Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ brethren! Today's article will be a more generalized discussion rather than a scriptural and expositional one! But having said that as always we will seek to incorporate scripture and back-up everything that is said - with the Word of God. Amen!
Let me start by saying at the outset that Man is unique insomuch that he is a three demensional being. And he is uniquely (3D) as such - although when we look at each other outwardly in the flesh all we see (is the person) and outer shell called the physical body! ... meaning we just see the house and earthly tabernacle ( the temple of the holy spirit ) But we are instructed in God's word to know otherwise. For man as we know is made up of body, soul, and this is clearly taught from 1 Thess 5:23 Howevever having said that when God speaks of his work of sanctification in the life of the believer he speaks of (the whole man) being preserved ... " and the very God of peace sanctify you WHOLLY. SO THERE IS A RECOGNITION OF MAN AS BEING A (WHOLE BEING) BUT NONETHELESS COMPRISED INTO THREE COMPONENTS MADE UP OF BODY, SOUL, AND SPIRIT. So we are more than just a physical house or earthly tabernacle with the capacity for processing information and using the intellect! YOU ARE ALSO A LIVING SOUL !!!!!
1 Corinthians 15:45 Clearly states the following: And so it is written the first man Adam was made a LIVING SOUL; The last Adam ( JESUS ) was made a quickening spirit. Hence the phrase as the living father hath life in himself, so has he given the Son to have "life in himself also" " I have power to lay down my life and i have power to take it up again" ( meaning it was not possible for death to hold him down ) the power of the resurrection was being enforced and re-iterated by Christ ... through this amazing statement - before the event of the resurrection even took place.
But let's rewind and go back further: To Genesis and to where it all began: Genesis 2:7 reads " And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the BREATH of life; and man became a LIVING SOUL. A living soul mind you, who was created in God's image and likeness and created to have dominion over the earth and over all the beasts of the field...
So even though man is fully whole and is One whole being (in that sense) he is nonetheless a living soul ... comprised into body, soul and spirit! Now Some in pentecostal circles have defined this whole ( body, soul, and spirit) thing ... into the following 1. The physical(body) 2. The emotional (soul) 3. The heart of man (spirit). But the apostle paul simply defines it as a living soul made up of spirit, soul, and body... "I pray God your whole body, soul, and spirit be preserved blameless" unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now i am not going to get into discussions of what happens to the spirit and soul after man experiences death ... i have my own thoughts and views on that... but the purpose of today's message is to not so much to delve or to get into those areas.
However paul's stated definition is what im "personally" comfortable with and am going to "stay with" As we have enough issues milling around today with all of the various forms of "mystical and experiencial christianity" as it is - without me adding to it (Amen)
So Man is a living soul! The point being he is not JUST a Physical body with the capacity to think thoughts and utilize his intellect! Scientists, atheists, and all the evil-lutionists out there would have us to believe so! Now the unchurched (the heathen) often "play down" the truth of eternal life and of the life (hereafter) or that crossing over into (the other demension) in fact they scoff at the suggestion of garanteed everlasting life! Suggesting such things as when your dead, your dead! (end of story, period) (death is the end of the road) And when you Die someone will put you into a 6 foot box and lower you into the ground! and that's it your life has ended and ceased in this world! When your dead , your dead ( quote, unquote )
From dust you came - and from dust you will go!
But Natural man is ignorant of the truth and what lies in the "hereafter" In fact from day one the devil has not ceased to pervert the minds of men into thinking such things and lie to mankind about (who man is) and (what man is) and what happens (after death) Jesus taught man IS a living soul ...and not just a physical shell OR HOUSE in which he lives in! For he Jesus said these words: What doth it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his own soul, or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Powerful and provocative words ... But Jesus here warns of the fact that physical death is not the end (OR) the total cessation of life! But once the soul has perished or been lost without knowing salvation (In christ ) then that is the most horrific and perilous position for any man or woman to find themselves in! ( without hope and with God the book of Ephesians says)
Other passages we appeal to (too consolidate) our own faith are taken from 2nd Corinthians where here the apostle talks about the day upon which mortality WILL be swallowed up of life! And THE BELIEVER will be clothed upon with an house built by God! A house in the heavens that fadeth not away...Indeed mortality will be swallowed by immortality ( Glory ) " For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" 2 cor 5:1
Now moving: And Without chasing rabbits or digressing to much: Over in 1st Peter's epistle we find a very interesting passage which declares that upon Jesus' death on the cross he went and preached to the DEAD ... FOR THIS CAUSE WAS THE GOSPEL PREACHED also to them that are DEAD...(now hold that thought) and back up to 1 PETER 3:18-19 which also says: BEING PUT TO DEATH IN THE FLESH ( THE PHYSICAL ) but quickened by the spirit: By the which also he WENT and preached to the spirits in prison. Notice 2 things here 1. And one is they are spoken of as dead 2. But two they are refered to as spirits. Clearly death is not the grave or where it ENDS and mankind must face a future judgment for all of his works - just as we read before how the spirits in prison are (reserved unto the day of judgment) themselves!
Now brethren without getting into things above my own understanding or of things too high for me: One thing is very clear again and that is the resounding truth that man is TRULY is composed of body, soul, and spirit. And physical death is not the end of the road. Man will be confronted and raised to face the great white throne of God's judgment. So this notion of once your dead ( your dead ) and simply placed into a big wooden box and that's it! is a huge lie of the devil and of all atheists alike! And it denies the power and truth of the FACT of the resurrection! And the fact Jesus HAS destroyed the power of death. Jesus said that their is a day coming in which ALL that are in the graves shall come forth at the voice of the Son of God! Some to the resurrection of the just and others to the resurrection of Damnation. The dead will come forth (and live) and be judged for their works! and shall not escape... (the doctrine of eternal judgment) Yes man is a physical being ... but he is much more than that, he's a living SOUL!
Jesus also said of the dead people he raised to life again during his ministry: They are not dead - but sleep! to the which those that stood by and heard those words heaped scorn upon him (totally lambasted). But the truth is Jesus is the resurrection and the life and he has power to raise dead bodies to give divine quickening to them! And to all the dead for that matter! So wether a believer sleeps or wether he wakes (we are kept IN Christ ) Kept by the power of God ! Amen! Death holds no power over us! death is truly defeated ( Glory ) FOR YOU SEE WHEN THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE HOLDS YOU IN THE PALM OF HIS HANDS. The sting of death is obliterated (gone) Abolished! Although death itself is still NOT (ultimately) swallowed up in victory ( FOR ALL MEN STILL DIE ) ** see 1 cor chap 15 for a more in depth study. Paul said in one corinthians chapter 15 " i die daily " " and though the outward man perish DAILY, yet the inner man is renewed day by day ( Glory ) !!!!!!!!!!!!!
But coming back to man as (triunion) or 3 fold there is yet another aspect to this three demensional thing for us to consider? It has been popular over time - and on down through the pentecostal movement in the 20th century to teach that Man is also (3) things: He is natural man, he is carnal man, and he is spiritual man! And the way they divided this up - was to teach The natural man was the man who was the heathen and sinner (away from God) The carnal man was taught by pentecostals as the man (who is saved) albeit has remained a baby and not matured "on past" the first principles! And lastly we the spiritual man was the one who recieved the deep things of God ...even the deep things given to him, by the spirit of God (1 corinth 2:10)
And mind you: When this particular teaching first arrived on the scene the reaction by the people of God was (ahh wow) this is good, this is deep! and it was indeed very well presented to us as a teaching format! And the people of God loved it and gobbled it up - as it were. But on the flip side the devil continued in mainstream secular society to spawn and propagate the notion that natural man is just a physical being with a mind and intellect !! And death is the grave...
(intellectual man) Just How smart is he though ??
Jesus told the Jews who accused him of blasphemy over the charge of (him being a man yet making himself out to be God) Is it not written in your law "ye are gods" man is unquestionably and undoubtedly become very clever!! And does it not say in Genesis 11 "THAT NOW NOTHING SHALL BE RESTRAINED FROM THEIR HANDS - THAT THEY HAVE IMAGINED TO DO" ?
BUT MOVING ON: No death is not where it ends and finishes for mankind! That is to say once breath has ceased from his nostrils. The book of Hebrews informs us that It is appointed unto men once to die, and then after this the judgment!
And as we read before in first Peter: The gospel was even preached (to the dead) and to the spirits in prison ( No this is not JDS doctrine, by the way ) THE Jesus dying spiritually heresy. However conjecture is rife as to (WHO AND WHAT) the spirits (in prison) were and REPRESENTED! Do they represent the rebellious angels or DO they SPEAK OF "the real dead" that perished during the anti-dilluvian age ( Noahs generation? ) But ALL controversy aside, what we do know, is this: we know the truth of what happens at the point of death and the truth of (eternal judgment). We know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord! And we have this confidence, even now !!!
Now A lot of christians and (word of faithers) have speculated over (what happened from the cross to the throne) But at the end of the day when all is said and done and push comes to shove ...the important thing to remember above all else is what was purchased for you at the cross and not so much what went on "in the between bits and parts" what he purchased for you is "immoratilty and incorruption" a glorified body that awaits you at the resurrection and at his coming!! And Because (he lives, we live) and we rest knowing that our soul is kept and preserved in him! wether in life or in death, we have this great christian hope and sound belief that we are KEPT always in him...
( accepted in the beloved according to his eternal purposes whuich he purposed for us in christ)
Finally: As we approach todays topic in a kind of general way: I would like to draw your attention to the problem of two demensional communication! As oppossed to the real life inter-active relationships! But first call to remembrance the words of the apostle John who in 3 john 13-14 swrote these words " but i will not with ink and pen write unto thee: but i trust i shall shortly SEE thee and we shall SPEAK face to face"
Now hold that thought and lets fast forward over to (2) more books and over to the book of revelation and chapter nine where we find very interesting commentry by the apostle (rev9:20) but first let me say this: Idols are talked about in Scripture as being "dumb idols" and the corinthian christians we are told were carried away by dumb idols! You see images and idols as life like as they might seem have NO LIFE in them! (they are dumb) ... although the advent of modern television would argue back at us on that score ...however idols are made from the material substances found in this earth (true)? but these life like images and idols are nothing but dumb idols ! And at best are only two demensional (2D) for they neither see, nor do they walk, nor do they hear - you cannot carry out a real life conversation with them! No matter how cute and how clever modern forms of tele-communication have become! It does not take the place of "real life" inter-acting and communication! And in many ways it's a poor substitute for (the real thing) and real relationships. That is why when people sit down to 3 or 4 hours of television viewing at a time it becomes just such a mind numbing experience! And it ministers death to your spirit! instead of divine quickening Life! John the apostle says of these idols made by mens hands that they are "totally lifeless" - they do not see with there eyes (like real people do) nor do they walk (like souls walk) nor do they hear or listen to what you have to say. Its a dumb device and lifeless image to boot, end of story! And they cannot carry out conversations with you ....now modern forms of tele-communications at best might are clever and their convienient! but we must Never idolize what "man makes" or invents (to himself) it must never take the place of real relationships! And above all it must never replace man's need for communication with his maker. Indeed man is uniquely 3D and he himself has height, width, and breadth ( images on screens) don't !! Modern comminications such as "the internet" at best are only TWO Demensional and cannot substiture for that which has LIFE and is LIFE!! The apostle John knew the importance of face to face communication and interacting with people ... saying it was much better for him to see them (face to face) !!
And God breathed into Adam's nostrils breath, and he became a LIVING SOUL !!! ( GENESIS 3:7 )
Just how precious then is life? and life itself? What as Jesus said can a man possibly give in exchange for his soul? answer is zippo, zilch, zero...Once a soul is lost and perished can it be brought back and be salvaged again? Beloved Today is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation, today if you hear his voice harden not your heart.
NOW Without getting mystical this article has been about immortatlty and the proof of man as being made up of spirit, soul and body and as i stated from the onset "I remain totally comfortable with the whole concept as presented TO US from the holy bible! And the way it is presented to us from the epistles handed down by his apostles. Amen and Amen!
Thank you and God bless every one of you in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ ( Amen ) world without end - maranatrha!