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Will anyone help clarify the differences through defining terms? 1. Conscience, 2. Mind, 3. Soul, 4. Spirit, and 5. Holy Ghost

Also, when we ascend to heaven or if we were to descend to hell, what goes with us? Does the soul go with the spirit? I believe I understand that when we are born again, our individual spirit dies and becomes replaced by the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost. But, doesn't scripture say somewhere that nothing can go up into heaven that has not come down from heaven? And since that is the case, how can our souls go up into heaven, because nothing is mentioned about us receiving a new soul when we are born again, only that we receive a new spirit. How does this work?

And when do we receive a conscience? Before we are born? What is the difference between the convictions of our own conscience and the convictions of the Holy Spirit? How can we tell them apart? Why do we need a conscience if we have a spirit guiding our conduct?

Thank you for your answers! :)

Tags: Ghost, Holy, conscience, mind, soul, spirit

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Hey GinnyBear,

There are a lot of interesting questions here. I will do my best to address them.

Will anyone help clarify the differences through defining terms? 1. Conscience, 2. Mind, 3. Soul, 4. Spirit, and 5. Holy Ghost

1. Conscience: Based on the Greek this word means “awareness” or “knowledge of.” This can relate to awareness of life and surroundings as well as awareness of sin.
2. Mind: Based on the Greek this word means “thought(s)” or “imagination.” This is our processor. Conscience brings awareness and knowledge to bear and our mind processes that information and from there we make decisions.
3. Soul: The Bible reveals that we are a tripartite (three parts) person. We are spirit, soul and body. Hebrews 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is living 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.” In Scripture there are various usages of the word “soul.” To summarize to the best of my knowledge it is the life of the body (Mat. 2:20) and the part of us that connects our spirit to our bodies and our spirit to the spirit realm. This is where our conscience and mind operate and where we engage in spiritual warfare. I once saw an illustration that made sense to me. It was three circles in the design of a target (smallest inner circle surrounded by a second larger circle that was surrounded by a larger third circle). The area within the inner circle is our spirit. The area of the second circle is our soul and the area of the third circle is our flesh. The soul (second circle) serves as a buffer between our spirit and the material world of the flesh and also as a buffer between our spirit and the spirit realm.
4. Spirit: This is the real “us” at the deepest level, the part that was created in God’s image, for God is spirit. Within the spirit resides the concept of the throne of our heart (life). Only two can reside on this throne. Either we reside there or Christ. Satan has access to the soul, but cannot possess the spirit. We are born into sin and naturally reside on the throne of our heart. Jesus will not take up residence in our life until we are born-again.
5. Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit: He is God, the third part of the Triune Godhead.
* Note: Though I have given a basic outline defining the conscience, mind, soul and spirit. Regarding your question there is some blending between the various parts. In other words the lines are not simply black and white. There are attributes within the spirit that describe the conscience and mind of man. There are times that it is difficult to impossible for us to define the difference in the soul and spirit of man. These difficulties exemplify the complexity of our true nature, the beautiful life that God has given us. We with our finite minds will not fully comprehend what the infinite Creator has put together. This blending takes us to the point of understanding how when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us that we become one with Christ. Not Christ and us, but one with Him (1 Cor. 6:17).


Also, when we ascend to heaven or if we were to descend to hell, what goes with us?
Does the soul go with the spirit?

Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 clearly shows the soul (psuche) in heaven. Matthew 10:28 reveals the soul (psuche) can be sent to hell.

I believe I understand that when we are born again, our individual spirit dies and becomes replaced by the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost.
At salvation the old spirit is removed and replaced with a new spirit. This new spirit is a redeemed us. The Holy Spirit then takes up residence with us and joins with our spirit making us one with Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Cor. 6:17).

But, doesn't scripture say somewhere that nothing can go up into heaven that has not come down from heaven? And since that is the case, how can our souls go up into heaven, because nothing is mentioned about us receiving a new soul when we are born again, only that we receive a new spirit. How does this work?
The Scripture you are referring to is John 3:13 which tell us, “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man.” This does not speak of exclusion from heaven. I think you may be mixing this verse with 1 Corinthians 15:50, “I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” In the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul is speaking about our change that takes place at the resurrection. Regarding the change of the soul, I believe that Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 reveal that the change does take place, for the corrupted soul would not be found in heaven.

And when do we receive a conscience? Before we are born?
There are various views on this. I believe the Bible presents life begins at conception and thus our conscience, as defined above, begins at or sometime after conception. There are a couple of verses that give pause to some to believe that we existed before birth, such as Isaiah 49:1. Three things must be taken into account when examining a text like Isaiah 49:1. 1) God has complete foreknowledge of all events past, present and future. 2) God is not linear, He lives outside of time. 3) How does it align with the whole of Scripture?

What is the difference between the convictions of our own conscience and the convictions of the Holy Spirit? How can we tell them apart?
God did not create us to be robots, but rather to be living beings. We retain many of our characteristics after we are born-again. We still have free-will and operate with a personal conscience using the minds God has given us. Learning to discern the working of the Holy Spirit is a lifetime journey. There are times God will speak so clearly to our hearts that we need no further assurance. There are times that we struggle to hear His voice. He has given us several principles to follow regarding discerning His will for our daily lives. I will list 3 here. 1) Everything must align with Scripture. God will never give you a word or direct you to do anything that breaks with Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16). 2) 1 John 4:1 tells us to test the spirits to see whether they are from God. Trust the Word of God, pray and seek wise counsel if doubt persists. 3) James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom that we should ask and God will give it.
* Note: It is my view that as we mature we become more sensitive to the voice and working of the Holy Spirit. In other words a newer believer is more prone to the deception by self or the enemy than one who is more mature in Christ, living a surrendered life empowered by the Holy Spirit. The newer believer needs to be careful about reacting to whims and every new teaching they hear. In fact we all do, but the newer believer is more susceptible to be tossed about as described in (Eph. 4:14-16).

Why do we need a conscience if we have a spirit guiding our conduct?
The Holy Spirit guides and empowers us, but God has created us to have freewill. He wants us to freely love Him, for love that is not free is not love at all. If it was all the Holy Spirit and we had no awareness of our own we would be no more than robots.

Hope this helps.

Lord Bless,
LT
Gen 2:7 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.

The scripture did not say here that man received a soul but rather he became a living soul. He received the breath of God.

H5301 BREATH

נפח
nâphach
naw-fakh'
A primitive root; to puff, in various applications (literally, to inflate, blow hard, scatter, kindle, expire; figuratively, to disesteem): - blow, BREATH, give up, cause to lose [life], seething, snuff.

Breath in the body= soul (living soul)



Jas 2:26 For as the body WITHOUT THE SPIRIT is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

After a person ceases to breathe they are considered to be dead. (no life in them) All that is left is a body.

Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the SPIRIT shall return unto God who gave it.


H5397 SPIRIT

נשׁמה
neshâmâh
nesh-aw-maw'
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.




H7307

רוּח
rûach
roo'-akh
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).


H7308

רוּח
rûach
roo'-akh
(Chaldee); corresponding to H7307: - mind, spirit, wind.
GinnyBear, you have received some excellent definitions and exposition. But, sometimes the data can bury us with complexity.

For me, having studied these things for several years, I am convinced: a) When a Believer dies, you will go to Heaven fully conscious. b) those who go to Hell will go there fully conscious. Jesus was very clear that the Rich man (also known as Dives), who died when Lazarus died, was fully conscious and fully senscient (he could feel and experience Hell with his senses).

I think that a conscience is something that grows in us, as much as our physical attributes grow.

The Holy Spirit is the third "person" of the Godhead or Trinity. His ministry in the world is to glorify Christ and convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He fills us, guides us and comforts those of us who are Believers. Meaning that, although we do not see him, he is the Divine Presence with us in this life - he is the indwelling presence of Christ; the book of Hebrews indicates that Christ himself did all of his miracles by the Holy Spirit - not by his own power.

No matter how much you try to study the ministry of the Holy Spirit, you will find much more understanding of "The Comforter" by walking in faith and obedience to the Word. He is the one who enables you to do that. Without his presence, you can not walk as a Christian.

When you seek Christ, you do it by the Holy Spirit.
When you pray to the Father, you do it by the Holy Spirit.
When you walk by faith, you do it by the Holy Spirit.
When you trust God, inspite of your fears and doubts, you do it by the Holy Spirit.
When you are obedient to God's word, you do it by the Holy Spirit.
When you experience the comforting presence of Christ, you do it by the Holy Spirit.
When you offer praise to God, inspite of your feelings, you do it by the Holy Spirit.
W'hen you abide in the word and experience divine revelation, you do it by the Holy Spirit.

This is how you learn about him - to do the will of God and live the life of a Christian - because it requires the Holy Spirit's empowerment and filling to do so. It is a relationship where you learn of the Holy Spirit by depending on the Holy Spirit. You don't learn about him so much by reading, as by depending on him.
To me, the conscience was given to man to help him know right from wrong, and to help him find his way back to God.. The conscience can be seared over... the bible speaks of this... and that is because the individual chose to override his conscience, that still small voice within, until he could no longer hear it.... because he had refused to listen to it for so long. When this happens... a man is said to have a reprobate mind... in other words... all good has gone from him.... and he chooses all his actions... apart from right or wrong.

There is a scripture that states that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Once jesus comes into our spirit, thru the power of the Holy Spirit, he helps us to serve God, however, we can also help ourselves, by spending time in Gods word... in prayer and in his presence. This strengthens our spirit...

The bible says that the washing of the water of the word.... cleanses us from sin. In other words... we train our spirit, to line up with Gods spirit. and fasting helps bring our body in subjection to the word. It weakens the body, and strengthens the spirit.

As we learn the word of God, we begin to acquire discernment... this tells us what is of God, and what is of flesh. This takes practice, trial and error, much reading of the word... and prayer.

We can do things that are wrong...and actually feel that the Holy Spirit is grieving inside of us... this helps to guide us... and the more we know of him, the more we want to please him.

When you exercise your senses, you will begin to know who is doing the talking.... you know yourself..and when God speaks thru you.. you will recognize that too.

The Holy Spirit has to draw us, or we cannot come to God to begin with. When you see someone that is interested in the things of God, you can be assured that the Holy Spirit is on the scene.... drawing that person toward God.

Many times, I will make a decision...quickly... without praying....and usually overnight.. the Holy Spirit will turn my thinking around. Many times, I have had to change my course, or ask for forgiveness... but, if I would have prayed first... before making that announcement or decision.. I would not have had to backtrack.

When I first started walking with the Lord.. I felt like a bull in a china closet. I could sense that one needed to be very sensitive...in his/her dealings with others... but, it escaped me, as to how that was done. Gradually.... over time, I became more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and trained my spirit in the things of God... so that I was more comfortable.

I also found a scripture where David asked God to put a watch over his tongue...that he may not sin against him... and that helped, as I prayed that prayer often, I gradually got my mouth under control, where only things pleasing to God were coming out... however, I do fail .... and I really do hate it when I do.... but, I know that God forgives me, when I say something that I shouldn't however, it is my desire...to not do it to begin with.

I think our feelings are based in our soul... and our thinking process is in our mind.

I have heard it said that the soul consited of the mind, will and emotions.

The spirit is seperate, but, I don't think we can tell the difference, the bible speaks of it, as being extremely hard to tell the difference, however, God can.

It would be good to get some good books on the Holy Spirit... to help you better understand him.

Catherine Marshall wrote several that are very good, and Benny Hinn, has some, and I am sure there are others, these are the ones that come to mind.

I think strongholds that satan builds within us, are built in the soul. And a stronghold is something that is very hard but not impossible to get rid of. Fasting helps this also.
I've carefully read each of these responses, and I believe the answers have become more clear to me, but I will continue to meditate on your explanations and pray for fuller awareness of these elements. Thanks so much!

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