BibleTools

Topical Studies

 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Bible verses about Spirit Beings
(From Forerunner Commentary)

A common thread runs between English "spirit," Hebrew ruach, and Greek pneuma, even when a spirit-composed being is described. "Spirit" represents something non-physical and normally invisible. We can conclude, except in the one case where "spirit," ruach, or pneuma describes a being that has revealed itself, that spirit is never seen. All that is ever seen is what spirit causes, motivates, inspires, encourages, impels, triggers, stirs, provokes, stimulates, influences, or activates. Why? Because in every other sense, except where spirit clearly means a spirit being who has revealed himself, spirit is seen as a function of the mind, whether it is God's mind, angel's mind, or man's mind. Just as we surely do not see mind, but we do see what mind does, so also we cannot see spirit but only what spirit does. As we understand it, mind is more than spirit, yet "spirit" can figuratively refer to a person's mind.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part 1)


 

Genesis 19:1

These angels are the other two who were with the Lord when He was entertained by Abraham. The other two "men" are identified conclusively as angels. It is interesting that the story begins in Genesis 18:1 as though these three spirit beings just suddenly appeared, as if one moment Abraham could not see them, and the next moment three people were suddenly there. Apparently, Abraham was of such experience that he recognized immediately who they were. He certainly was not nonplussed because he immediately bowed down and worshipped one of them, recognizing that One as the Lord.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

2 Kings 6:17

A spirit being is invisible just like wind or air is to the unaided eye. The wind and the air are real, just as spirit beings are real, and they have substance just as wind does. But the unaided eye is not able to spot them, so the ability to see something that is spirit, or composed of spirit, is not in us by nature. Though it is not there naturally, the ability to perceive them can be given.

This is what Elisha means: "Give him the ability to see what is around us." And so the young man apparently saw a tremendous army of spirit beings who were ready to do battle in Elisha's behalf should anything occur. They were there all the while, invisible but nonetheless there.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 4)


 

Daniel 10:5

What did his clothing hang on, if the common conception of spirit as just an essence is true—that there is not really anything there? Casper the Friendly Ghost seems to be covered in a white sheet, and he goes flitting around, but he has no real form or shape there because that is the common conception of spirit—that there is really nothing there. But with angels, there is something there! Spirit beings have substance, though they are spirit. Notice, he even has a waist (or loins, KJV) as human beings do.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

Daniel 10:6

He had, as we would describe it today, an iridescent, glorious body, blazing eyes, and a booming voice. And this being is not even God!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

Luke 24:36-40

Consider the context and the time. He is resurrected, composed of Spirit. He is God. Does He indicate at all that being in the body is only a part-time experience for God? No, instead He teaches them that a spirit being's body is not vaporous like a ghost and that it is not composed of earthly flesh and bone.

The implications are important in relation to other parts of the Bible. In this case, what He does not say is important because He wants them to answer in their own minds just the opposite of what they originally thought, "This is a ghost. It has no form or shape."

Yes, He did have form and shape, and it was solid to the touch. They felt Him, and their hands did not pass through Him. He is saying that He has flesh and bones, but they are not physical. They are spirit flesh and bones.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

Luke 24:39

This is not an angel but the resurrected Christ, formerly a human being. By means of a resurrection, He has gone through a transformation, and now He is God, a Spirit. He says, "Feel me. I'm not a ghost. I am solid." So they felt Him, and sure enough, He was solid.

He would not have invited them to feel Him if He did not have substance, and this was probably included in the Bible so that we would understand what our potential is. We are not going to be ghosts—we are going to be like Christ, as it says in Philippians 3:20-21. We will have a body like His glorious body, and His body has substance. Yet, even though it was substantial, the wall presented absolutely no problem: He apparently went right through it. He did not have to open the door to enter the room.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

John 3:3

Since the church is composed of flesh and blood mortals, it cannot be the Kingdom of God! God's children, begotten by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11, 14-17), will be born again—changed to spirit like God is (John 4:24)—at Christ's return (I Thessalonians 4:16-17), and then we will enter into God's Kingdom. Thus, only Jesus Christ and His Father comprise the Kingdom of God in its fullness at this time.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The True Gospel


 

1 Corinthians 15:35

Do things ever change, or do the same questions keep coming around all the time? This sounds as modern as last year—God has no body. So people in the first century were questioning what kinds of body the sons of God will have in the resurrection. Why were they questioning that? Because there were undoubtedly people, most likely of the Gnostic persuasion, who were saying that God does not have a body. And, they argued, since we are to be made in the image of God, we will not have a body either.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

1 Corinthians 15:35-37

When a person sows a seed, a seed does not pop right back out of the ground. What comes out of the ground—a living plant—is different from what is put into it. This becomes the illustration to describe the resurrection from the dead: What goes into the coffin—or into the ground—is not what comes out.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace and Law (Part 13)


 

1 Corinthians 15:36-37

Paul says a change will take place, and he refers again to what comes out of the grave being a body—a spirit body.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

1 Corinthians 15:39-40

There is no question in Paul's mind that there are celestial bodies. What is a celestial body? Many Bibles translate "celestial" as "heavenly." Paul is speaking about spirit bodies. He says plainly that spirits have bodies.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

1 Corinthians 15:41

All things in creation have bodies designed for their purpose in creation. And though there are similarities in design, they are different because of function. Notice how often the word "body" appears in this context, and within its purview, the cherubim, seraphim, and angels are included.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

1 Corinthians 15:42-49

The image Paul speaks of is not merely that we will be composed of spirit even as Christ is, but that our very nature and character be like His. If God desired that we merely be spirit, He could have made us like angels. Angels, however, are not God; they are angels. God is doing a work in us through which we will become like Him, not like angels.

His purpose requires that we cooperate. Though our part is very small by comparison to what He is doing, it is nonetheless vital. Notice how Paul draws this beautiful section of I Corinthians to a conclusion by drawing our attention to what it will take on our part to make God's purpose work: "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:57-58).

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Elements of Motivation (Part Three): Hope


 

1 Corinthians 15:49

The "heavenly Man" is Jesus Christ. We will be transformed to be like His glorious body. If we are to have a body, which will be like His, then He must also have a body now. When God restored Him to His former glory (Jesus' prayer in John 17:3-5 requests He be restored to the glory He had with the Father before the world was), He then returned to the kind of body He had before when He was the model for Adam.

Do we understand what this means? When He was resurrected, He was restored to what He was before when He was the model for mankind. As the model for Adam, He was like He was when He was resurrected. He was God. The composition was spirit, not flesh, but His body had shape and solidity (remember that He was touched in His resurrection appearances).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 2)


 

1 Corinthians 15:49

Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily, yet He was composed of spirit. When we are resurrected, it will also be bodily. We, too, will be "quickening"—life-giving, composed of spirit.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part 1)


 

2 Corinthians 3:17

In this verse, which refers directly to Jesus Christ, "spirit" is used in the sense of composition. But just because the Father and the Son are composed of spirit does not mean they have no form. If they had no form, how could the Bible honestly say that humans were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26)? They do have form. Physically, we are in Their image.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part 1)


 

Galatians 3:25

With the arrival of Jesus Christ on the scene, there was no need for the agreement—the Old Covenant—to continue. This does not mean God's laws are obsolete, but that the agreement between God and the physical children of Abraham is no longer necessary because there is now a New Covenant that far exceeds the old one in terms of promises and benefits, in addition to the fact that God has divorced Israel (Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:8). No longer is property or homeland a goal but the entire earth. No longer is physical health an aspiration but a new spiritual body that is not subject to disease or decay.

Christians are not bound by the Mosaic covenant, that "guardian" that was intended to keep Israel pointed in the right direction until there was a means by which they could receive a new heart and have access to God through the Holy Spirit. So the Old Covenant is not what we have agreed to, but it should be noted that the laws contained in "the law" (Pentateuch) still have paramount merit, because they are an extension of God's character and mind. There is no need for animal sacrifices, because Christ has fulfilled that, but there are still many lessons that can be learned through contemplating those laws. Other laws, such as the purity laws, may indeed still have a physical application as well as a spiritual one. God recorded those statutes and judgments for our admonition (I Corinthians 10:11), and they help us to see how God lives when we examine them in the light of Christ's ministry and teaching. Obeying them does not make us righteous in God's eyes or earn us salvation, but "a good understanding have all they that do His commandments" (Psalm 111:10). By them, we can learn to live as God lives (Matthew 5:17).

David C. Grabbe


 

Hebrews 8:10-11

The ultimate fulfillment of this process will culminate when we are completely composed of spirit, and God's law will be our first nature, not just second nature. But, while we are in an embryonic stage, the process has already begun in us, incrementally, as God gradually displaces our carnality and sin, replacing it with His Holy Spirit, leading to righteous behavior and godliness. Actually, no human being is completely converted, but many people are in various stages of conversion.

Conversion, then, is a life-long process in which we move from a reactive approach to lawkeeping—motivated by rewards and punishments—to a proactive approach—motivated by a deeply placed inner desire to yield and comply to the law's principles, knowing intrinsically from experience that they work for the good and harmony of all. (Proactive is a term author-speaker Steven Covey uses to distinguish internal motivation to do or accomplish something as opposed to external motivation.)

David F. Maas
Righteousness from Inside-Out


 

1 John 3:2

We will be like Him! The process of identification with Christ has begun and is not yet complete, but it is moving in that direction. It is our responsibility to do what we can to submit to God, so we are living as He does.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Resurrection From the Dead


 

Revelation 11:15-18

This last - seventh - trumpet announces the coming of Christ, the establishment of God's Kingdom, the judgment upon the nations, and the rewarding of the saints. They occur simultaneously!

The last trumpet sounds when Christ returns, not 3½ years before! If we compare verses 11-13 (the resurrection of the Two Witnesses) with verse 19, the "great earthquake" ties the resurrection of the saints with the beginning of the Kingdom (see also Revelation 16:18). In addition, an angel tells John in Revelation 10:7 that when "the seventh angel . . . is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished." There will be no more mystery about man becoming God when the saints are resurrected or changed to eternal spirit beings!

Matthew 24:30-31 also verifies this scenario, showing that the trumpet sounds to send the angels to gather the elect from all over the earth to meet Him upon His return. To clinch the argument, verse 29 very plainly says, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days. . ."! Isaiah 27:12-13, Joel 2:1-11 and Zechariah 14:3-5, 9 also confirm these events.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Caught Up in the Rapture


 

Revelation 12:7-9

Compare the language here with Daniel 10:5-21—spirit beings fighting and being cast down, even as humans fight. Only when humans fight, the loser is cast down in defeat and death. With the angelic beings, they are cast down in defeat, but there is no death.

How, then, is essence cast down? Arguments that posit spirit to be essentially insubstantial begin to become ridiculous. How does one cast down smoke, if we can think of essence in terms of smoke? Did Michael and his angels find big fans and blow the demon essence toward the earth? No, these verses give every indication that these spirit beings have substance. They are spirit, but they are substantial, tangible (that is, "capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch"; synonyms are "palpable," "substantially real," "material").

Gabriel touched Daniel, and he was aware of feeling a hand touch him on the shoulder. Another time a hand touched him on the lips, and he was able to speak. The hand had substance.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

 




The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving each day.

Email Address:

   

We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be sold, distributed, rented, or in any way given out to a third party. We have nothing to sell. You may easily unsubscribe at any time.
 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
©Copyright 1992-2017 Church of the Great God.   Contact C.G.G. if you have questions or comments.
Share this on FacebookGoogle+RedditEmailPrinter version
Close
E-mail This Page