Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Where will our spirit and soul go after our body dies?

Where will our spirit and soul go when our body dies?

Have you ever asked yourself this question, “Where will our spirit and soul go after our body dies?

If so, you’re not alone.

Some Holding to Truth readers of  our  post, “What is the Difference Between the Spirit and the Soul of Man?” have asked this and related questions in the comments.

In response to these readers’ questions, and for others who share the same thoughts, I’ll use this post to answer from the Bible,

“Where will our spirit and the soul go after our body dies?

The Bible reveals that the spirit and soul go to Hades (Sheol) after the body dies. 

Sheol is the Old Testament term.

The Bible first mentions the departure of people to Sheol in the Old Testament. In Genesis 37:35 Moses writes concerning Jacob,

“And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted and said, Surely I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning. Thus his father wept for him.”

Again in Psalm 6:5 David said,

“For in death there is no remembrance of You; in Sheol who can give thanks to You.”

Hades is the New Testament term.

In Matthew 11:23, Christ rebuked the unbelief of the people of Capernaum saying,

“And you, Capernaum, who have been exalted to heaven, to Hades you will be brought down. For if the works of power which took place in you had taken place in Sodom, it would have remained until today.”

But what is “Hades”?

Hades is the place where the souls and spirits of the dead are kept.

Footnote 1 on this verse in the Recovery Version explains what Hades is and the relationship between Hades and Sheol:

 Hades, equal to Sheol in the Old Testament (Gen. 37:35; Psa. 6:5), is the place where the souls and spirits of the dead are kept (Luke 16:22-23; Acts 2:27).

Hades is the “heart of the earth,”  and the lower parts of the earth.

In Matthew 12:40, the Lord, in comparing Himself to the prophet Jonah, said,

“For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”

Footnote 1 on this verse explains what the “heart of the earth” is:

The heart of the earth is called “the lower parts of the earth” (Eph. 4:9) and Hades (Acts 2:27), where the Lord went after His death…

The Bible also reveals that Hades has two sections–comfort and torment.

Footnote 1 on Matthew 12:40 continues to point out from Luke 16:19-31 that there are two sections of Hades:

Hades, equal to Sheol in the Old Testament…has two sections, the section of torment and the section of comfort (Luke 16:23-26). The section of comfort is Paradise, where the Lord went with the saved thief after they died on the cross (Luke 23:43). Hence, heart of the earth, lower parts of the earth, Hades, and Paradise are synonymous terms, referring to the place where the Lord stayed for three days and three nights after His death and before His resurrection.

The section of comfort is the pleasant section of  Hades which is also  called Paradise and “Abraham’s bosom.”

In Luke 16:22 the Lord Jesus said,

“And the beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.”

Footnote 1 on this verse points out that Abraham’s bosom is a a rabbinical phrase, equivalent to being with Abraham in Paradise and tells the reader to see note 1 on verse 4 in 2 Corinthians 12. The referenced verse, 2 Corinthians 12:4  says,

“That he was caught away into Paradise and heard unspeakable words, which it is not allowed for a man to speak.”

The beginning of footnote 1 on verse 4 says,

The pleasant section of Hades, where the spirits of Abraham and all the just are, awaiting the resurrection (Luke 16:22-23, 25-26), and where the Lord Jesus went after His death and stayed until His resurrection (Luke 23:43; Acts 2:24, 27, 31; Eph. 4:9; Matt. 12:40)…

It’s also clear from this note and Paul’s account in 2 Corinthians 12 that heaven (v. 2) and Paradise (v. 4) are not the same place.

The section of  torment is the unpleasant section of Hades.

In Luke 16:23 the Lord continued His discourse about the rich man saying,

“And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham from afar and Lazarus in his bosom.”

However, God does not want even the worst of sinners to suffer in the place of torment. But the issue is how we respond to the Lord Jesus.

Where does your spirit and soul go when your body dies?

“And [Jesus] said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43

To which section of Hades a person’s spirit and soul goes when their body dies depends on their response to Jesus.

Luke 23:32-43  gives us two responses to Jesus with two outcomes.

There were two criminals crucified on  either side of the Lord. The mocking criminal despised Him and perished. But the other criminal believed that Jesus was the Christ with this blessed response,

42 He said, Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.

43 And He said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.

This word of the gospel should give us hope to pray for even the worst of sinners that they may believe into Jesus Christ. In this way the Lord can also receive them even as He did that believing criminal on the cross.

The hope for the dead, “sleeping,” believers is to be resurrected at the Lord’s coming.

Hades is not the final destination! For the believers, it is simply the resting place where they “sleep,”  awaiting the resurrection of life at the Lord’s return (John 5:29). In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16, Paul encouraged the believers with the hope of the resurrection of the dead,

 13 But we do  not want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who are sleeping, that you would not grieve even as the rest who have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so also those who have fallen asleep through Jesus, God will bring with Him.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are living, who are left remaining unto the coming of the Lord, shall by no means precede those who have fallen asleep;

16 Because the Lord Himself, with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Since the resurrection of the dead and the eternal destiny of God’s redeemed is another vast subject, we’ll have to save those points for another post. But we can conclude by thanking the Lord for the believers’ hope of resurrection:

Lord Jesus, we praise you that, as believers in Christ, death and Hades are not our end.  They are only a gateway with  a comfortable resting place in Paradise until we meet You in resurrection at Your soon appearing. Lord, may we be encouraged to lead those that we know into a saving knowledge of You that they too may share the blessed hope of the resurrection of life at your coming.

If you have been helped by a point in this post, please share it in a comment.

References and Further Reading:

  • For more apprehension of the points covered in this post, I would encourage you to read all the subject verses in their context and with the help of the Recovery Version with the footnotes. You can read the full text of New Testament Recovery Version with notes online here or order your free softbound copy from Bibles for America here ( in USA).
  • For a more thorough presentation of the subject of this post you may like to read Crucial Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Volume 6, Chapter 8 by Witness Lee. You can read it online at Ministrybooks.org.
  • Photo credit: terryballard from morguefile.com


About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

61 Replies

  1. marlon

    Praise the Lord truly this kind of blog or post its really helpful as believers, may the Lord enrich His word to all the saints that we may experience the all-inclusive Christ as reality.

    1. Jane

      Praise the Lord for the truth in the Bible in this last age! May God bless us with more of His Truth and enlightenment.

      1. Rose

        I am so surprised that many christian’s think that when they die they go straight to heaven!May the Lord bless the Recovery version bible and Holding to truth in love

  2. Eze Daniel

    thanks for your teachings they are wonderful. But how does the spirit and soul make up the inward man? secondly from your teaching does it mean that soul and spirit goes to God as two different personality in one?

    1. Tom Smith


      Thanks for your appreciative comment and question, “How do the soul and spirit make up the “inner man”?

      2 Cor.4:16 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”

      Footnote 1 on this verse in Recovery Version says,

      “The outer man consists of the body as its organ with the soul as its life and person. The inner man consists of the regenerated spirit as its life and person with the renewed soul as its organ. The life of the soul must be denied (Matt. 16:24-25), but the faculties of the soul — the mind, will, and emotion — must be renewed and uplifted by being subdued (10:4-5) so that they can be used by the spirit, the person of the inner man.”

      So, to answer your question, our spirit is the life and person of our inner man. It should guide and direct our living as our soul used to do. Our renewed soul is the organ of the inner man so that Christ can be expressed through its faculties–our mind, emotion and will.

      Second, a believer’s spirit and soul, which compose their inner man and are together in the make up of their inner being, upon their death, will depart together to be with the Lord—the spirit being the hidden part within our soul.

      Hope this helps. It’s a lot to answer in a short comment.

      1. Inez Cal

        This article helped me tremendously. My Daughter passed April 1st and I know her spirit went somewhere and I pray it went to Paradise to rest.

        1. Tom Smith

          Glad you enjoyed the article. May we pray for and share the hope of the gospel with all our loved ones, friends and neighbors that they too may have the blessed hope to rest with Christ after death and await the resurrection of life at His coming. Thank you for your comment.

          1. Mervyn Naidoo

            Thank You for diligent study on this subject and not mere guess work! I believe that the scriptures do answer this question as you have shown but many have failed to study the Word carefully!

          2. Tom Smith

            So true. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Eric Tetteh

    Befor Jesus was not be born what was his name in heaven?

    1. Tom Smith

      Eric, We can only stand on solid ground when we base our answers on God’s inspired word revealed in the Bible. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Verse 14 says, “And the Word became flesh…” “The beginning” in verse 1 is in eternity past, because verse 3 says, “all things came into being through Him.” So John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, spoke of God’s eternal Son as the “Word.” This is one name for our Lord before God’s creation and His birth through incarnation to be the man Jesus.

  4. Eric Tetteh

    When God went to talk to u did he spork too ur spirit all ur soul?

    1. Tom Smith

      Eric, God’s speaking to us requires our entire being–our spirit, our soul—including our mind, emotion and will—and our body. God mainly speaks to us through His Word (John 6:63). We need to use our eyes to read the words of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:14-17). We also need to use our spirit to pray (Eph. 6:18) first to empty out all our old concepts so that we may become poor in spirit and to receive His words to feed us (Matt. 5:3). We need to turn our heart to the Lord to be pure in heart that we may see Him in His Word (2 Cor. 3:16; Matt. 5:8). We need to ask the Lord to open our our mind to understand His word (Luke 24:45). We should also ask the Lord to give us a loving emotion to love Him (John 14:23; 1 Cor. 2:9).

  5. Eric Tetteh

    After Jesus die and rose to heaven did he go with the same body or only the soul and spirit?

    1. Tom Smith


      The resurrected body of Jesus is mysterious. On the one hand, He could point His disciple Thomas to His wounded hands and pierced side (John 20:27). This would indicate that it was the same body. Yet, that His disciples did not immediately recognize Him, may indicate that His glorified body was somewhat different (v. 14). In the process of God’s salvation it is somewhat the same with us. On the one hand, we are the same person. Yet not altogether the same because God’s resurrection life operating in us, as it did in our Lord, makes us a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

      Christ ascended to the heavens with body, soul and spirit (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11).

  6. Eric Tetteh

    Thank u Tom Smith,am worry u,I just want no moor about the word of God,the soul and spirit which more important to God?

    1. Tom Smith

      Eric, there are a number of posts on the soul and the spirit on the Holding to Truth blog that may help to answer your question. Just enter those terms in the search field on the right side bar.

      Actually, the Lord needs our entire being—spirit, soul and body—for His purpose. Our spirit is the key, because it is only with our spirit that we can contact God and receive Him. However, to express God, we also need our soul with our mind, will and emotion to transformed by God’s Spirit of life so that our mind may express His mind, etc.

      If you are looking for a deeper coverage of the matter I would recommend the Economy of God by Witness Lee. You can read it for free on the ministrybooks.org website or download a free PDF from mass.ministrybooks.org. Check out these sites and let me know if you find what you’re looking for. Much grace to you.

  7. jasmin

    I got save march 10 2002 and started loving and enjoying the Lord. And I felt in my heart to serve Him. But I always do fail. I have committed sin and fall. Now i realized that I am not worthy but death. But Im seeking before the Lord if I can still comeback to Him and the Church? Can I asked if i commit such a great sin can I still comeback to God if I repent?

    1. Tom Smith


      Yes, we can come back to God if we repent and confess our sins.

      1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

      We all sin and fail God in many ways. However, God wants us to come back to Him. He is waiting to receive us just like the father was eagerly awaiting his lost son’s return in Luke 15:11-32. In fact, the three stories in Luke 15 all unveil the loving heart of the Triune God for sinners.

      Also Heb. 10:19 says, “Having therefore, brothers, boldness for entering the Holy of Holies in the blood of Jesus.” Our boldness for coming to God is never on the basis of our worthiness. For now and for eternity it will be on the basis of the blood of Jesus. His redeeming blood that obtained God’s forgiveness for us is waiting for us to apply by faith. We need to confess our sins and receive the cleansing of the blood of Jesus so that we may boldly enter the “Holy of Holies,” that is, into God’s presence.

      For more help on these points, I would recommend two other Holding to Truth posts:
      How do you pray confessing prayers?
      2 Means to Effective Prayer You Can Apply Every Day

      So whenever you feel the weight of your sins, pray to the Lord Jesus, confess your sins and apply the blood of Jesus to enjoy renewed fellowship with the Lord.

  8. Donald Klopfenstein

    Brother Tom. Thank you so much for this article. I personally appreciate this concise answer! This is a great source!

    1. Tom Smith

      It seems that many believers, when referring to the human spirit and soul, have concern for where our spirit and soul go when we die. I’m so glad the Recovery Version with notes makes this matter so clear. Hopefully it will help many more believers who need a clear understanding from the Scriptures. Thanks for the encouraging comment.

  9. Downunderwriter David

    The Bible distinguishes between soul and spirit. Hebrews 4:12. The Spirit goes back to God at death. Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59. Jesus said he and the thief were to be in paradise the day they died. Is this the same as the spirit going back to God? Does the soul departing at death, Genesis 35:18, go to the same place as the Spirit?

    1. Tom Smith


      Our human spirit is hidden within our human soul like the marrow concealed within the bone or joint (Heb. 4:12). Our spirit and soul compose our entire inner being. Yes, as believers, when our body dies, our inner being, composed of both our spirit and soul, departs from our dead body to be with the Lord. As the believing thief was with the Lord in Paradise, we also can be assured as Paul that to depart from, to be abroad from, the body is to be at home with the Lord. Yes, our spirit and soul go to the same place.

  10. Ogunwale jayeola

    Having learnt so much about the spirit and the soul. And also knowing that the holy spirit nw dwells in your spirit. How do you become conscious of d presence of God? How do you worship God in the spirit being convinced you are doing it right?

    1. Tom Smith

      It is so good to know that there is a difference between our spirit and soul from God’s word (Heb. 4:12)! It is even more wonderful to be assured that the Holy Spirit now dwells in our human spirit (Rom. 8:16)!

      You also asked, “How do you become conscious of the presence of God?
      To realize that Lord as the Spirit, dwells in your spirit is surely the best beginning. Then we need to learn to exercise our spirit and enter into the spirit to live and walk according to this spirit–His Spirit joined to and mingled with our spirit.

      The simplest way I’ve found to be conscious of His presence is to call on the Lord. 1 Cor. 12:3 says, “…no one can say Jesus is Lord (or Lord Jesus) except in the Holy Spirit. So when you cry out to Him from your deepest part, “Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus!” you experience Him being rich to you. Then it is good to pray short prayers, starting first thing in the morning.

      You may also want to pray with a few nourishing Bible verses (we call this pray-reading the word. Confessing your sins will also usher you into the Lord’s presence.

      These 4 practices: calling on the Lord, praying short prayers with your spirit, pray-reading the word, and confessing your sins is an excellent start to a life in union with Christ. In such a way, you’ll enjoy His presence much more.

      You also asked, “How do you worship God in your spirit being convinced you’re doing it right?” Simply, when you see the Lord’s intention from His word, you’ll have the inner assurance that you are doing it right. To help you with this, I would encourage you to follow the links to verses and other posts in this reply. May the Lord richly bless you as you seek to know Him in a deeper way.

      Thank you for your comment.

  11. David

    Sir is the spirit of the man a different being and the soul also a different being? If they are where does the soul goes to after the spirit goes to hades?

    1. Tom Smith

      David, the human spirit and soul are distinct but not different beings, our spirit being hidden within our soul as marrow is hidden within our bones or joints (Heb. 4:12). Together, our spirit and soul make up our inner being. When our body dies our inner being (including both our spirit and soul) is separated from our body and departs to Hades as mentioned in Luke 16:22-23. either to “Abraham’s bosom (v. 22, equal to Paradise, 2 Cor. 12:4; Luke 23:43) or to the section of torment (16:23). In the believer, these two, our regenerated spirit and our renewed soul make up our inner man (2 Cor. 4:16). Thanks for the comment. Hope this helps.


    I bless God for a wonderful paraphrased publication on destinations of soul and spirit after death by Tom Smith.
    Sir, i need to get an indepth understanding of where will the soul and spirit be after judegement. Also can you throw more light on which aspect of the tripatite is concerned with reasoning and execution of task in dreams. Also what can you say about abstract projection as regards soul and spirit. Finally, what should be changed for a man to be a new one in Christ in respect to evangelism.

    1. Tom Smith


      The soul and spirit of man, which are the components of our inner being will be brought before the Lord either at the judgment seat of Christ for the believers (before the thousand years of the kingdom) or at the great white throne of judgment for the unbelievers (after the thousand years). For the believers, the issue of Christ’s judgment will be either kingdom reward or punishment. Such a judgment is not perdition but God’s way to prepare His own for reigning with Him in eternity. The judgment of the unbelievers will result in the perishing of their soul and spirit in the lake of fire for eternity. This is why we must pray for sinners and preach the gospel at every opportunity. I hope this helps. This is all I can cover in this response. But welcome further fellowship in the coming days. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  13. Eric Tetteh

    Mr,Tom Smith,his Jesus God?

    1. Tom Smith


      Yes. The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus is God. He is not only the Son of God, He is God.

      John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Then in v. 14 it says, And the Word became flesh

      Our Lord Jesus is the eternal Word of God who is not only with God but IS God. It is such an eternal, complete God that became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.

      Romans 9:5 says, Whose are the fathers, and out of whom, as regards what is according to flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

      Our Lord Jesus is the Christ who is God over all.

      Hebrews 1:8 says, But of the Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

      Hebrews points out that as the Son of God, Jesus is God.

      Col. 2:9 says clearly, For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

      Christ is not just a part of God–the second of the divine Trinity, He is the embodiment of the entire Triune God. When we come to Jesus Christ, we get all that God is. We get the Father, the Son and the Spirit for our experience and enjoyment.

      When you call on Him, “Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus!” you receive Christ, but you are born of God and born of the Spirit (John 1:12-13; 3:6).

      This is the Triune God for us to receive, experience and enjoy!

  14. David

    Another useful Scripture on the human spirit is 1 Corinthians 2:11, “Who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him.” Clearly the human spirit is what helps us to think!

    1. Tom Smith

      David, Yes. 1 Corinthians 2:11 is a useful verse on the human spirit. It is when we use our spirit, that is joined to the Spirit that we are the spiritual men, able to understand or discern all the things of man. This is crucial to living both a normal human life, Christian life and church life.

  15. Chansa Sikanyika

    Mr Tom Smith how true that hell is inside earth? Was Pastor John E Hagin hell testimony real?

    1. Tom Smith


      As I pointed out in the post you commented on, Hades is the “heart of the earth,” and the “lower parts of the earth.” In Matthew 12:40, the Lord, in comparing Himself to the prophet Jonah, said, “For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”

      I also mentioned that Footnote 1 on this verse in the Recovery Version explains what the “heart of the earth” is:

      The heart of the earth is called “the lower parts of the earth” (Eph. 4:9) and Hades (Acts 2:27), where the Lord went after His death.

      The “lower parts of earth” includes not only the place of torment, or “hell” as you mentioned, but also “Paradise” or “Abraham’s bosom” where the Lord Jesus and the believing criminal who was crucified beside Him went after their death.

      I will not attempt to confirm any after-life testimonies, but as believers we should stand on the sure word of the Bible and believe it above any traditions of men or popular theologies.

  16. Eric Tetteh

    Mr, Tom Smith,What is the difference between MIND,HEART and BRAIN?

  17. Does it mean that our spirit and soul doesn’t face judgement immediately after death considering what you said that is being kept in the Sheol or hades till rapture…..

    1. Tom Smith


      Yes. God has given all judgement to His Son, Jesus Christ and God has appointed a day for all men to be judged. But this judgement does not occur immediately upon our death. The spirit and soul of all men, believers and unbelievers alike, depart from their body for Hades (Acts 2:27) at death. However, the part of Hades, as indicated by the Lord’s word in His parable regarding the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), is either the place of torment (where the rich man went in v. 24) or Abraham’s bosom (where Lazarus went in v. 22, and is also called Paradise in 2 Cor. 12:4). However, this is not yet the final judgement.

      At the Lord’s second coming, the believers will be raptured to stand before the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), not for salvation but for reward or punishment (Matt. 25:14-30) to be administered during the Lord’s kingdom reign of one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-7). After the thousand years there will be the second judgement at the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15) to be executed upon all the unbelievers regarding their eternal perdition and administered for eternity in the Lake of fire.

      For a fuller understanding on the matter of judgement, I would encourage you to look up the referenced Bible verses with the associated footnotes in the online Recovery Version.

      I hope this brief response is helpful in providing a bird’s-eye view of this great matter in God’s word.

  18. When the soul and spirit be in the paradise, do they have solid material, can do they seen?

    1. Tom Smith


      I can not say very much on this topic because I only can reply within the limits of what the Bible says.

      However based on the Lord’s account in Luke 16:19-31 concerning the death of Lazarus and the rich man, we can see that in verse 23 the rich man “saw Abraham from afar and Lazarus in his bosom.” This would imply that the spirit and soul of persons in Hades will still somehow be able to be distinguishable and able to be seen. I hope this helps. Thanks for the comment.

  19. Eric Tetteh

    What is the difference between SOUL,SPIRIT and MIND?

    1. Tom Smith

      Eric, For an explanation of What Is the Difference Between the Soul and Spirit of Man? please read the post I have linked to on this topic. For an understanding of difference between the mind and the soul and spirit please read my post What is the Soul and How Does God Heal Soul Sickness? However, to be brief, the mind is the leading part of the soul which also includes the emotion and will of man. After you get a chance to read through these posts let me know if it is clear or if you need some further explanation. Thanks for the comment.

  20. paul zambo

    Mr TOM, please help me. If God created man in His own image (likeness) represented by His Spirit embodied by the Soul, how can you say He will send both the Spirit and the Soul in Hell. I was thinking, God will send in Hell the Body and the Soul, and effectivelly will redraw His Spirit that He gave to man. How can God send His own part in Hell?

    1. Tom Smith

      Paul, Yes God created us in His image (Gen. 1:26) with a body, soul and spirit (Gen. 2:7) for His purpose. It is our human spirit that is our hidden part, concealed within our soul. Please see my post “What is the difference between the soul and spirit of man?” to understand this difference. According to the Bible, see Matthew 11:23 and footnote 1 in the Recovery Version says,

      “Hades, equal to Sheol in the Old Testament (Gen. 37:35; Psa. 6:5), is the place where the souls and spirits of the dead are kept (Luke 16:22-23; Acts 2:27).”

      As such, “Hades” is neither positive nor negative. It is not strictly “hell” but includes both “Paradise” or “Abraham’s bosom” where Lazarus [believer] and the “place of torment” where rich man [unbeliever] went (Luke 16:22-28).

      “The spirit” referred to in this post is not the Holy Spirit of God but the human spirit which is hidden within our human soul. As believers, our spirit with our soul will rest in Paradise (the pleasant part of Hades) awaiting the resurrection of life. And since our spirit is regenerated and mingled with the divine Spirit, we enjoy such a mingled spirit even while resting in Paradise.

      We need not be overly concerned with location, but simply enjoy the Lord with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22) right now.

  21. Frank Hung

    the human spirit and soul are distinct but not different beings, our spirit being hidden within our soul as marrow is hidden within our bones or joints (Heb. 4:12). Together, our spirit and soul make up our inner being. When our body dies our inner being (including both our spirit and soul) is separated from our body and departs to Hades as mentioned in Luke 16:22-23. either to “Abraham’s bosom (v. 22, equal to Paradise, 2 Cor. 12:4; Luke 23:43) or to the section of torment (16:23). In the believer, these two, our regenerated spirit and our renewed soul make up our inner man (2 Cor. 4:16). Dear brother Tom Smith, from your comment, if the spirit and soul either goes to paradise for believers and place of torment for unbelievers then which spirit returns to God who gave it as mentioned in Ecclesiastes 12:7? Appreciate your help, it’s been bugging me for days. Much love in Jesus’ name.

    1. Tom Smith

      To understand this portion as with other parts of the Bible, we need to see it in its context.

      The subject of Ecclesiastes is the teachings of Solomon, showing that the human life in the corrupted world is a vanity, a chasing after the wind. This was his verdict after all his experiments in the human life—seeking wisdom, pleasure, etc. At the end of his searching and testing, he presented the sad portrait of a man’s old age.
      At the end of this sequence of aging he says,

      “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity. (Eccl. 12:7-8)

      This verse indicates that the body that comes out of the earth naturally returns to the earth. However since the spirit and soul are given by God, when people die, their spirits and souls cannot remain in the material world but must return to God’s spiritual world. Although they return to God there are particular details in regard to how He arranges for them and where He puts them.

      For the deceased believers such as believing beggar (Luke 16:19-31) who rested in Abraham’s bosom or the believing criminal, crucified with Jesus, and who was with Him in Paradise (Luke 23:39-43), God put them in one place—Abraham’s bosom, which is also Paradise.

      However, for the unbelievers, such as the unbelieving rich man (Luke 16:23-31) who cried out in the place of torment or the blaspheming criminal (23:39) who died with Jesus on the cross that day, God puts them in a different place in God’s spiritual world—the unpleasant part of Hades.

      The context of Ecclesiastes 12:7 being in reference to the vanity of the human life, not to the spiritual destiny of believers or unbelievers, makes no reference, either positively or negatively, to the returning of the human spirit to that place within God’s spiritual world. It is just the expression of the vanity of human life in Solomon’s estimation.

      I hope that this answers helps to shed some amount of light on the issue of your concern.

      1. FrankAbel

        Thank you, i am truly satisfied with your detailed explanation. Peace and Grace be unto you from our Lord Jesus Christ.

        1. Tom Smith

          Glad you found the post helpful. The main thing is that we need to enjoy the Lord in our spirit today and allow Him to spread and make home in every part of our being. Then we can be peaceful about our departure, whether we die and rest awaiting the resurrection of life or whether we live til He comes and are raptured to meet Him.

  22. Davies

    Thanks for the insight brother Smith.
    Ephesians 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
    and also Luke 16:19-31; 23:39-43 show a completeness of judgement for a human spirit; hades in Abraham’s bossom/3rd heaven or place of torture .

    On addition 1Cor 6:17 says we are one spirit with Christ. 2Cor 1:22, Eph 1:13; 4:30 and 2Tim 2:19, these all speak of a SEAL of the Holy Spirit for the believers for the day of redemption.
    Eph 4:17 speaks of us being as Christ is thus righteous before God.

    so again my questions:
    1. where is the point of judgement for the believer in Christ.
    2. doesn’t this show contradiction with the passages of Matt 25.

    Thanks again for the great insight

    1. Tom Smith

      The judgement for the believers will be at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10). This is not for eternal salvation but related to the reward for the believers living and work after they are saved.

      In Matthew 25 the Lord used two parables which are also related to the reward of the believers living and work (or the loss thereof).

      Missing the “wedding feast” in Matt 25:10-12 is not a matter of perdition but of the virgins (believers) missing the reward because of their failure to obtain the extra portion of oil in their vessel (the transforming Spirit in their soul for their maturity in Christ.

      The “outer darkness” in Matt 25:30 is neither eternal perdition but the missing of the reward because of the slothful servants (believers) failure to make a profitable use of their Master’s (Lord Jesus’) possessions.

      So both questions are related to Christ’s judgement of His believers at the time of His second coming.

  23. Musah Iddrisu

    Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit. what is the meaning of that.

    1. Tom Smith

      To be poor in spirit as spoken of by the Lord in Matthew 5:3 is a great blessing. It is to be emptied of all our old and preoccupying concepts and thoughts so that we can receive something new of the Lord. To be poor in this way makes us hungry for God. Luke 1:53 says, “the hungry He has filled with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. So if we feel we are rich, having no need, can can do nothing for us. But if we are inwardly poor and hungry, He will impart to us all the good things revealed in His word, even the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8). For more on being poor in spirit please check out our post on this subject, What Does It Mean to be Poor in Spirit?

  24. Eric Tetteh

    Tom Smith, If Jesus is God, during the time Jesus was on earth who is taking care in heaven, who was the Father in heaven that Jesus called?

    1. Tom Smith

      Eric, We need to see the profound relationship in the divine Trinity both in His eternal existence and in His economic function. In His existence, the Father, Son and Spirit are all God, are all eternal, and are all coexistent, being distinct, but never separate–this is the essential Trinity. However, to carry out God’s eternal plan or economy, all that God is was embodied in Christ, the Son (Col. 2:9) in His incarnation. Then the Son through His death and resurrection became a life-giving Spirit so He could indwell us, and live in our spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Tim. 4:22). This is the economic Trinity. In His economy, the Son as a genuine man on the earth prayed to His Father in heaven (John 17). This does not change the fact that this Jesus is truly Emmanuel (God with us, Matt. 1:23). Nor does Christ being the embodiment of the Triune God, change the fact that the Father was at the same time enthroned in heaven. It simply points to Christ’s two natures, divinity and humanity. He is the both the complete God and a perfect, sinless man, having two natures without a third nature being produced. When we realize that our Lord is such a One, we can only worship Him. It only by His being such a One, that He can be our Savior.Such a revelation is beyond our human mind, yet deserving of our worship. Even today, He is both enthroned at the right hand of God in heaven (Rom. 8:34) and simultaneously dwelling in us, His believers, that is, living in our spirit (Rom. 8:10). He is wonderful!

  25. Eric Tetteh

    Tom Smith,thank u am greatful, I went to be like u,what make u this?

  26. Waise

    I would like to thank you for clear explanations you have provided on a variety of asked questions. May the Lord truly bless you.

    1. Tom Smith

      Thanks for sharing the benefit you have received from this blog. I pray the Lord will lead you into a richer and fuller enjoyment of Himself and His purpose through the posts and the references to which I refer.

  27. Joshua Vincent

    Pls Sir, I really love ur post on the resting place of the spirit and soul after death. But I still don’t understand this portion of the scriptures (Eph4:9-12) which talks about the death and resurrection of Jesus I want to ask, paradise still were it was, or has it been taken to heaven at Jesus resurrection? Pls I want u to explain this. Thank you I am Joshua Vincent.

    1. Tom Smith

      Yes, Paradise is still where it was and has not been moved to the heavens as some have erroneously taught. This can also be proven by 1 Thes. 4:16-17 which speaks of the Lord’s coming and that “the dead in Christ will rise first.” If the dead believers were all transferred to heaven at the time of the Lord’s resurrection and ascension there would be no need for them to “rise” implying from the grave as they would already be in heaven. If they were already in heaven they would “descend” not “rise.”

      For a more detailed explanation of this whole topic, including some consideration of Ephesians 4:9-12, please read the first section of Chapter 6 of The Basis for the Building Work of God, by Witness Lee at ministrybooks.org.

      Thanks for the comment.

  28. Mr urch

    Thank you mr Tom Smith for ur nice explanation of the word of God. Please throw more light on what our Lord Jesus did during the three days He went down to (or was in ) hades after his death. Some said he went to collect the key of death from satan, others said he went down to preach and liberate the men of old etc. So please what’s ur own opinion of this…thanks and remain blessed

    1. Tom Smith

      I would recommend of very helpful footnote on this point, 1 Peter 3:19, note 3 in the Recovery Version study Bible. It seems that after Christ’s death and before His resurrection, Christ went in His enlivened spirit, as His divinity, into Hades, touring even the dark domain where the rebellious imprisoned spirits are and proclaimed to them His victory over Satan’s scheme to derange the divine plan. And as you mentioned, after touring the “Death and Hades Motel,” the Lord Jesus just took the keys and walked out. This implies that death had no way to hold Him and that Jesus is fully victorious over death and Hades. As such, by our believing into Christ and being identified with Him, death does not lord it over us any longer. Death has lost its sting for those who are one with Christ.

      There is no indication in the Scripture that Jesus went into Hades to preach the gospel or to liberate dead people in Hades.

      Hope this helps. Grace to you.

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