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What the Bible says about Breath of the Almighty
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Job 32:8

The spirit mentioned here is not the Holy Spirit. This “breath of the Almighty” is a separate and distinct spirit that enables people to have qualities in God's image while remaining merely human. It enables communication to take place, even between God and humans. God, however, is not the only being who can communicate with and to us. Of course, other humans can communicate with us, as can angels. Such communication is not only verbal, but it can also be through the influence of other spirits and attitudes, be they evil or righteous.

A living spirit possesses the power to sway another's attitudes and conduct. A spirit that places the desire to sin in a person's mind can be resisted, but if his guard is not up, he can allow that influence to enter his heart and become part of him. This is what happened to Adam and Eve when Satan came calling to influence them toward the desire to take of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

As long as Adam and Eve were only in the presence of the holy and righteous God in the Garden of Eden, sin was not a problem because God's communication with them was entirely righteous, encouraging, and positive. But when the personification of evil showed up, they did not resist his appeals to join with him in sinning against the holy God. Their spirits picked up on what he was communicating to them, and they joined him in sin.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Fourteen): A Summary

Ezekiel 18:4

The church of God does not accept the Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul, instead believing God's Word, which says indisputably, “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, 20). One of the very first things God taught Adam in the Garden of Eden was the consequence of sin: “you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17), a truth the serpent hastened to contradict (Genesis 3:4).

In the New Testament, Jesus teaches in Matthew 10:28: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna, a symbol of the Lake of Fire (see Revelation 20:11-15)].” Paul writes, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Humans are mortal, and God must give eternal life; we do not have it inherently (see Romans 2:7; I Corinthians 15:53-54; I Timothy 6:16).

We believe that man indeed has a spirit (Job 32:8), “the breath of the Almighty [that] gives him understanding,” but that it is not his soul. When combined with a human brain, the human spirit allows a person to have the powers of mind. When he dies, the body returns to the dust, but his spirit returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7), who safeguards it as a record of his life.

Solomon also informs us that “the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5), and “there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave” (verse 10), meaning that there is no consciousness in death. The person knows nothing, learns nothing, communicates nothing, does nothing—until the resurrection from the dead when God will unite that spirit with a new body, either a spiritual body or another physical body, depending on the resurrection (see Ezekiel 37:1-14; John 5:24-29; I Corinthians 15; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
What Happened at En Dor?


 




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