There seems to be a lot of confusion around “what the difference is between the spirit and the soul? ” Are they one in the same? I have never really heard a great explanation, but throughout my research on the afterlife, I believe I have developed a decent understanding and will do my best to explain it here.
In the Bible, Heb 4 states “12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” this means that if the word of GOD can divide the spirit and the soul, then there must be a difference between the two.
The Greek and Hebrew do a poor job of discriminating between the two, but hopefully this article will help you have a better understanding of it.
In 1Thess5 of the Bible it says: “23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” These are the 3 parts that make up a human. I have heard it said like this “We are a living spirit with a soul, living in a body.” I think this is a good starting point because it highlights that the most important elements are the spirit and soul. Atheists would have you believe that all we are is a body with a soul, but then what is the difference between a living person and a dead person. It is the Breath of Life that must come from a creator. This is the spirit of a man.
In the Book of Genesis, chapter 2 we read “7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” So a living being has the breath of life, which is the spirit of a man.
This still doesn’t really explain things enough. So then, what are these 3 parts that make up a human? Our bodies are what allow us to communicate with this physical world through our 5 senses. That is the physical part of us. Our soul (as most ministers and even scientists will tell you), is the mind, will and emotions of a person, and our spirit (for those who have been able to see it) is just like our body, but it can only be seen in the spiritual dimension. It is our spiritual bodies that house our soul (our mind, will and emotions). Our souls contain our conscious and sub- conscious minds. The spirit and soul are inseparable but different.
When we die, what gets left behind?
It is only our bodies. So then what happens to our soul and spirit? They are what go into the afterlife, which according to the Bible then proceed to either Heaven or hell. Catholics believe there is also a Place called Pergetory, but I do not. When we die, we are still the same personality we were on the earth. We still have the same talents, likes, preferences. What changes is our understanding, abilities and our senses are heightened.
What does our spiritual body look like?
The spirit of a person is as unique and individual as we are. It is NOT a part of some “spiritual collective” new-agers think we will merge into. Our spirit s a perfect, younger version of what our bodies look like, but beautiful, without blemish and perfect. It can never be destroyed. In hell, it can suffer, but it cannot be annihilated. In Heaven, it is quickly healed from and wounds it has suffered on earth – see Rev22: “2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
In 1Cor15, the Bible states:”39 All flesh is not the same: People have one flesh, animals have another, birds and fish another. 40 And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. The glory of the heavenly body is one sort and the earthly another.” This scripture is implying that we have a spiritual “body”, and that spiritual body is what contains our soul.
The Bible also states that for those that are SAVED, they will one day be reunited with their bodies 1Cor 1551 Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – 52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. This is referred to as the “resurrection body”- the same kind that Jesus received when He rose from the dead. At the moment, Jesus Christ is the only person with this glorified body. The rest of us who are saved, will receive ours at His second coming (as the above scripture indicates).
Upon Jesus’ return, this new body will then be fused together with our spirit and soul never to be separated again. This immortal body is different than our current bodies because they will have supernatural abilities (such as walking through walls, and transforming look) as Jesus’ did. Heaven revelator & author Kat Kerr says this new body will be able to travel instantly from Heaven to Earth, not require sleep, will not be subject to hot or cold, will never get hungry and never need to go to the bathroom (amoungst a host of other supernatural abilities- outside of flying).
Understanding the difference between the spirit and soul and body allows us to focus correctly on which part needs healing and when. While we live on the earth any part of our being can suffer hurt, but it is possible to receive healing from these hurts if you go to the right place. Go to the wrong place, and you could end up doing far more damage than good.
The benefits to getting your spirit and soul healed is peace of mind- freedom, and your life back. I understand it like this: the Spirit needs salvation, the Soul healing needs deliverance, and the body healing.
What does our soul look like?
Our soul is not a physical thing that you can see. Many doctors do not believe in the existence of spirits souls) because they cannot see it, but have they ever seen the wind? A thought? How about an emotion? No, but we can see the effects of these things. The soul is similar. If we were to peel back the veil into the supernatural dimension, Kat Kerr tells us that the soul actually looks like a solid steel rod going through the spine (you’ve heard the term “iron will”) this is the will, and the soul is like perpendicular fins coming out from that will (similar to a car’s air filter). These fins are layers of our soul.
When you have an emotional attachment to a person, place, or a thing, you are making a soul tie with it. This means that a layer of your soul becomes attached to it-deposited on it, and if that thing has a soul, a layer of it gets attached to your soul. Soul ties can be good or harmful to us, and it is essential to break soul ties in order to receive healing or deliverance from certain things.
I hope that this article has given you some insight into what is the difference between the spirit and the soul- check out the other articles below for further explanation and insight.
You may also be interested in reading:
what does GOD look like
how can your spirit get healed
how to get saved/ what is salvation
breaking soul ties
what is deliverance?
what happens to someone when they die?
the difference between a Near Death Experience and an Out-of-Body Experience