In response to a sister’s question about the state of the dead, I shared this – “There is a spirit mind (consciousness) that lives on, Mary. The soulish mind sleeps along with the physical body until the resurrection of the dead.” Here’s something more on this subject from Stephen Jones…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Insofar as immortality is concerned, the human spirit is the only seat of immortality, for it is never said to die, but to “return to God” (Eccl. 12:7). So also when Jesus died, He said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46), and yet His soul went to hades, for we read in Acts 2:27, “Thou wilt not leave My soul in hades.”
I do not want to engage in a full discussion here on the state of the dead, but I do want to make the point that the seat of immortality is not the soul, but the spirit. The soul is connected to the flesh and is therefore “carnal,” or “fleshly.” The penalty for sin called for the death of the soul, and the sacrificial system manifested that principle by pouring out the blood and covering it with dust.
The spirit has a mind, just as the soul has a mind. They each have their own consciousness, capable of thought. When a man dies on the operating table and floats above himself, watching the doctors attempting to revive him, it is not the soul’s mind that is watching this procedure. It is the spiritual mind. The soul’s mind dies with the brain, because it is “fleshly,” and is therefore brain-dependent.
When we speak of “the real you,” we can mean either of two possibilities. You are either the person who is descended from Adam, which is the “old man” (Rom. 6:6), or you can identify with the new Man, which is Christ, the last Adam. By faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into our Most Holy Place, which is our human spirit. This creates a new creature, a new man, the Manchild, or Christ in you, the Hope of Glory.
This new creature has a heavenly Father and an earthly mother and is therefore the offspring of BOTH heaven and earth. In that sense, it is like Jesus Himself, who set the pattern as both Son of God and Son of Man.
As a believer, “the real you” is that Person abiding in your spirit, your Most Holy Place, for you now live through your Offspring. That holy seed cannot sin, because as 1 John 3:9 tells us (Young’s Literal Transl.), “Everyone who hath been begotten of God, sin he doth not, because his seed in him doth remain, and he is not able to sin, because of God he hath been begotten.”
In other words, that embryo (begotten son) has the seed of God in him, and it is incapable of sinning. This does not mean that you yourselves cannot sin, for Paul says in Rom. 7:18, “for I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” Yet Paul also says in verse 20, “But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”
In this case, “I” is talking about that holy seed in Paul and in all believers. Paul identified himself with that holy seed, that new man that He is becoming—not the old man that is his Adamic flesh, which is very capable of sin. As believers, we have the right to identify with the new man and crucify the old man. While this is not a license to sin that grace may abound, it also provides us with the biblical reason why we ought not to wallow in guilt from past sins, or even to remain paralyzed by the current imperfection of the flesh.
This is basic to an understanding of our Christian walk, as well as giving us some knowledge of the difference between soul and spirit. We can only make that distinction by the Sword of the Word, for Heb. 4:12 says that this Sword is to be used to divide soul and spirit, even as the priest used to cut apart the bone and marrow of the sacrificial animals.