The translation of the Heb. ruÆach , “spirit,” “wind,” “breath,” and of the Gr. pneuma , “wind.” God is declared to be a “Spirit” ( John 4:24 ). The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. Angels are “ministering spirits” ( Heb. 1:14 ). With respect to human beings, “spirit” is the vital, animating force that characterizes a living person. RuÆach is sometimes translated “breath” ( Gen. 7:15 ; Job 9:18 ; etc.), breath being a readily observed and conclusive evidence of the presence of life. At death the invisible life force leaves the body ( Gen. 7:22 ; cf. Job 27:3 ; Ps. 104:29 ). The spirit returns to God who gave it ( Eccl. 12:7 ; cf. Acts 7:59 ). Seventh-day Adventists have sometimes identified the spirit, which leaves the body at death, with si...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.