From time to time I am asked biblical questions which I feel are good to share so more can benefit from them. Below is such a question which I think is profitable to share with all who take an interest.

When one dies which part is in the presence of the Lord, soul or spirit?

Let’s start by reading these verses… as a starting place to answer your question:

Matthew 10:28
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 16:26
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Luke 10:27
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

1 Peter 1:9
for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 2:25
For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Revelation 6:9
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

Revelation 20:4
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.



I believe as you read the below verses, you begin to see a clear distinction between the soul and what it is, verses a spirit. I think the only way to see and understand this distinction is to read many verses from God’s Word and see how they are being described and used. When a person does that, I think it makes the answer to the question obvious… and this is why I chose to answer questions in this way…rather than telling you what I think, just showing you what God’s Word has to say and let a person decide for themselves. Now that you have read, examined and thought about the above verses regarding the soul, now let’s look at the below verses as they discuss the spirit(s).

Look at the below verse concerning Jesus and what does this teach us about the “spirit”?

Matthew 27:50
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

James 2:26
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Look at these couple of verses regarding impure spirit and them indwelling a person…not just one spirit but many… what does this teach us about the “spirit”?

Matthew 12:43
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.

Matthew 12:45
Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”


Now let us look at some verses regarding the Holy Spirit… Before Jesus acended and the Holy Spirit came to “indwell”

Mark 1:10
Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.

Now consider moses and the elders of Israel… compared to Mark 1:10 Notice in these examples we are not talking about Jesus’s personal “spirit” or Moses personal “spirit” but we are talking about the external Capital “S” Spirit, the Holy Spirit… Notice in these example it refers to the Holy Spirit “being on” them.

Numbers 11:17
I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

Numbers 11:25
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.


ok now let’s look at few other things in context regarding “spirit(s)”

Hebrews 1:7
In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.”

Leviticus 19:31
“‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 20:6
“‘I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.

(As I read the above three verses, it reminds me that Paul in spoke about those who worship angels)

Notice in the below verse the difference between the lower case “spirit” and capital “Spirit” in 1 John 4:1-3

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

1 John 4:2
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

1 John 4:3
but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.


1 Peter 3:4
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

James 4:5
Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

Revelation 1:4
John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

Revelation 16:13
Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

Revelation 16:14
They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.



One thing we need to discern when talking about the spirit… specifically is that it is about death and life and could be talking about physical life or spiritual life; or both:

Matthew 27:50
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

James 2:26
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

In the above verses, you can see it is clearly talking about physical life. The body will die without the spirit as what happened to Jesus on the cross when he gave up his physical life… but now consider the verses below as it pertains to understanding spiritual life.

Rev 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

Note, “second death”. If there is a second death…that is expereinced by those who are spiritually dead after physical death…. there is also spiritual life, which will be expereinced as everlasting life after physical death. Those who are “born again” or regenerated by the Holy Spirit are no longer spiritually dead, but have been spiritually brought to life by the Holy Spirit…

1 Cor 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Cor 15:42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.


Please let me know after you have read the above, if that makes clear the answer to the question…

When one dies which part is in the presence of the Lord, soul or spirit?

For me, as I look at all the above verses, it is the soul which is made alive by the Spirit.