Dividing Soul and Spirit

Written by Jim Staley
Dividing Soul and Spirit

Today, the average believer spends all of his time trying to “please God” by DOING things (Bible study, going to church, being obedient, memorizing scripture, etc.) that all grow the SOUL of a man closer to what it was in the beginning but leave the spirit of a man as weak as a child. (Maybe psychologists aren’t far off when they say we have an “inner child”…) Even most “giants” in the body of Christ, those who know the word, are obedient to it and are leading many into the Kingdom, are babes in the Spirit because they don’t know that the soul of a man is completely separate from the spirit and both are fed differently. Like the Northern Kingdom of Israel in bible times, it was connected to but distinctly different from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, so the soul is connected to but is distinctly different from the spirit.

Most Christians do not understand the very building blocks we are made of. Are we a spirit that has a soul, a soul that has a spirit, a body that has only a spirit that is the same as the soul? If we get this wrong, we will not understand hundreds, if not thousands of scriptures that talk about and detail the parts of a man and how they interact with one another on both the physical and spiritual planes, nor will we ever fully realize the power that is available from on High to assist us in the here and now.

The short answer is that we were originally created as a spirit being that had a soul (nefesh: personality housed inside a mind, will, and emotions) and were encased in an outer shell called flesh. The original intention of our Creator was the soul was to be ruled by the spirit and the spirit was to be ruled by THE Spirit. The Spirit (Ruach in Hebrew) is the supernatural part of a human that holds the “breath” of God that powers the entire being. When Yahweh “breathed” (nashamah) into Adam, he became a living being (nefesh: soul). The breath is the breath of life.

When we die, the soul of a man goes to a place called Sheol (a holding place/grave) awaiting either the resurrection of the just when the Messiah comes or the resurrection of the unjust that happens after the thousand year millennial reign of Christ. The spirit of a man, which is the breath of life that was breathed into him, goes back to God from which it came (Ecclesiastes 12:7). When a man surrenders his life to Christ, his spirit goes from being just the breath of God that is powering him and keeping him alive, to being activated into a real existence. It is this spirit man that is now used to communicate with the Creator, like a satellite that receives and sends out signals to its base station. Without the “satellite”, there can be no relationship or reception from the base station of Heaven. The only message that is programmed into the original “pilot light” of the spirit that is placed inside of a man for him to be alive is the gospel itself. This is how someone becomes saved to begin with. The pilot light that was placed there by God is ignited into a flame when it hears the message or truth of God. It then affects the mind, will and emotions of the man (soul), which in turn causes the man to surrender by faith to that “signal” that he neither understands or at the moment comprehends. At the moment of surrender, the full antenna (the spirit man) is birthed and ready for service.

The problem is that all of that spiritual activity that happens at the moment of salvation tends to slow down significantly, if not completely stop, as they move forward in their walk with Yahweh because we are not taught that there are two “mouths” to feed now. The physical man needs to be fed by the physical written Word in order to be holy, set apart and in proper alignment with the King and His Constitution. The spirit man needs to be fed by the spiritual Word of God Himself. The “image of God” is BOTH “sides of the coin” at full maturity. If we don’t even comprehend that these two exist together but are independent from one another, or understand our part in assisting their growth, then how can we expect to ever truly become conformed to His image? It is this concept that I hope to flush out a bit more in this post.

Let’s take a look at a very powerful, but much overlooked, passage in the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:16-17: “I do not cease giving thanks on your behalf, making mention of you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him

Okay let’s stop there. Paul asks the Father to give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM.  We have already established that your physical brain has no capacity to receive spiritual gifts or the treasures of Christ. Those go into the spirit man and that AFFECTS the soul (mind, will, and emotions) of a man. So Paul is not saying that he is praying that we learn more about the Creator in our physical minds. He is asking that our SPIRIT MAN receive the wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.

In the Greek, the main word for “knowledge” is gnosis, which is the seeking of something, learning facts and even learning spiritual knowledge, The word can even be used for a word of knowledge…all of which takes place in the physical mind. But the Greek word for knowledge in this verse really drives home what Paul is trying to say. It is epignosis, which, according to Strong’s #1922, “…is the COMPLETE COMPREHENSION after the first knowledge (gnosis). It is bringing one to be better acquainted with something known previously, a more exact viewing of something beheld before. It is a greater participation by the knower in the object known, thus more powerfully influencing him.”

Wow! Did you catch that? The soul of a man seeks all it can to know God and draw closer to Him. And to a degree, it can be successful in doing so. But he will always fall short in this quest because like the Holy of Holies is separated from the Holy Place by a veil, so the full knowledge of God can only be realized in the Holy of Holies of a man, which is found in the inner chamber of a man, the spirit man.

Paul is asking the Father to give them a COMPLETE COMPREHENSION of who He is, not in the mind of a man, but in the SPIRIT of a man which is what is supposed to lead, guide, and influence the natural man. He is asking Him to give them revelation (vision: chazown) and for Him to download the spirit of wisdom (which contains that knowledge) so that they can be more powerfully influenced by the Spirit that is within them.

 Folks, Paul understands something that we simply have completely overlooked. If you truly meditate and seek to understand this concept, it will change everything on how you view both the scriptures and your spiritual life. Before we continue in Ephesians, I want to go to a very popular scripture and let the Spirit bring you overwhelming revelation like He did me. It is found In Hebrews chapter 4.

Hebrews 4:12-13: “For the word of God is living and powerfully working and sharper than every two-edged sword, even piercing as far as dividing apart of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart; 13 and there is no creature unrevealed before Him; but all things are naked and laid open to His eyes, with whom is our account.”

So with our new understanding of the fact that the spirit man is totally distinct and separate from the soul of a man, and that the soul of a man cannot house or hold the things of the spirit, we can now understand these scriptures in a completely new light. Also, if you remember from an earlier post, there is also a difference between the White Fire and the Black Fire. The White Fire is the spiritual Word of God from which Yeshua came and from which the worlds were formed, and the Black Fire, the Word of God that was placed on tablets of stone, written down in a book and designed to guide and affect our souls. Since I was a child, I have always looked at this scripture as the physical “Word of God,” the holy scripture itself that was able to divide soul and spirit. But understanding now exactly what the written Word was designed for from the beginning, to guide our flesh, and that it was only given because of “sin” (Galatians 3:19), it simply does not have the ability to divide unto the spirit of a man. That is not its purpose. When we come to verse 13, the chazown (vision/revelation) is instant and deep.

Verse 12 starts off talking about the “word of God,” but it doesn’t tell us which one. Is it the physical Word (Black Fire), or is it the spiritual Word (White Fire)? Verse 13 gives it away when it says that “there is no creature unrevealed before HIM…” The second it uses “Him,” it immediately tells us that it is the White Fire, the spiritual Word. Remember John 1:14 where it says that “the Word became flesh”? It wasn’t the physical Word that became flesh. It was the Logos, the Memra, the Word BEFORE the written Word, that became flesh. This is a critical point to understand as it tells us that it is not the physical scriptures that we read with our physical eyes that have the ability to penetrate into the spirit, but the ACTUAL Word, or SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the ACTUAL White Fire Word that is found only in the spiritual and can only be contained by something that is spiritual…the spirit man. This in no way takes away from the written word. May it never be! It is simply the other side of the coin! You cannot have one without the other!

Okay. Let’s get back to our study in Ephesians. Paul was in the middle of praying for complete comprehension of the knowledge of God for his converts in Ephesus. He desired for them to receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Him for a purpose. And what was that purpose? So, that “18 the eyes of your mind will be enlightened to know the hope of His calling.”

Which eyes? Your physical eyes? Of course not! He is talking about the spirit man! He wants their spiritual eyes to be opened so that they can truly understand “the hope of HIS calling.” His hope? Did you catch that? It doesn’t say “YOUR calling.” Paul says that he wants us to know what HIS hope is! What is the entire point of His calling us? It is for us to fulfill His hope. And what is His hope? The short answer is that we would grow into the fully mature Bride of Christ. The rest of verse 18 tells us that we the “saints” are His hope: “…the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” WE are the inheritance of God. Israel has always been the inheritance of God (Deuteronomy 4:20) and if you are His people, then you are grafted into the children of Israel, His inheritance (Romans 11, Ephesians 2). And because we are His inheritance and only “hope” for His message to spread in this earth realm, He desires for us to grow into His image, which is found in our spirit man.

Paul goes on to say in verse 19 that God desires for us to know the “surpassing greatness of His power toward us, the ones BELIEVING according to the working of His mighty strength.” He wants us to understand that the POWER OF GOD is TOWARD US! And if the power of God is toward us and for us, who can be against us? When our spirit man begins to absorb and grow into maturity, it begins to hold the power of the Almighty, the “fullness of God,” inside of it. And when it becomes fully mature to house the “fullness of God” of chapter 3:19, then the King is FULLY sitting on His throne in your inner man. And where the King is enthroned, there is His Kingdom! This is why Luke 17:21 says that the “Kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU!” (emphasis added).

This should also bring great revelation to the scripture in Mathew 6:33 when it says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” If the “kingdom of God is within you” and it can only be housed in the spirit man, the inner man, and Paul is trying to get us to grow the spirit man, then we now know WHY He wants us to have all this revelation, wisdom and spiritual knowledge of who He is in the inner man. Because the larger the spirit man grows, the larger the Kingdom of God grows inside of us! If all of His children truly focused on growing their spirit man into maturity ALONG WITH the chastisement of the soul into obedience, we would LITERALLY be BRINGING THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO EARTH! The sons of God would again be made manifest!

Furthermore, look what this revelation does to the famous Lord’s prayer that says “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, THY KINGDOM COME, thy will be done ON EARTH as it is in Heaven….” Yeshua’s main desire when He gave us instructions on how to pray is that we pray that the Kingdom of God that is in Heaven become manifested INSIDE OF US on earth! This revelation from the Spirit makes my spirit leap with joy and makes the scriptures come alive in a whole new way!

But we are not finished with this passage. Next we will dive into the authority of the spirit man, where it comes from, how it is developed, and hopefully the Spirit will lead us to how to use it. In the meantime, pray for chazown (vision) and CHAZAK! (BE STRONG!)