The Soul and Spirit of the Natural Body, and the Spiritual Body of the First Resurrection

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When God breathed into man the breath of life, man became a living soul,

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. (Genesis 2:7 [KJV])

Just as animals became living souls when they came into existence,

And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living souls, and let fowl fly above the earth in the expanse of the heavens. And God created the great sea monsters, and every living soul that moves with which the waters swarm, after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:20-21 [DBT])

And God said, Let the earth bring forth living souls after their kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth, after their kind. And it was so. (Genesis 1:24 [DBT])

And this became the natural body man was sown into, a body formed of dust of the ground, housing the breath of life and his living soul,

it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:44 [NIV])

This breath of life that gives life to this natural body is the spirit of life, as there is no distinction between “spirit” and “breath” in the Hebrew and Greek languages, both words mean “wind, breath”. This same spirit of life that gives life to the natural body of man is also the same spirit of life given to the natural bodies of animals,

And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two by two of all flesh in which is the spirit of life. (Genesis 7:15 [JB2000])

Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? (Ecclesiastes 3:21 [ESV])

Now, when this natural body dies, the breath of life given to man returns to God who gave it,

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7 [KJV])

And the soul of a man, which became living and awake by the breath of life, then becomes dead and asleep when the breath of life departs, and is then kept in Sheol in this state of sleep,

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. (Ecclesiastes 9:10 [ESV])

For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. (Psalm 16:10 [ESV])

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13 [NIV])

And because it is the breath that gives life, consciousness, and awareness to the soul,

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26 [NIV])

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. (Genesis 6:3 [KJV])

The soul receives knowledge, understanding, and wisdom from this “breath of life” or “spirit of life”,

But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. (Job 32:8 [NIV])

Which is how the soul knows, perceives, and feels through the spirit of life,

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11 [KJV])

And immediately Jesus, having known in His spirit that they are reasoning thus within themselves, says to them, “Why do you reason these things in your hearts? (Mark 2:8 [BLB])

And having sighed deeply in His spirit, He says, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” (Mark 8:12 [BLB])

Therefore Jesus, when He saw her weeping and the Jews having come with her weeping, was deeply moved in spirit and Himself troubled. (John 11:33 [BLB])

Having said these things, Jesus was troubled in spirit, and He testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” (John 13:21 [BLB])

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:16 [ESV])

and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23 [ESV])

And so, the existence of any “being” is his soul, whether man, animal, or angel, which is why the angel that identified himself by name, as the name translated as “LORD”, spoke of his own soul,

I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect… And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you. (Leviticus 26:11-30 [ESV])

There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up… God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you.’ “This is my aeonial* name, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. (Exodus 3:2-15 [NIV])*

Interlinear Links: *lə·‘ō·lām (aeonial), Exodus 3:15

As such, although this body is sown in weakness, as a natural body of flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God,

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:50 [NIV])

It will then be raised as a spiritual body,

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual. So also it has been written: “The first man Adam became into a living soul; the last Adam into a life-giving spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:44-45 [BLB])

Which is the spiritual body that Jesus Christ was resurrected into,

 [18] For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he should lead us forward to God, having put to death indeed the flesh, but being restored to life to the spirit;  [19] in which also having gone he proclaimed to the spirits in prison,  (I Peter 3:18-19 [ABP])

Which is a body of power,

it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; (1 Corinthians 15:43 [NIV])

That is not only able to be in the form of spirit, which is the invisible form of “wind”, hence why it is called a “spiritual body”, which is a body made of wind, which is the same form angels can turn into,

In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” (Hebrews 1:7 [NIV])

Now about the angels He says: “He makes His angels winds, His servants flames of fire.” (Hebrews 1:7 [BSB])

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14 [NIV])

Just as they are able to take the form of fire,

There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush… (Exodus 3:2 [NIV])

he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. (Psalm 104:4 [ESV])

But can also change into the form of flesh and bones,

See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” (Luke 24:39 [ESV])

Which is able to eat and drink, as the angels that spoke with Abraham did,

The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way–now that you have come to your servant.” “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.” (Genesis 18:1-5 [NIV])

And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” (Luke 24:41 [NIV])

And as a body of power, it can not only turn into the form of flesh and bones, but also vanish back into the invisible form of spirit, hence,

Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. (Luke 24:31 [NIV])

Then the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. (Judges 6:21 [NIV])

And just as the last Adam, who is Jesus Christ, was resurrected into this spiritual body, which can take the form of flesh and bones, or back to spirit form, the elect will also be changed into these same bodies,

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 [NIV])

To then inherit the kingdom of God, to rule on the earth in these bodies of power,

Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6 [NIV])

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19 [ESV])

and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the aeon* to come, (Hebrews 6:5 [ESV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰῶνος (aeon), Hebrews 6:5

For the elect will bear the image of Jesus Christ, being changed into a similar body as he, when he returns,

And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. (1 Corinthians 15:49 [NIV])