The spirit in the Bible

Used 551 times in the Bible


Job 33:4        The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

Psalms 104:30        Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

Psalms 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 

Genesis 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 

Psalms 29:3 The voice of the LORD [is] upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD [is] upon many waters. 

 29:4  The voice of the LORD [is] powerful; the voice of the LORD [is] full of majesty. 

1Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

  • We will note the fact in the first place, that not only man, but the beasts have a spirit. “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” Eccl. 3: 21.
  • In the original phrases, applied to all creatures, there is no distinction. Gen.6: 17. “And behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the (ruah chayim – spirit of lives, or) breath of life, from under heaven: and every thing that is in the earth shall die.”7: 15. “And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh wherein is the (ruah chayim – spirit of lives) breath of life.” Verse 21. “And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man.” Verse 22. “All in whose nostrils was the (neshmeth ruah chayim – breath of the spirit of lives,) breath of life, of all that was in the dry land died.” Verse 23. “And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things.” All without distinction are classed together. The same spirit animates all. If it is a living creature in one, it is in all; and more than this, if the spirit be a living creature, it died also; for all the living creatures in the earth died, except Noah and his family, and those in the ark with him.



James 2: 26. “For as the body without the spirit (margin, breath) is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” The body is made alive by the breath, (spirit,) so faith is made alive by works.

Job 27:3. “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils.” (Margin, the breath which God gave him.) Rev.11:11. “And after three days and an half the Spirit of life (breath of life) from God entered into them.” Isa.4:,5. “Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.” In this parallelism spirit and breath mean the same.

Eze.37,5. “Behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.”

Verse 6. “And put breath in you and ye shall live” 8. “But there was no breath in them.”

” 9. “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live.”

” 10. “And the breath came into them, and they lived.”   Verse 14, is an explanation of all these occurrences of breath. “And shall put my spirit in you and ye shall live.”

Eccl.3,21. “Who knoweth the spirit (breath) of man that goeth upward, (is breathed out upward) and the spirit (breath) of the beast, that goeth downward (is breathed out downward towards the earth) to the earth.” The spirits of these two classes, man and beast, are declared in verse 19, to be breath: “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts: even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one (ruah – spirit, or) breath.” The same word (ruah) occurs in the three instances, and should have been uniformly translated. Numerous instances of like import might be adduced under this head, these are brought forward as samples merely

  1. THE TERM SPIRIT SIGNIFIES LIFE. Job 34,14,15. “If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit (life) and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.” Eccl.12,7. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (breath or life) return unto God who gave it” – as it was. “And man go to his long home” – into the grave. Eze.i,20. “For the spirit (life) of the living creature was in the wheels.” (Margin, life.) See the same in verse 21. See the same in Eze.10,17. Luke 8,54,55. “And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit, (life,) came again, and she arose.” Ps.31,5. “Into thine hand I commit my spirit. (Life.)

We will notice all the places where the death of Christ is recorded: See Matt.27,50. “Jesus,when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” Mark 15,37. “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.” Luke 23,46. “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit; (life;) and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” John 19,30. “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

We have cited four instances of giving up the ghost, and now inquire what it means. Parkhurst in his Greek and English Lexicon says, “And it may be worth remarking that the leading sense of the old English word ghost, is breath, and is from the same root with gust of wind; and that both these words are plain derivatives from a Hebrew word signifying to move with violence; whence also gust.” Bible vs. Tradition, giving up of the ghost, (margin,) Parkhurst translates, a puff of breath; Good, a scattered breath; Prof. Pick, “Breathed out the breath. To give up the ghost, is to breathe out the breath, the life.” Acts 7,59,60. Stephen calls upon the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit, (life,) but Stephen fell asleep (or died.) Numerous instances where the sense of spirit is life, might be cited. To give up the spirit, to commend the spirit into the hands of God, is to resign the life. The life of the christian is hid with Christ in God, and when he who is our life shall appear, they will also appear with him in glory.

  1. THE TERM SPIRIT, STANDS FOR MIND, THOUGHTS, AFFECTIONS, TEMPER, DISPOSITION. Gen.41,8. “And it came to pass in the morning, that his spirit was troubled. (His mind perplexed.),9. “But they hearkened not unto Moses, for anguish of spirit, (of mind.) 1Kings 21,4,5,7. The circumstance which occurred between Naboth, and Ahab king of Israel and Jezebel his wife. Verse 3. “And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house, heavy and displeased. But Jezebel, his wife, came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad?” Verse 7. “Arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry.” Place the expressions, “heavy and displeased,” “spirit so sad,” and “heart be merry,” side by side, and I think no one will fail to see the signification of spirit in this case. 1Tim.4,12. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” In spirit, (in temper, disposition, etc.) Col.2ii,5. “For though I be absent in the flesh yet I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order; and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.” “With you in spirit.” Does this teach that the Apostle’s deathless, thinking spirit left his body and went to another locality on a visit, and there rejoiced with the brethren, etc. If so, Paul must have been a dead man during the interval; for James says, The body without the spirit is dead. The idea I apprehend to be simply this: Paul’s mind, thoughts, etc., were with them: he remembered them, though absent from them. This phrase in any other book could be very easily understood; but the Bible some people apprehend is not to be dealt with in a rational manner! sad mistake!! If in addressing my friend by letter, I should say, though absent from you many hundred miles, yet am I with you in spirit, no one would dream of any possible misunderstanding. Ps.51,10. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit, [disposition,] within me.” Rom.8,9. “Now if any man have not the spirit [disposition] of Christ, he is none of his.” Prov.16,32. “He that ruleth his spirit, [temper,] than he that taketh a city.” Eph.4,23. “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Renewed in disposition.) Many more such instances might be brought under this head, but these will suffice for samples.


  1. THE TERM SPIRIT, STANDS FOR THE WHOLE PERSON. John 4,24. “God is a Spirit.” God is certainly a personal being. See Heb.i,3. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.” Whose person? God’s. See verses 1 and 2. The Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, is a Spirit! 1Cor.15,45. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” The angels are spirits. Heb.1,14. “Are they not all ministering spirits?” The angels are certainly personal beings. See Ps.78,25. “Man did eat angel’s food.” Gen.19,1. And there came two angels to Sodom. “Lot saw them, asked them to tarry over night, and wash their feet.” They did eat, they lay down, they took hold of the hand of Lot, etc. Read the chapter. Gen.32,1. “And Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him.” “He said, This is God’s host.” The whole history of angels, shows most conclusively that they are personal beings. They are called spirits.


The saints when born again, will be spirits. John 3,6. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; [not a compound of flesh and spirit;] and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Not a compound of flesh and spirit.) Again, Christ is a quickening spirit, an immortal and incorruptible person, or being. The saints at the first resurrection are to have bodies like his glorious body; i.e., immortal and incorruptible. Again, see Luke 20,35. “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, [out from among the dead ones,] neither marry nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more; [or again;] for they are equal unto the angels.” They too are spirits.

1John 4,1-5. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, [person,] but try the spirits, [persons,] whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” The false prophets, are the spirits referred to. They are not invisible or intangible. You may see them any day in these times. Heb.12,9. “Shall we not rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live.” 1Pet.3,18-21. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which also [i.e., by the same Spirit which made Jesus alive] he went and preached to the spirits in prison.” (Persons in the prison house of death.) When did this same Spirit that quickened Jesus preach to the persons now dead? When once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah. The recorded transaction runs like this: God by his Spirit moved upon righteous Noah, who by the Spirit of God in him, warned the wicked antediluvians of their coming doom. They were destroyed. The spirits in prison, are those wicked ones in death, in the prison house of death.

In concluding upon this topic we will notice three other instances of the word spirit where it has evidently another signification: Matt.14,26. “And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.” Mark 6,49. “But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out.” Luke 24,37. “But they were terrified, and affrighted, and supposed they had seen a spirit.” Verse 39. “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” In the three instances above quoted, the word spirit is from the Greek, phantasma, not pneuma, as in other places, and signifies a phantom; that is, an appearance, an optical illusion, or an apparition. Parkhurst in giving the significations of pneuma, mentions a great variety of uses. 1. The material spirit, or air in motion. 2. The human soul or spirit. 3. Temper, disposition of the soul, etc. The Spirit of God, of Christ, of adoption; the Spirit of grace, of truth, of promise; the spirit of the law; and so on to almost any extent.


See this thought suggested further in these scriptures. “The mind of the spirit is life and peace.” Rom.8:6 R.V. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace.” Jer.29:11. “The words,” said Christ, “that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63. Now put these texts together, “The mind of the spirit is life and peace.” “The words that I speak unto you, they are life,” and the words are simply an expression of the thoughts, and “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace.” Is it not clear from these scriptures that the word of God is also an expression of the mind of the spirit?


We must seek to come into harmony with the mind of God, as revealed in His Word. We need to feel intensely over these matters and look constantly to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. {Ms23-1910}

Who will link up with Christ? Who will choose to link up with the world? When the heart is prepared for the heavenly guest, that human agent loves the Lord Jesus and is a partaker of His divine nature. His petitions come up before God in complete conformity with the will and mind of God. He will not ask to follow his own selfish indulgence but will ask that he might be fitted to glorify God. Jesus, the precious Saviour, is his love, his treasure, his exceeding great reward. “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit (in obedience and good works); and so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye (by obedience) in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and your joy might be full.” Precious words! {Ms112-1894}

Has the truth been lodged in the heart? Is the mind of God, the law of God, our guide? If so, its heavenly principles of peace will prevent discord and strife. No man can stand in whose heart the truth of God is not rooted. There is only one power that can make us holy and keep us holy—the grace of God. {Lt157-19




The Lord will take these poor souls if they will come and stand under His banner in loyalty. “A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” This is the divine breath of God to the soul of the true seeker. God will give you His healing power. We will rely upon Him, for He is our great Physician of the body as well as of the soul. {Lt74b-1897}

Shall we not, in our work in the future, and in the gatherings that we hold, be of one accord? Shall we not wrestle with God in prayer, asking for the Holy Spirit to come into every heart? The presence of Christ, manifest among us, would cure the leprosy of unbelief that has made our service so weak and inefficient. We need the breath of the divine life breathed into us. We are to be channels through which the Lord can send light and grace to the world. Backsliders are to be reclaimed. We are to put away our sins, by confession and repentance, humbling our proud hearts before God. Floods of spiritual power are now to be poured forth upon those prepared to receive it. {Lt239-1903}

“All who consecrate body, soul, and spirit to God’s service will be constantly receiving a new endowment of physical, mental, and spiritual power. The inexhaustible supplies of heaven are at their command. Christ gives them the breath of His own spirit, the life of His own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in heart and mind.” {Lt382-1907}

Often the Holy Spirit is not desired by men because it reproves of sin, of righteousness neglected, of a judgment which they have tried to forget; and as a result, when the selfish, pleasure-loving souls are brought where the truth of God is spoken, if they are not dead to all the impressions of the Spirit of God, they are like a train of mourners in a cemetery. They feel like calling upon others for a fast, a solemn assembly. They prostrate themselves before God as representatives of a church gasping for the breath of life, ready to die. Most pitiful prayers are made for God’s mercy. But the real cause of their departure into such darkness is not discerned. They do not realize that it is their false ideas of what constitutes the life of a Christian. {Ms75-1897}

The impartation of the Spirit was the impartation of the very life of Christ, which was to qualify the disciples for their mission. Without this qualification, their work could not be accomplished. Thus they were to fulfill the official duties connected with the church. But the Holy Spirit was not yet fully manifested, because Christ has not yet been glorified. The more abundant impartation of the Holy Spirit did not take place till after Christ’s ascension. {Ms149-1897}

The Holy Spirit is the breath of life in the soul. The breathing of Christ upon His disciples was the breath of true spiritual life. The disciples were to interpret this as imbuing them with the attributes of Christ, that in purity, faith, and obedience, they might exalt the law and make it honorable. God’s law is the expression of His character. By obedience to its requirements we meet God’s great standard of righteousness. Thus the disciples were to witness for Christ. {Ms149-1897}

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and, like its Author, is perfect. He who breathed into man the breath of life, and made him a living soul, has also breathed into His Word the breath of life. It is a lifegiving power. “The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” {Lt29-1900}

Almost immediately after the resurrection of our Lord, He urged upon His disciples the blessing of spiritual baptism in His words, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. By that action of breathing upon them, they received the Spirit of Christ into their inner lives. The expiration of the Spirit by the Lord of life is the inspiration of every Christian. As the Lord breathed the breath into the clay He had formed, the vital, living element gave life to the clay and it became a living soul. So Jesus Christ breathed upon His disciples and they became His living witnesses. Christ gives the life to every human worker—to His ministers who bear the most solemn message ever to be given to man to impart to man. {Lt201-1900}

We are to have, in these last days, life and vitality by the Holy Spirit’s quickening influence. Every minister in Word and doctrine needs to be breathed upon by the Lord Jesus. His Word is life and vitality, yes, eternal life to all who eat His flesh and drink His blood. Then all who love God and keep His commandments, through practicing His Word, pluck and eat of the leaves of the tree of life which are for the healing of the nations. {Lt201-1900}

You are wasting time and opportunities; you are neglecting your privileges. God must breathe into your heart and spirit His breath of life. He is ready to do it. He is ready to take you into partnership with Himself. {Lt133-1897}


I am disposed to take myself into my own hands, and work myself, in the place of giving myself unreservedly to God to be worked by his holy mind and will. {Lt153-1897}

The mind of God can be learned only from His Word. The Lord has sent His angels to guard those who are willing to be led in the ways of truth. He bids you take heed to your ways. There are souls living on the island who are daily receiving blessings from God, yet who do not as much as look heavenward and say, I thank Thee, Lord, for all the mercies I receive.” All the love that God expresses for them, in sparing their lives, and in providing them with food and clothing, does not waken in them one grateful response. The precious Word of truth is not stamped upon the soul. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the lips confession is made unto salvation.” {Lt200-1907}

James 1:18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

John 3:5       Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 

 3:6     That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

 3:7     Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 

 3:8     The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 

Never are we absent from the mind of God. God is our joy and our salvation. …..We may have the mind of Christ. {Lt74a-1897}

We must seek to come into harmony with the mind of God, as revealed in His Word. We need to feel intensely over these matters and look constantly to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. {Ms23-1910}

The mind of God once known is to be the rule of our lives. In obeying God’s commands we bring religion into the home. {Lt8a-1896}

The Scriptures are not studied with earnestness; the word of God is not made the rule of life. Paul charged Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine.” The heart must be right with God. {RH, July 8, 1884 par. 3}

The things of nature are an expression of the mind of God. We should all be lovers of the beauties of nature, for they speak to us of God. We do not enjoy half the privileges and blessings we might if we had a deeper realization of the close connection between God and His works and between God and His people. {Ms76a-1900}

Has the truth been lodged in the heart? Is the mind of God, the law of God, our guide? If so, its heavenly principles of peace will prevent discord and strife. No man can stand in whose heart the truth of God is not rooted. There is only one power that can make us holy and keep us holy—the grace of God. {Lt157-1901}

He {Jesus }revealed the infinite mind of God, and spoke with personal knowledge, for He was the expression of the mind of God to man. He unfolded truth of the highest order, for He was Himself the Word and the wisdom of God. He presented truth with the authority of a divine Oracle, and with a power and knowledge that He was unfolding truth of the highest magnitude, even the words of eternal life. {Lt5-1898}

The mind of God must become your mind. {Lt219-1905}

Hebrews 4:12        For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Only a thorough transformation of character will meet the mind of God, the discerner of the thoughts and intents and purposes of the heart. {Lt2a-1872}

He who puts mind and heart into this work gains a solid, valuable experience. The Holy Spirit is in the Word of God. Here is the living, undying element so distinctly represented in the sixth chapter of John. {Lt132-1900}

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