciples believed in spirits and He didn't correct them)

  1. Transfiguration had Elijah and Moses appear in spirit form: Mt 17:1-5
  2. Jesus appeared twice after resurrection and disciples thought He was a ghost Mk 6:47-51
  3. Jesus stood in disciples midst after raising & thought they were seeing a spirit Lk 24:36-39
  4. Sadducees deny angel & spirit but Paul & Pharisees accept them: Acts 23:6-9

E. Carnalists believe man is wholly physical and material yet the Bible says:

You're not getting older...but better!


Outward man

Inward man

2 Cor 4:16Outward man decayingInward man renewed
Rom 7:22The bodyThe inward man
Mt 26:41Flesh weakSpirit willing
3 Jn 2Be in good healthjust as your soul prospers

F. Carnalists believe man is monochotomous (single) natured yet the Bible says:

The body is the house or sheath of the soul




Mt 10:28Man can kill the bodybut not the soul
2 Pet 1:13-15Lay aside my dwellingafter my departure
Dan 7:15In the midst of its sheathmy spirit was distressed
Mt 27:52Many bodies aroseof the saints
Lk 8:52-56She immediately rose from deadHer spirit returned
Ps 42:6within meMy soul is in despair
Zech 12:1within himGod forms the spirit of man
1 Cor 2:11which is in himthe spirit of a man
Num 16:22all fleshThe God of the spirits of

G. Carnalists reject any kind of life or consciousness apart from the body or after death, yet the Bible says:

Not the god of the dead...but of the living



Life after

Lk 16:19-31Poor man diedwas carried away by angels
Mt 17:1-5Moses: 1500 BC & Elijah: 730 BCAppeared to disciples 33 A.D.
1 Sam 28:1-20Samuel diedAppeared to Saul soon after
1 Sam 28:19Saul and two sons diedjoined the presence of Samuel
Gen 25:17Breathed his last, diedwas gathered to his people
Eccl 12:7Dust to earthSpirit to God
Rev 6:9-11 Souls of dead Christians under altar
Lk 20:37-38Jehovah is not the God of the deadAbraham, Samuel, Moses & Lazarus live now

H. Carnalists deny that when Christians die they are immediately in presence of God, yet the Bible says

To be or not to be ... That is question


To be in body

To be with Lord

Phil 1:22To abide in fleshTo die and be with Christ much better
2 Cor 5:6-8To be home in body, absent LordTo be absent from body and with Lord
2 Cor 12:3Whether in bodyor out of body
2 Tim 4:6-Time of departure has come
Acts 2:27-31Flesh abide in hopeSoul not abandoned in Hades

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