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What is the “spirit” that returns to God at death?

Death just might be one of the most misunderstood subjects today. To many it is enshrouded in mystery and evokes dreaded feelings of fear, uncertainty, and even hopelessness. Others believe that their deceased loved ones are not dead at all, but instead live with them or in other realms! Still others are confused about the relationship between the body, spirit, and soul. But does it really matter what you believe? Yes… absolutely! Because what you believe about the dead will have a profound impact on what happens to you in the end-times.

Genesis 2:7 talks about God forming man from dust, then breathes into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.

So where in this account did God gave man the “spirit”?

Gen 2:7 …breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…

Breath (nesh-aw-maw) from the original Hebrew means; a puff, that is, wind, vital breath, spirit.


“For as the body without the spirit is dead…”James 2:26

Spirit (pnyoo’-mah) from the original Greek means; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze.

In other words, this text in James 2:26 would read, “the body without the breath is dead.” Surely we know that a dead person do not breath, their lungs stop working and their heart stops beating.

Does any other in the bible understand that the “spirit” that returns to God at death is the “breath”?

“All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils” Job 27:3

This goes back to Genesis 2:7 which talks about God “..breathing into his nostrils the breath…”. As we note that Job had a clear understanding of this bible truth and the origin of Man. He confirms that the breath that is in his nostrils is the Spirit.

The spirit or breath of life by which man lives is only lent him of God and at death goes back to the Great Author of life. When this spirit or breath of life goes back to God and the body returns to dust (Ecclesiastics 12:7), the individual no longer exists as a living person, loving, conscious, thinking being. Nowhere in all of the bible does the “spirit” have wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. It is the “breath of life” and nothing more.

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