QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
♦ Does man have a heavenly spirit / does man have an immortal soul?
On November 12, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“I would like to know if the anointed possess a heavenly spirit after death so they can enter into heaven? Because the bible says flesh and blood doesn't enter in heaven. Thank you.”
To the author, thank you for your email. Your question combines two different concepts: (1) whether the anointed have a heavenly spirit, and (2) whether after death this heavenly spirit allows them to enter into heaven. We will answer both questions, and we will also add a third discussion about the soul that will round out our discussion.
(1.) Yes, anointed Christians possess a heavenly spirit. So do all the children of God whether they recognize it and awaken to this fact or not. Paul explained this to the Corinthians twice:
“Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that the spirit of God dwells in you?”– 1 Corinthians 3:16
“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the holy spirit within you, which you have from God?”– 1 Corinthians 6:19
This is God’s spirit that actuates our minds (Ephesians 4:23) and joins with the Spirit of Truth to bear witness to our sonship. (Romans 8:16) (See The Divine Spirit Fragment of the Father.) It is not inherent in man. It is a gift. (2 Corinthians 1:22) It exists in every normal mind that can seek and find the Father. (Acts 17:26-27) But the Father can withdraw His spirit when the host behaves in a way that seriously grieves the spirit. (Ephesians 4:30; Matthew 23:37-38) The Father’s indwelling spirit will not participate in deliberate and sustained sin. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) However, those who respond to the spirit’s leading have a guaranteed destiny in heaven. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
(2.) As you said, flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom. (1 Corinthians 15:50) What has to happen is that we must either be resurrected with incorruptible bodies or be transformed without tasting death into incorruptible bodies. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53) It is with these new incorruptible bodies that we are able to enter the heavens. So, no, it is not the spirit of the Father that allows this. It is the gift of new incorruptible bodies. However, we might say that we can ‘hitch a ride’ with the Father’s spirit. (For more information on our new bodies, see Why Sonship?)
(3) We feel it is important to add to the discussion the matter of the soul. There is a dispute as to whether man has an immortal soul or not. We do not believe man inherently has a immortal soul. But we do believe man can build or develop such a soul. We will share with you what we have learned for your consideration.
We believe the soul is actually the incorruptible body Paul referred to in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 that we will inhabit when our earthly bodies are no longer useful. The reality of the soul body was expressed by Jesus when he made the distinction between the physical body and the soul body. (Matthew 10:28) The soul is also referred to as the ‘inner man’ that is being renewed from day to day (2 Corinthians 4:16), and as the ‘new personality’ that is created and built up with every spiritual decision and every kind act in furtherance of the Father’s will. (Colossians 3:9-10) When we store ‘treasures in heaven’ (Matthew 6:19-21), we are actually building up our soul body. This is not character building that allows the natural man to become a good person. It is the exercise of spiritual characteristics that go beyond the mere acts of a ‘good person.’(Galatians 5:22-23)
And if, at the end of our lives, we have not build up our soul bodies sufficient for our minds, our memories, and our personality to inhabit, then we have no vehicle to take us into the heavens. Without a relatively complete soul, we will expire along with the animals and our only body will return to dust. (Psalms 146:3-4; Ecclesiastes 3:18-20; Romans 8:12-13)
With this understanding, we all have even greater reasons for ‘doing good toward all’ (Galatians 6:10), for loving our brothers as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), for serving one another (Galatians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 9:19), and for doing the will of the Father to the best of our ability. (Matthew 7:21; 12:50) All of these things ‘go with us’ (Ephesians 6:3) and allow us to achieve the heavenly career.
We hope this answers your questions. But the most important thing we hope you take away from this response is that the Father has devised a plan and a purpose for His earthly faith sons to inherit the heavenly kingdom and be adopted as true spirit sons. (Ephesians 1:3-5) So even if we do not understand all the mechanics of how it is accomplished, we can rest assured that if we exercise faith in Jesus and do the few things asked of us, as set forth in the previous paragraph, we will attain the reward. Entrance into heaven is guaranteed to all those who want it, even those who do not fully understand the process.