Monthly Archives: October 2015

Bema Seat and some rambling

Maeve had something to say here in regards to different rewards in Heaven.  I’ve been listening to Chuck Missler’s Q&A recently and he’s clearly been convicted on getting his “report card” ready for the Bema seat judgement.  And then my own pastor mentioned it… sort of as an aside, in a sermon on Acts 17.  Whenever I get the same message from several angles, I have to wonder what’s up.  (To be fair, my pastor might well listen to Missler, but I doubt that Maeve is.)

1 Corinthians 3:What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own [b]reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s [c]field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

The Christian isn’t worried about his sins being judged, those have been covered with the blood of Christ – but our works?  Well.  Will they burn, or will they endure?

It’s always really God who does the work, so there’s that.  I don’t think we as humans are capable of judging our works – we don’t have enough information.  I know that what we do for our ego is stubble, even if the world at large thinks it’s the most Christian thing ev-ah.  And I know we’re to do all things to the glory of God, so even the smallest chore might end up being a jewel.

That said, there are better and worse things to do with our time.

And here’s where the rambling starts.  I’m not so worried about my rewards in Heaven, as long as I’m pleasing my Lord.  He’s just.  I *do* want to please Him and do my best, though.  (Does the difference make sense to y’all?)

I’m coming up on a year, not too far from now, when the job I’ve been doing for this last 15 years will be complete.  I’ll be 45 the year my youngest child starts HS, by which time I could nicely be working PT (and this is considered desirable by my husband).  So, what will I do, when I’m no longer mostly on Mom Patrol?  What happens four years later, when I’m no longer doing Mom Patrol at all?

  1. I could go back to the office.  I *hated* working in an office.  I’ll do it if nothing else presents itself, but I really, really, REALLY hate it.
  2. I could get a small business off the ground and producing income.  I have a talent, whether I can turn it into cash flow is another question.  (If you’re interested in my musings in that direction, check out my other blog, HRG).
  3. I could go back to school and get my degree in Christian Counseling, which would work off of one of my spiritual gifts.  I am loath to go back to school, not because I don’t enjoy school (I do) but because I feel like it’s very much my husband’s turn.
  4. I could start a small business and make it pay for school, which sounds impossible but fun.

I’m not asking y’all for input, although if you have some, feel free.  I am asking for prayer – and actually going to do the sane thing and spend some time this week praying for direction.  I’m not done with Mom Patrol, and actually pretty well in the trenches right now … but I’m also not so much a fool that I don’t know that this few years will vanish.  If I set things up, get in the right direction, do my foundation work, I’ll be in good shape to hit the ground running.

And while I’m at it, y’all might pray that I don’t have my head so much in the clouds of tomorrow that I don’t keep my eyes firmly on the tasks of today!  🙂  I *am* in the trenches, and as always, “I have plenty to do”.  (I have no idea why women want to run the church or teach men – seriously.  I have stuff to do, I don’t need MORE).

Making a good salary and bringing it home to my husband might just be stubble on the heap of life – I know it will burn.  But it’s useful papery stuff for this life… if I use it right.  The time I’ve been given is precious, I want to steward it well.  My good brain with an endless appetite for theology, my heart for counsel, my eyes for color – they’re all gifts.  I want to use them well.  I want God to say, “well done”.

How can I best use the talents and treasure that have been lent me, so that one day, my Master will approve of my stewardship???

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Book Review: The Invisible War

The Invisible War:  The Panorama of the Continuing Conflict Between Good and Evil by Donald Grey Barnhouse

Rating:  5 stars

Summary:  A thorough, Biblical treatise on the war of Satan against believers and his rebellion against God.

Comments:  I went into this book thinking it would be a book about spiritual warfare, which it is not.  I went into this book thinking it would be relatively light reading, which it is not.  I went into this book as someone who believes in free will – and this book is hard-core Calvinistic.  I don’t agree with everything the author posits.

All that said – this book is incredible.  Starting with creation (Gap theory) through the last word on the last page, the Invisible War is explained, given a good thread of history, and there is so much to chew over.  Theological concepts that I’ve studied under Dr. McGee and Dr.  Missler are brought together as a whole.   Others are added and well argued.  And you get other thoughts, just thrown in there, that make you want to sit down with a concordance and get your study on.

An example:  Could the other folks who were resurrected at the time of Jesus’ resurrection have been His first-fruits?  There *is* a Jewish feast of first-fruits, which “happens” to be on the day Christ was resurrected.   That was a *throw-away* paragraph, and I’ve never heard anyone who had a theory about what was up with those folks.

I didn’t agree – quite strongly didn’t agree – with any amount of the Calvinist arguments, but the arguments were well supported.   This isn’t the kind of book that’s ruined if you don’t agree, this is the kind of book that is *better* in the spots you don’t agree, because you’re going to go think things through.

I’ll have to read this book again and again to really dig into these arguments.  This is an extremely well-written, well-thought-out, well-argued book.  I give it highest recommendations, and I strongly suggest reading it if you’re wondering how the thread of history fits together from a Biblical view.

Soul vs. Spirit: Ongoing with JW

Today was frustrating… I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall.  But you can throw this in your notes (this is my THIRD discussion about the immortality of the soul) if you have JW coming to visit you.    The word study was very nice, I really enjoyed contemplating God breathing His Spirit into us…  I enjoy the research and study, I don’t enjoy the debate.  As the Lord wills.  :p  I share these because I hope they will be of use to someone.  Maybe you have the gift of rhetoric and not the gift of research, maybe you want to be stronger in your own faith.  I don’t know why I’m compelled to continue this relationship (and yes, I’m feeling more than a little drained right at the moment, any and all atta-girls are appreciated) but … may it bless YOU.

First challenge:  She told me (some time ago) that the concept of the immortal soul, and its awareness was something that Plato developed, and didn’t appear prior to NT times.  She walked backwards of that a bit *today*, saying that she meant that only in regards to Christianity/Judaism.  But my research was both.  May I say that the Mayans had a particularly nasty afterlife?  :p

Doctrine of Eternal, Immortal Soul/Soul Awareness, its historicity (general) and specific to Christianity

OT Biblical

1 Samuel 28, the witch of Endor – Whether or not this was actually Samuel or if God used another spirit to speak to the witch, both she and Saul *believed* that souls lived after death, conscious and able to chat.

Gen 35:18  And it came to pass,H1961 as her soulH5315 was in departing,H3318 (forH3588 she died)H4191 that she calledH7121 his nameH8034 Benoni:H1126 but his fatherH1 calledH7121 him Benjamin.H1144

  • Soul is nephesh, as seen in our other research
  • Departing here is : yatsa, which means “to go or come out”
  • Her body died, her soul *left*.

NT Biblical:

Matthew 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  {Does God then stop being God at any time?  I think not.}

Matthew 17:3-4 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

{Chatting people are soul-alive, regardless of their bodily aspect}.

John 11: 23-27 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”  “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.* Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

 {Note:  Never.Ever.Die.  Either our Lord is lying… mistaken… or our souls do not die – because our bodies certainly do}.

Luke 23: 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. {Today *you* – which is the soul, as it is certainly not referring to the body, will be somewhere).

Revelation 6:9-10  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

(souls crying – not embodied, but with opinions)

Historical references, Judaism:  (Note – I don’t believe that these are Truth, but we were discussing whether or not the concept of an after-death soul that is aware had occurred prior to the Greeks and their concept of the Olympian gods)

Josephus (who was a Jew) gave a very traditional understanding of Hades/Sheol and the doctrine of the immortal soul.  Find it here:

Pharisees (who believed that there is an eternal soul) vs. Sadducees (who do not)

Historical, other religions:

Egyptian, ancient:

Throughout the underworld journey, the deceased’s spirit would have to contend with gods, strange creatures and gatekeepers to reach Osiris and the Hall of Final Judgment. Here they would plead their case for entry into the afterlife.

The Upanishads, the ancient set of Hindu religious texts, postulated an eternal, changeless core of the self called as the “Atman.” This soul or “deep self” was viewed as being identical with the unchanging godhead, referred to as Brahma (the unitary ground of being that transcends particular gods and goddesses). Untouched by the variations of time and circumstance, the Atman was nevertheless entrapped in the world of “samsara” (the cycle of death and rebirth). Unlike Western treatments of reincarnation, which tend to make the idea of coming back into body after body seem exotic, desirable, and even romantic, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other southern Asian religions portray the samsaric process as unhappy. Life in this world means suffering.


 To the Maya, the afterlife was a journey of the soul toward paradise; but there was no guarantee at all that one would reach one’s destination. At death, the soul went down to the underworld, a dark and frightening place called Xibalba (or Metnal) which was populated by terrifying deities with names like Bloody Teeth, Flying Scab, and Bloody Claw. In perpetual darkness, the underworld had rivers of blood and pus and the trees were dead, the landscape barren. The Lords of Xibalba were just as apt to steer a soul in the wrong direction on its quest as the right one. Having arrived in Xibalba, one needed to not only navigate one’s way across it but, then, ascend the nine levels to reach the middle world (earth) and then thirteen more levels before arriving at Tamoanchan (paradise). Once one attained the realm of the gods, one would then descend to a lower level, on the earth or just above it, to live in eternal happiness. The only souls considered exempt from this journey were sacrificial victims, women who died in childbirth, those killed in warfare, suicides, and those who died playing the ball game Pok-a-Tok.

Ancient Celts (ie druids): What is known about the afterlife beliefs of the Celtic peoples is sketchy and often contradictory. The classical authors are unanimous in declaring that the Celts held an unshakable belief in a happy life after death. It made them fearless in battle and was so strong that debts were said sometimes to be deferred until the next life. While this belief in personal survival is well attested, there is much less agreement on the details of the fate of the dead.

Ancestor worship:  Various cultures, worldwide.  If you’re worshipping (offering sacrifices to, praying to) your ancestors, obviously they’re aware and able to do something – or at least you think they are.

Modern Jewish thought is varied – extremely varied – but does believe in something after death. Excerpt of interest:  The resurrection of the dead will occur in the messianic age, a time referred to in Hebrew as the Olam Ha-Ba, the World to Come, but that term is also used to refer to the spiritual afterlife. When themessiah comes to initiate the perfect world of peace and prosperity, the righteous dead will be brought back to life and given the opportunity to experience the perfected world that their righteousness helped to create. The wicked dead will not be resurrected.  [ This seems, to me, to be very similar to the position that you as a Witness have expressed].


Second challenge:  I have to give it to her, I was being sloppy in reference to soul and spirit, and she called me on it.  So, here’s the the word study on soul vs. spirit, which was quite enjoyable.  I’ve left on all the (fairly dull) citations.

I am comfortable defining …

Soul:  Seat of “self”, emotions.

Spirit:  “Vital principle” with some interesting aspects of “air”. 

Genesis 2: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.

Breath of life here = נשׁמה



From H5395; a puff, that is, wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect or (concretely) an animal: – blast, (that) breath (-eth), inspiration, soul, spirit.

Soul here is nephesh, see attached.

So God formed man’s body (flesh) and animated it with spirit, and man became a living soul.

Short definitions culled from below details:


OT Soul:

a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

NT Soul: (a) the vital breath, breath of life, (b) the human soul, (c) the soul as the seat of affections and will, (d) the self, (e) a human person, an individual.

OT Spirit:

air (2), anger (1), blast (2), breath (31), breathless* (1), cool (1), courage (1), despondency* (1), exposed (1), grief* (1), heart (1), inspired (1), mind (3), motives (1), points (1), quick-tempered* (1), side (4), sides (2), Spirit (76), spirit (127), spirits (3), strength (1), temper (2), thoughts* (1), trustworthy* (1), wind (98), winds (7), windy (2), wrath (1).

NT Spirit: a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: – ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind.






OT:  Genesis 2:7 


Nephesh H5315




Strong’s Concordance

nephesh: a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

Original Word: נָ֫פֶשׁ
Part of Speech: Noun Feminine
Transliteration: nephesh
Phonetic Spelling: (neh’-fesh)
Short Definition: soul

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin
from an unused word
a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion
NASB Translation
any (1), anyone (2), anyone* (1), appetite (7), being (1), beings (3), body (1), breath (1), corpse (2), creature (6), creatures (3), dead (1), dead person (2), deadly (1), death (1), defenseless* (1), desire (12), desire* (2), discontented* (1), endure* (1), feelings (1), fierce* (2), greedy* (1), heart (5), heart’s (2), herself (12), Himself (4), himself (19), human (1), human being (1), hunger (1), life (146), life* (1), lifeblood* (2), lives (34), living creature (1), longing* (1), man (4), man’s (1), men* (2), mind (2), Myself (3), myself (2), number (1), ones (1), others (1), ourselves (3), own (1), passion* (1), people (2), people* (1), perfume* (1), person (68), person* (1), persons (19), slave (1), some (1), soul (238), soul’s (1), souls (12), strength (1), themselves (6), thirst (1), throat (2), will (1), wish (1), wishes (1), yourself (11), yourselves (13).



NT:  Matthew 12:18 Psuche





From G5594; breath, that is, (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from G4151, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from G2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew [H5315], [H7307] and [H2416]: – heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.

Strong’s Concordance

psuché: breath, the soul

Original Word: ψυχή, ῆς, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: psuché
Phonetic Spelling: (psoo-khay’)
Short Definition: the soul, life, self
Definition: (a) the vital breath, breath of life, (b) the human soul, (c) the soul as the seat of affections and will, (d) the self, (e) a human person, an individual.

HELPS Word-studies

5590 psyxḗ (from psyxō, “to breathe, blow” which is the root of the English words “psyche,” “psychology”) – soul (psyche); a person’s distinct identity(unique personhood), i.e. individual personality.

5590 (psyxē) corresponds exactly to the OT 5315 /phágō (“soul”). The soulis the direct aftermath of God breathing (blowing) His gift of life into aperson, making them an ensouled being.

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin
of uncertain origin
breath, the soul
NASB Translation
heart (2), heartily (1), life (36), lives (7), mind (1), minds (1), person (1), persons (3), soul (33), souls (14), suspense* (1), thing (1).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 5590: ψυχή

ψυχή, ψυχῆς, ἡ (ψύχω, to breathe, blow), from Homer down, theSept. times too many to count for נֶפֶשׁ, occasionally also for לֵב and לֵבָב;

  1. breath(Latinanima), i. e.
  2. the breath of life; the vital forcewhich animates the body and shows itself in breathing: Acts 20:10; of animals, Revelation 8:9 (Genesis 9:4;Genesis 35:18; ἐπιστραφήτω ψυχή τοῦ παιδαρίου, 1 Kings 17:21); so also in those passages where, in accordance with the trichotomy or threefold division of human nature by the Greeks, ἡ ψυχή; is distinguished from τό πνεῦμα (see πνευαμ, 2, p. 520a (and references under the word πνεῦμα 5)), 1 Thessalonians 5:23Hebrews 4:12.
  3. life:μέριμναν τῇ ψυχή, Matthew 6:25Luke 12:22; τήν ψυχήνἀγαπᾶν, Revelation 12:11; (μισεῖν, Luke 14:26); τιθέναι, John 10:11, 15, 17John 13:37John 15:131 John 3:16; παραδιδόναι, Acts 15:26; διδόναι (λύτρον, which see), Matthew 20:28Mark 10:45;ζητεῖν τήν ψυχήν τίνος (see ζητέω, 1 a.), Matthew 2:20Romans 11:3; add, Matthew 6:25Mark 3:4Luke 6:9Luke 12:20, 23Acts 20:24;Acts 27:10, 22Romans 16:42 Corinthians 1:23Philippians 2:301 Thessalonians 2:8; in the pointed aphorisms of Christ, intended to fix themselves in the minds of his hearers, the phrases εὑρίσκειν,σῴζειν, ἀπολλύναι τήν ψυχήν αὐτοῦ, etc., designate asψυχή in one of the antithetic members the life which is lived on earth,in the other, the (blessed) life in the eternal kingdom of GodMatthew 10:39Matthew 16:25Mark 8:35-37Luke 9:24, 56 Rec.; ; John 12:25; the life destined to enjoy the Messianic salvation is meant also in the following phrases ((where R. V. soul)): περιποίησις ψυχῆς, Hebrews 10:39;κτᾶσθαι τάς ψυχάς, Luke 21:19; ὑπέρ τῶν ψυχῶν (here A. V.(not R. V.) for you; cf.
  4. below),2 Corinthians 12:15.
  5. that in which there is life; a living being:ψυχή ζῶσα, a living soul, 1 Corinthians 15:45; (Revelation 16:3 R Tr marginal reading) (Genesis 2:7; plural ); πᾶσα ψυχή ζωῆς, Revelation 16:3 (G L T Trtext WH) (Leviticus 11:10); πᾶσα ψυχή, every soul, i. e. everyone,Acts 2:43Acts 3:23Romans 13:1 (so כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ, Leviticus 7:17 (27); ); withἀνθρώπου added, every soul of man (אָדָם נֶפֶשׁ, Numbers 31:40, 46(cf. 1 Macc. 2:38)), Romans 2:9. ψυχαί, souls (like the Latincapita) i. e.persons (in enumerations; cf. German Seelenzahl): Acts 2:41Acts 7:14;Acts 27:371 Peter 3:20 (Genesis 46:15, 18, 22, 26, 27Exodus 1:5;Exodus 12:4Leviticus 2:1Numbers 19:11, 13, 18; (Deuteronomy 10:22); the examples from Greek authors (cf. Passow, under the word, 2, vol. ii, p. 2590b) are of a different sort (yet cf. Liddell and Scott, under the word, II. 2)); ψυχαί ἀνθρώπων of slaves (A. V. souls of men (R. V. with marginal reading ‘Or lives’)), Revelation 18:13 (so (Numbers 31:35); Ezekiel 27:13; see σῶμα, 1 c. (cf. Winer’s Grammar, § 22, 7 N. 3)).
  6. the soul(Latinanimus), a. the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our soul, heart, etc. (R. V. almost uniformlysoul); for examples from Greek writings see Passow, under the word, 2, vol. ii., p. 2589b; (Liddell and Scott, under the word, II. 3); Hebrew נֶפֶשׁ, cf. Gesenius, Thesaurus ii, p. 901 in 3): Luke 1:46Luke 2:35John 10:24 (cf.αἴρω, 1 b.); Acts 14:2, 22Acts 15:24Hebrews 6:192 Peter 2:8, 14; ἡἐπιθυμία τῆς ψυχῆς, Revelation 18:14; ἀνάπαυσιν ταῖςψυχαῖς εὑρίσκειν, Matthew 11:29; ψυχή, … ἀναπαύου, φάγε,πίε (WH brackets these three imperatives), εὐφραίνου (personification and direct address), Luke 12:19, cf. Luke 12:18 (ἡ ψυχήἀναπαύσεται, Xenophon, Cyril 6, 2, 28; ἐυφραίνειν τήνψυχήν, Aelian v. h. 1, 32); εὐδοκεῖ ἡ ψυχή μου (anthropopathically, of God), Matthew 12:18Hebrews 10:38; περίλυπος ἐστιν ἡ ψυχήμου, Matthew 26:38Mark 14:34; ἡ ψυχή μου τετάρακται, John 12:27; ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν ἀκλυόμενοι (fainting in your souls (cf.ἐκλύω, 2 b.)), Hebrews 12:3; ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχή σου, with all thy soul, Matthew 22:37; (Luke 10:27 L text T Tr WH); ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆςσου (Latinex toto animo), with (literally, from (cf. ἐκ, II. 12 b.)) all thy soul, Mark 12:30, 33 (here T WH omit; L Tr marginal reading brackets the phrase); Luke 10:27 (R G) (Deuteronomy 6:5; (Epictetus diss. 3, 22, 18 (cf.Xenophon, anab. 7, 7, 43)); Antoninus 3, 4; (especially 4, 31; 12, 29); ὅλῃτῇ ψυχή φροντίζειν τίνος (rather, with κεχαρισθαι), Xenophon, mem. 3, 11, 10); μία ψυχή, with one soul (cf. πνεῦμα, 2, p. 520a bottom), Philippians 1:27; τοῦ πλήθους … ἦν ἡ καρδία καί ἡψυχή μία, Acts 4:32 (ἐρωτηθεις τί ἐστι φίλος, ἔφη. μίαψυχή δύο σώμασιν ἐνοικουσα, (Diogenes Laërtius 5, 20 (cf.Aristotle, eth. Nic. 9, 8, 2, p. 1168b, 7; on the elliptical ἀπό μιᾶς (namely,ψυχῆς?), see ἀπό, III.)); ἐκ ψυχῆς, from the heart, heartily(Ephesians 6:6 (Tr WH with Ephesians 6:7)); Colossians 3:23 (ἐκ τῆςψυχῆς often in Xenophon; τό ἐκ ψυχῆς πένθος, Josephus, Antiquities 17, 6, 5).
  7. “the (human) soul in so far as it is so constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life”:3 John 1:2; ἀγρύπνειν ὑπέρ τῶν ψυχῶν, Hebrews 13:17;ἐπιθυμίαι, αἵτινες στρατεύονται κατά τῆς ψυχῆς, 1 Peter 2:11; ἐπίσκοπος τῶν ψυχῶν, 1 Peter 2:25; σῴζειν τάς ψυχάς,James 1:21; ψυχήν ἐκ θανάτου, from eternal death, James 5:20;σωτηρία ψυχῶν, 1 Peter 1:9; ἁγνίζειν τάς ψυχάς ἑαυτῶν, 1 Peter 1:22; (τάς ψυχάς πιστῷ κτίστῃ παρατίθεσθαι, 1 Peter 4:19).
  8. the soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death(distinguished from τό σῶμα, as the other part of human nature (so in Greek writings from Isocrates and Xenophon down; cf. examples in Passow, under the word, p. 2589{a} bottom; Liddell and Scott, under the word, II. 2)): Matthew 10:28, cf. 4 Macc. 13:14 (it is calledἀθάνατος, Herodotus 2, 123; Plato Phaedr., p. 245 c., 246 a., others;ἄφθαρτος, Josephus, b. j. 2, 8, 14; διαλυθῆναι τήν ψυχήν ἀπότοῦ σώματος, Epictetus diss. 3, 10, 14); the soul freed from the body, a disembodied soul, Acts 2:27, 31 Rec.; Revelation 6:9Revelation 20:4(Wis. 3:1; (on the Homeric use of the word, see Ebeling, Lex. Homer, under the word, 3, and references at the end, also Proudfit in Bib. Sacr. for 1858, pp. 753-805)).


Spirit OT Genesis 41:8



From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): – air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

Strong’s Concordance

ruach: breath, wind, spirit

Original Word: ר֫וּחַ
Part of Speech: Noun Feminine
Transliteration: ruach
Phonetic Spelling: (roo’-akh)
Short Definition: spirit

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin
from an unused word
breath, wind, spirit
NASB Translation
air (2), anger (1), blast (2), breath (31), breathless* (1), cool (1), courage (1), despondency* (1), exposed (1), grief* (1), heart (1), inspired (1), mind (3), motives (1), points (1), quick-tempered* (1), side (4), sides (2), Spirit (76), spirit (127), spirits (3), strength (1), temper (2), thoughts* (1), trustworthy* (1), wind (98), winds (7), windy (2), wrath (1).






From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: – ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

Strong’s Concordance

pneuma: wind, spirit

Original Word: πνεῦμα, ατος, τό
Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter
Transliteration: pneuma
Phonetic Spelling: (pnyoo’-mah)
Short Definition: wind, breath, spirit
Definition: wind, breath, spirit.

HELPS Word-studies

4151 pneúma – properly, spirit (Spirit), wind, or breath. The most frequent meaning (translation) of 4151 (pneúma) in the NT is “spirit” (“Spirit“). Only the context however determines which sense(s) is meant.

[Any of the above renderings (spirit-Spirit, windbreath) of 4151 (pneúma) is always theoretically possible (spiritSpiritwindbreath). But when the attributive adjective (“holy”) is used, it always refers to the Holy Spirit. “Spirit” (“spirit”) is by far the most common translation (application) of 4151(pneúma).

The Hebrew counterpart (rûach) has the same range of meaning as 4151(pneúma), i.e. it likewise can refer to spirit/Spiritwind, or breath.]

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin
from pneó
wind, spirit
NASB Translation
breath (3), Spirit (241), spirit (101), spirits (32), spiritual (1), wind (1), winds (1).


What God Says vs. Social Expectation

Developing a bit more thought on the “just be honest about wanting” theme…

What does God tell us His expectations of our behavior?

Luke 18:17 Truly I say to you,whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Luke 18: And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?

God tells us that He expects us to ask Him for what we want, with the honesty – and the trust – of a child.  He tells us to persist in prayer.  Is that what we do?

No.  We pretend that we don’t want what we do want – which is logically foolish, since God knows what’s in our minds and hearts, better than we do.   We stop asking before we get a firm “no”, and we don’t trust Him to give us something good, even if what we asked for *was* no.  It’s not like He’s not going to give us something better!

Really.  Even those who suffer temporally, if they’re truly suffering because they’re in God’s will… do you not think they’ll be rewarded eternally?  So – they get the better end of the bet.  The times I’ve been disciplined for idolatry, every time I’ve received lessons in character, and wisdom that I’ve been able to then share with others for the good of the kingdom.  Isn’t that worth more than the temporary scratching of the itch?

But we still have to be honest and childlike.  A child trusts, and a child asks, and a child reminds if the need stays unmet.

Here’s the parable of the pharisee and the publican.  We’ve all read this a million times, but do we think about it?  The publican was being honest – he didn’t pretend to be what he wasn’t.  When we come to Christ as helpless sinners, He transforms us.  When we come to Him on our own merits, we are damned.  So why do we *keep* pretending to have our own merit?  Why???

Luke 18:9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two menwent up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be [f]merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The social expectation of a good Christian looks a lot like the social expectation of a good Pharisee, 2000 years ago.  Good – on the outside at all costs, including the truth.

As I reflect, I wonder… is there anywhere in the Bible that indicates that we are capable (or expected) to change the inner self?  If it could have been done, wouldn’t the Pharisees have cleaned the inside of those cups as well as the outer?  I don’t think we have the capability to cleanse (or change) our insides.  That is the job of the Spirit.

Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

I’m not saying that obedience is unimportant.  But obedience too should be childlike – because we do what pleases our Father.   We are never asked to make ourselves feel a certain way, we’re just asked to obey.  Simply, with trust.

God in His incarnation as the Holy Spirit can – and will – change our insides as we grow in Him, surrender to His will and His work in our lives, and as He so pleases.  And we know that He does so please, because He has told us exactly what He plans for us.

I’ll leave you with this, because I’m still contemplating its beauty… really, this whole blog is still in my head and my heart, but I wanted to share.  Here you go.  🙂

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

God’s got this.  🙂

Honoring the truth, even when it’s not what we want


Humans have human urges, human desires.

“Good people” pretend not to have these urges, these desires… at least not when those desires or urges aren’t (somehow) appropriate.

I remember my grandmother swearing up and down that the back was her favorite piece of the chicken.  Why didn’t she eat that bit of chicken when only two people were sharing the bird, not six?  Oh, because she was being polite.  (And lying; sorry, Grandma).

We do that a lot – okay, I do that a lot.  Not with chicken.  But with other things.  “Oh, I can’t have that?  Oh, never mind, I didn’t really want it.  No importance atall.  I’m perfectly fine over here.”

We do that as Christians.  We see that God has put a block between us and something we want… and we pretend that we didn’t want it.  I’m not talking about sinful stuff.  How about the person looking for a spouse who just can’t find one?  How about the couple struggling with infertility?  How about the hardworking person looking for a good job?  How about the …. well, there are plenty of examples.

Sometimes we want stuff.  Good stuff.  And God says no.  Just because we accept His timing, His will – because He loves us and knows best and has an eternal plan, in which we eagerly accept our place – it doesn’t mean that our desires don’t exist.

I think it’s better to say, “yes, I want this.  God knows that, and I’m trusting Him” than to pretend that we aren’t humans, with all the wants that humans have.  If nothing else, being honest about the things that we want will keep us humble, as we look ourselves in the face and acknowledge our dependence on our Creator.

Covering up leads to hypocrisy.  Let’s just be honest – sometimes we want.